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STEM Activities

STEM Activity: Gingerbread Workshop

Want to take the traditional gingerbread house to the next level? You can, by designing and building (and maybe eating) a gingerbread workshop!

Follow the steps below to draw the ultimate workshop, lab or makerspace, then turn your 2D design into a 3D model using some tasty materials.


Materials Needed

  • Edible building materials (like gingerbread, graham crackers, icing, etc.) or nonedible building materials (such as recyclables, craft supplies, scissors, glue or tape, etc.)
  • Graph paper
  • Pen or marker
  • Pencil
  • Plain paper
  • Ruler


Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Draw a plan for your workshop with a pencil and plain paper. Make your sketch as detailed as you want!
    • How many rooms will it have?
    • How much space will you need in each room?
    • Might you use design layouts from an online search or a book as reference?
  2. Draw the layout of your structure on graph paper using the lines to make it precise. You can print out graph paper using this link.
    • Follow a line on your graph paper to make your first wall and count how many boxes you included.
    • To make other walls the same size, draw them using the same number of boxes.
    • Change the number of boxes to make a wall smaller or larger.
  3. Now that you have a blueprint, you can decide what materials you want to use to make your 3D model.
    • Will you use graham crackers and icing to build the frame?
    • Might you team up with an adult for help with putting your gingerbread walls together using icing as glue?
    • How might you use recyclables and craft supplies to make your frame?
  4. Keep on building! Your materials might help you push your workshop design beyond its original frame.


What Are We Discovering?

Architects apply mathematics to lay out spaces, and designers use technology to make spaces modular and multifunctional. These are just two simple examples of how STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) is involved in architecture and design.

Few modern products have transformed construction as much as drywall. Drywall is a common material used to make walls in homes, stores, hospitals and other buildings. Sackett Board, the prototype for drywall, was patented by National Inventors Hall of Fame® (NIHF) Inductee Augustine Sackett in 1894. The evolution of Sackett’s invention shaved weeks off the time needed to finish a building and made building homes more affordable.


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