ALL ABOARD: WE’RE GATHERING STEAM
Source: Crafting With Kids
Did you know you can use water to make a curved bracelet out of a rigid craft stick? Today’s STEAM activity shows kids the transformational power of water to help soften and bend a wooden stick into a bracelet!
- Craft sticks or Popsicle sticks
- Cup or glass – the diameter of your glass impacts the size of the bracelet. A narrower glass makes a smaller bracelet.
- Paint, glue, and glitter to decorate
- Soak the craft sticks in water for at least 2 hours.
- Pull craft sticks out of the water and start to bend them SLOWLY – if you bend them too fast they might crack or splinter.
- Bend the sticks enough to fit inside a glass. (Note: the craft sticks will expand a little after you remove them so bend it tighter than you want it.)
- Let the craft sticks sit in the glass overnight or for at least 12 hours.
- Remove your new bracelets and decorate them however you wish!
This activity supports the development of the following STEAM skills:
Science and engineering: The cells in wood are held together by a natural material in the wood called lignin. To bend, the wood must be “plasticized” with moisture. Heating the wood with steam or soaking it in water weakens the lignin bonds in the wood, and weakening those bonds allows the wood to bend.