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STEM Activities

STEM Activity: Celebrate Hug Your Hound Day

Happy National Hug Your Hound Day! Give your pet extra love today by using materials from around your home to create a pet-safe invention, like this awesome nose-print safe!


Materials Needed

  • Cardboard box
  • Craft materials (e.g., construction paper, markers, etc.)
  • Pet treat
  • Scissors
  • Tape


  1. Start by taking a cardboard box and cutting off the two smaller flaps. The larger flaps will represent the safe doors.
  1. Use your pet’s colors or other ideas to design the safe with style! Have a shaggy pet? Maybe you could add a faux fur trim to your safe! Have a Dalmatian? Maybe there should be splotches of color on your safe. Anything goes!
  2. Like human fingerprints, some animals have a unique nose print that can be used to identify them. Make a nose-print scanner on the outside of your safe that serves as a prototype (model) for how this would work if you were to patent your invention.
  1. Finally, put your safe to the test by placing a pet-safe treat inside the box and seeing if your pet can open it! If not, consider giving them their treat anyway, for being a good sport!


What Are We Discovering?

Using unique physical and behavioral characteristics as data that can be measured and analyzed is called biometrics. While an animal’s nose print is featured in this activity, many National Inventors Hall of Fame® Inductees have used biometrics in their patented technologies for recognizing and identifying humans.

Inductees Leonard Flom and Aran Safir patented their idea for an iris identification system in 1987, basing it on the fact that no two irises are alike. Their idea involved illuminating the eye, obtaining an image of the iris and comparing that image with stored data. Today, iris recognition is considered the most accurate in the field of biometric identification based on physical or behavioral characteristics. This technology has been used in many ways, including matching mothers and infants in hospital settings, as a safety measure, before being discharged.


Looking for More Exciting STEM Activities?

Thousands of children across the country have engaged in easy, at-home fun with our Innovation Exploration Kits. Each kit offers tons of materials for endless exploration and creativity, delivered right to your door. To learn more, please visit our website!

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