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Design a Grabbing Tool

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    Boston Children's Museum

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Design a Grabbing Tool

Using simple materials from around the house and recycled materials, learners will engineer a grabber device to pick up and put down objects that are at least 12 inches away. The activity includes a time and age recommendation, a materials list, step-by-step set up instructions, tips for adults, learning and skills connections, and a note about doing STEAM with kids.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
30 to 45 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:

Age Range:
Ages 6 - adult

Resource Type:


Materials List (per group of students)

  • Recycled materials, such as paper towel rolls, cereal boxes, yogurt containers, etc.
  • Assorted attachment materials, such as string or yarn, rubber bands, paper clips, brass fasteners, etc.
  • Assorted craft materials, such as craft sticks, straws, pipe cleaners, index cards, etc.
  • Scissors
  • Tape and/or glue
  • 2-3 objects to pick up, such as a small ball, cup or yogurt container, small toy, etc.
  • Ruler or measuring tape


  • Engineering and Technology
    • Engineering
  • Life Sciences
    • Human Body

Informal Categories

  • Model Building
  • Toys


Access Rights:

  • Free access



  • All Rights Reserved, Boston Children's Museum, ©2021


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