The pandemic may be separating us, but storytelling is a powerful tool that can bring us together again. If your family is anything like ours, you’ve used books and movies as a way to find solace and connection. When you have these moments together, it may even feel like a family victory. But have you shared these moments with others? Can you picture what that feeling would be like if you did? (Spoiler alert: It feels great—even for an introvert like me.)
That’s why we’ve put together a new Friends & Family STEAM challenge called ‘Picture It.’ For this challenge, we want you to get together remotely with friends and family and share your favorite story from 2020 (told through literature or a movie) through some creative, hands-on fun.
Intro & Challenge: Get together remotely with friends and family. Have each person or group choose a favorite book they’ve read this year or a favorite movie they’ve seen this year. (Do not share your idea with other family and friends who are participating.) After selecting a book or film, design and build a 3-D scene from your chosen story using a variety of materials.
Your structure must include at least one special feature. The special feature must be created and/or operated using at least one STEM principle. This includes, but is not limited to, principles in fields such as chemistry, computer science, software engineering, electricity, hydraulics, mathematics, mechanical engineering, physics, and structural engineering. Other STEM principles are also acceptable.
You’ll have 30 minutes to complete the challenge. When time is up, go around from group to group and try to guess which book or movie inspired each design. Then have each group talk about their design and the book or movie they chose. You can also use our scoring component to add some friendly competition!
*Materials are a suggestion and may be modified based on what you have available. Try to have each group use the same set of materials if possible.
- 6 sheets of paper (any variety—plain, construction, etc.)
- 5 chenille stems (pipe cleaners)
- 6 craft sticks
- 6 index cards
- 3 cardboard tubes
- Aluminum foil (one 12inx12in piece)
- 1 paper or plastic cup
- 2 rubber bands
- 4 Ping-Pong balls
- String (one 10in piece)
- Tape and/or glue
- Crayons or markers
- Scissors (must only be used for creating your solution and cannot be a part of your structure)
Special Feature Materials: You may use any materials. However, the total value of the materials used to create your special feature must not exceed $10.
Time: 30 minutes
- Up to 20 points for the overall creativity of your 3-D design.
- Up to 20 points for the overall creativity of your special feature.
- Up to 20 points for the innovation of the STEM principle used in your team-created special feature
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