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STEM Activities

STEM Activity: DIY Dream Telescope

Happy National Women Physicians Day! This day is celebrated on the birthday of Elizabeth Blackwell, the first woman in America to receive a medical degree. With inspiration from Dr. Blackwell, create a telescope that can help you bring your goals for the future into focus.


Materials Needed

  • Crayons, colored pencils or markers
  • Paper
  • Paper towel or toilet paper tube
  • Scissors

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Take your cardboard tube and cut a slit on the top of one end of it, approximately ¾ inch of the way down.
  1. Cut a piece of paper roughly into the size of a business card.
  2. At the bottom center of the paper, write down a goal or dream for the future. For example, where have you always wanted to travel, or what have you wanted to learn more about? Don’t be afraid to dream big!
  3. Cut out and write on as many cards as desired.
  4. Insert a dream card into the slit and look at it through your cardboard tube telescope.
  1. Is it too dark to see? Sometimes we need to light the way to our dreams! Add a lighted pathway to your dream by squeezing the tube together and cutting triangular shapes in the top of the tube. When you release the tube, the shapes will look like diamonds.
  1. It’s also helpful to have someone support you when you get stuck or get off course from following your dream. Ask someone to collaborate with you if you need help cutting into your telescope and adding more light to find your way toward your dream!
  2. Add your own flair to your telescope and dream cards using crayons, colored pencils or markers.
  3. Once you accomplish one of your goals, write the date of your accomplishment on the back of the dream card and keep it in a safe spot or proudly display and share it with others.


What Are We Discovering?

Just like when you needed to cut triangles into the tube to let more light in, your goals need time, care and illumination. By writing goals down and mapping a pathway to them, your goals become more tangible.

Dreaming big is not only good for you, it’s also good for the world around you. National Inventors Hall of Fame® Inductees made significant contributions to society through perseverance and dreaming big. You can learn about Patricia Bath, one of our Hall of Famers who is a groundbreaking physician, here.


Looking for More STEM Fun? Sign Up for Camp Invention!

If your child enjoys STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) activities, they will love Camp Invention®, NIHF’s nationwide K-6 STEM summer camp. To learn more about this year’s brand-new program and to reserve your spot today, we invite you to visit our website.

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