Make Adorable STEAM Fantasy Structures (inspired by Iggy Peck Architect)

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One of the perks of living in the Chicago area are the amazing fantasy structures and buildings created by some of the most famous architects and engineers.

 

 As a kid, I remember feeling so proud that the Sears Tower (now Willis Tower, but I still can’t call it that) was the tallest building in the world. Not to mention Frank Lloyd Wright, Le Corbusier, Walter Gropius, and Mies van der Rohe were Chicago pioneers of modernist architecture. 

 

Create a STEAM inspired fantasy structure with kids.

 

A few months ago, we hopped on the Metra and took our kids to Millenium Park and walked through the Chicago Loop. My kids were mesmerized by the beautiful Chicago skyline.

Create a STEAM inspired fantasy structure with kids.

Create a STEAM inspired fantasy structure with kids.

 

This month I’m participating in a 28 Day Steam Activities for Kids hosted by Left Brain Craft Brain. Therefore, I thought it would be fun for my kids to create their own STEAM fantasy structures inspired by the buildings in Chicago and also inspired by one of our favorite books Iggy Peck Architect by Andrea Beaty. This book tells the tale of a little boy who loves building so much, he builds structures out of dirty diapers. Then his second-grade teacher squashes his innovation and creativity. In the end, a serious calamity allows Iggy to use his skills to save his class. 

 

 

 

Just like Iggy, my students were given random objects to create their own fantasy structures. Here’s what they needed: 

Materials

 

Create a STEAM inspired fantasy structure with kids.

Create a STEAM inspired fantasy structure with kids.

 

 

Process

Before the kids started to build, I hot glued the styrofoam cone to the circular base. If you have random styrofoam pieces, those could also work to make the build look more abstract. 

 

Next, the children painted their white styrofoam pieces with colorful tempera paint. 

 

Create a STEAM inspired fantasy structure with kids.

 

 Create a STEAM inspired fantasy structure with kids.

 

 

Then, I explained the concept of creating a structure that has a stable base and that looks balanced. I showed them how to add the toothpicks and the foam beads to the sculpture. 

 

I asked the kids, “What would happen if there were too many toothpicks on one side? Would the structure stay stable or tip over?”

Create a STEAM inspired fantasy structure with kids.

As the kids worked, they invented these amazing fantasy structures that had a specific purpose. One child made a fortress, another child made a Ferris wheel, and some just enjoyed the freedom to build.

 

Create a STEAM inspired fantasy structure with kids.

 

Fantasy structures are a fun and project to encourage your engineer to invent, build, and persist in failure. 

 

This post was part of a 28 Days of STEAM Activities for Kids, hosted by Left Brain Craft Brain. Check out her amazing site for more STEAM projects!

 

28 Days of Steam Activities for Kids

 

 

 

 


 

Marina Gallovitch
flashbugsstudio@gmail.com

1 Comment

  • Jacquie

    01.03.2017 at 08:56 Reply

    So colorful! And I love the learning about how a stable base is so important when creating a structure. It’s amazing what kids can make using everyday objects – they have such wonderful imaginations.

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