Handy Engineering

Public summary: 

Build a model of the inner workings of your hand! Learn about how muscles and tendons work together to control the movements of our fingers, and have a model to take home, made of simple household objects!

Build a small working model hand from card and straws!
Useful information
Kit List: 

Drinking straws
A4 card
Printout attached below

Packing Away: 

Lives in stores. Sample hands in wallet on Hand Model.


1. Cut out around the hand.
2. Collect 5 pre-cut straws.
3. Tape down a piece of string over the end of each finger.
4. Thread a pre-cut straw onto each piece of string.
5. Using the sticky tape secure the straw between each of the joints.
6. Cut the straws a little way below the bottom of the fingers.
7. Cut another 5 short segments of straw and tape these by the wrist of your hand model.
8. Thread each piece of string through a separate straw.

You can also demo with a "How science works" theme if you have no clue about "how the hand" works. We study various models of how the hand works of various complexities. The paper model we make is simple but has more flaws than the more complicated Hand Model. You can get them to try and recreate motions on the two models and their actual hand and lok for ligaments moving.

Risk Assessment
Date risk assesment last checked: 
Fri, 25/01/2019
Risk assesment checked by: 
Matt Worssam
Date risk assesment double checked: 
Sat, 02/02/2019
Risk assesment double-checked by: 
Conor Cafolla
Risk Assessment: 

Small model of tendons in hand, using card, straws and string.

Hazard Risk Likelihood Severity Overall Mitigation Likelihood Severity Overall
Scissors Risk of cuts. 2 3 6 Younger children should be accompanied by an adult. CHaOS volunteers to oversee carefully
Ensure kids are behaving sensibly at all times.
Use safety scissors.
Call a first aider in the event of injury.
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