Complete the challenge and share your articulated hands on social media with @BramptonLibrary #kidsatBL! 

This STEM challenge: 

Understand how your hand works then create your own articulated hand.

Supplies you will need:

  • 1 Sheet of cardstock
  • Straws
  • Masking Tape
  • Scissors (with parent permission or supervision)
  • Pencil or writing utensil

How does your hand work?Hand, Distal phalanges, Middle phalanges, Proximal phalanges, Metacarpal bones, Carpal Bones

  • The human hand is different from the hands or paws of other animals because it has fingers and a thumb that can work together. Our thumb can work with each of our fingers, including our smallest finger and our ring finger, so we can do much more complicated things than most animals.
  • Each finger has 3 bones and the thumb has two bones. The hand is attached to the arm by the wrist.
    • The hand has 27 bones.
    • There are 8 bones in the wrist.
    • There are 5 bones in the palm that connect to the fingers and thumb.
    • There are 2 main sets of muscles and tendons. Flexor muscles bend the fingers and thumb, and extensors straighten them out again. You can see how they work if you close and open your fingers.



Design and Create Your Own Articulated Hand

Articulated Hand

1. Use the space on your handout to draw your hand. Include the number phalanges (bones).

2. When you are happy with your design, trace your hand onto your sheet of cardstock and cut it out. 

3. The straws will be your bones in this design. Use the scissors to cut them down to size.

4. Place your straws on your cardstock hand cut out and secure with tape.

5. The string will act as the muscles in your hand.

  • Thread the string through the straws, going one finger at a time.
  • At the top of your finger/thumb, tape it to the distal phalanges or poke a hole at the top and thread it through. Be sure to secure the string somewhere at the top of your fingers/thumb.
  • Leave extra string at the bottom to pull and move your fingers

6. Test your design! Record your findings on the handout provided.

Extensions:

  • Try to pick up objects with your hand. How can you make it stronger?
  • Create other joints and connect them to your articulated hand (materials not included).

If you liked this activity, you might enjoy these free resources from our library:

DK Eyewitness Books: Human Body Explore How the Human Body Works—from the Smallest Cells to the Systems That Keep Us Alive by Richard Walker (non-fiction ebook)

DK Eyewitness Books: Human Body Explore How the Human Body Works—from the Smallest Cells to the Systems That Keep Us Alive by Richard Walker (non-fiction ebook)

Human Body by Georgia Amson-Bradshaw (non-fiction)

Human Body by Georgia Amson-Bradshaw (non-fiction)

The Body Atlas: The Pictorial Guide to the Human Body by Steve Parker (non-fiction)

The Body Atlas: The Pictorial Guide to the Human Body by Steve Parker (non-fiction)

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