This homemade articulated grabber is a brilliant STEM Challenge or STEM project, that works brilliantly and is easy to construct as well!

We cut up a shoe box to make ours as the cardboard does need to be quite sturdy, but you can use whatever you have handy.

If you like this activity you might also like my selection of simple science fair projects or edible experiments!

Image promoting an articulated grabber STEM Challenge

You’ll need

Cardboard Strips

Split pins


Double sided tape

Sharp pencil

Pom Poms – optional

Articulated Grabber Materials - cardboard strips, pom poms and split pins

How to make an articulated grabber

Step 1

Cut out the pieces so you have the same amount as in the photo above. Carefully use a sharp pencil to create holes as shown ( ask an adult to help ).

Use double sided tape to attach the shorter pieces to the top of two longer pieces.


Long pieces are 22.5 cm x 3 cm

Short end pieces 6.5cm x 3cm

Step 2

Attach two long cardboard pieces together with a split pin as shown.

Image of step 1 of creating an articulated grabber for a STEM challenge

Step 3

Add two more pieces of card as below. Check the split pins are loose enough to allow some movement.

step 2 of making an articulated grabber

Step 4

Keep going!!

step 4 of making an articulated grabber

Step 5

Add the final two pieces and your grabber is ready to use!

Step 5 of making an articulated grabber for a STEM challenge
Articulated grabber – ready to use

Step 6

What can you grab?

Homemade articulated grabber made from cardboard

Extra challenges

Can you make a longer grabber? Or a mini grabber?

More STEM Challenges using Cardboard

Create a circuit on a sheet of card using paperclips, a battery and small bulb!

Make a DIY slingshot using a cardboard tube, pencil and elastic bands. This activity is also another great use for pom poms.

Design and build a cardboard sculpture, this could be large scale or mini!

For younger children this cardboard tube sticky wall looks brilliant from Happy Toddler Playtime.

Create a marble run from an old cardboard box and toilet rolls!

Image of an articulated grabber made as a STEM Challenge
Articulated Grabber

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