STEAM: Curled Paper Sculpture

STEAM and Invitation to Create come together when children investigate different ways to design a 3D sculpture.

STEAM is the process of integrating science, technology, engineering, art, and math into an activity to encourage creative and critical thinking. Experience Curriculum intentionally weaves STEAM concepts throughout the day. One example of STEAM integration is an Invitation to Create activity called Curled Paper Sculpture.

Invitation to Create activities engages children in teamwork, critical thinking, problem-solving, imagination, and innovation. The Curled Paper Sculpture invitation is a simple activity for children to investigate different ways to bend, fold and twist paper while developing STEAM skills.

Curling & Creating 

Set out a paper plate for each child participating. Provide paper strips and items to curl the paper, such as jumbo straws, blocks or spools. Prompt children to use their creativity and different items to bend, fold and twist the paper strips and glue or tape them to the paper plate. Nov_I2C_Materials_Sculpture.jpg

As children create their curled paper sculpture, they will be making decisions and creating an experience that naturally incorporates STEAM skills. 

Observe children in their play and instead of guiding what they do, ask questions such as, “What tools are you using? What are you doing with the paper? What will you do next?”

As children are creating, notice the STEAM skills in action:

Science: exploring the properties of matter and what happens if you fold or twist the paper.

Technology: the use of tools to help make curly paper. It is also using tape or glue as adhesives to make the paper stick and stand up. Which of these tools works best? This question leads into . . .

Engineering: principles where the child experiments and tests different ways to wrap and use the tools to gain the desired “curl.”

Art: designing the sculpture to be beautiful in the eyes of the child.

Math: working with space and size (how do we attach the paper to the plate?)

Encourage children to think outside of the box and investigate different techniques to curl the paper! Watch as children embrace their imaginations when curling, cutting, folding and bending. STEAM helps children become future master problem-solvers and helps them learn how to make sustainable life choices.

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