Thinking of Halloween and all things “BOO” got the kids excited to have a go at this Spooky Pop-Up STEAM project. STEAM activities give kids a great way to engage in the important curriculum areas of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Maths. STEAM ideas offer kids lots of opportunities to develop life long skills of thinking creatively, questioning, testing ideas and problem solving.
We themed our Spooky Pop-Up STEAM Project to Halloween but you could theme a Pop-Up STEAM Project for any time of the year or any topic, based on your kids interests or current study areas. You can see our other favourite STEAM activities here.
One of the great things about this Pop-Up STEAM Project is that it can be easily adapted for kids of different ages and abilities. Each child will approach the challenge in a unique way and their results and learning outcomes will be unique to them. AWESOME!
How To Set Up A Pop-Up STEAM Project
Pop Up STEAM Project Supplies
Before you embark on any STEAM project it’s a good idea to have a basic kit of supplies for kids to pick and choose from. Here’s what I have:
Create a Model Making Box
I always have, what I call, a “Model Making Box”. It’s full of all sorts of wonderful bits and pieces the children can use to make and create with. It hasn’t cost me anything to put it together because it’s made up of interesting things that I’ve saved from going in the trash. Things like cardboard boxes, TP tubes, yoghurt pots, cotton reels and straws etc.
This model making box is a great starting point for any STEAM project and straight away gets kids thinking creatively and problem solving as they decide which bits and bobs to use for the STEAM challenge.
I also always have these low cost basics:
- sticky tape
- masking tape
- different glue types
- marker pens
Setting The Pop-Up STEAM Project Challenge
I introduced this STEAM challenge to my son in October so it had a Halloween theme. I set him the challenge of creating something that went “BOO”. He could take the activity in any direction he liked. I actually thought he’d make a pop-up card or a simple open a door type of thing, like an advent calendar but he totally surprised me with the lever pop-up he designed and you can see what he got up to below!
It goes to show that giving kids open ended challenges and the space to experiment really gives them the opportunity to try out ideas and lead their own learning.
How My 10 Year Old Solved The Spooky Pop-Up STEAM Challenge
First he chose his supplies which you can see in the photo above.
Next he used the scissors to poke 3 holes in the end of his cardboard box. Originally he made holes in the long side of the box but then realised the space inside the box would be too short for his pop up levers to work at different heights. After a rethink he made new holes in the short side of the box which gave him a longer space inside for his mechanism.
He made 3 simple levers of different heights using plastic straws which he cut to length and inserted one into the other to make a right angle. He decided to keep the right angle in shape using sticky tape.
Then he inserted his three different height levers into the holes in the box.
After that he drew three different spooky Halloween pictures and cut them out.
Each of his Halloween pictures was taped onto the end of the straw levers inside his box. His Spooky Pop-Up STEAM Project was finished. When the outer levers were upright his spooky pictures were completely hidden inside the cardboard box. But when you pulled the straw levers down the spooky pictures popped-up! BOO!
Looking for some more ideas for simple pop-up mechanisms? Try these:
More Fun Halloween Crafts For Kids: