In the lead up to Halloween we decided to make folded paper masks. I found these amazing templates on etsy by wintercroft.
These masks are amazing. You pay for them on etsy and then print out the templates and instructions. They recommend that you glue or tape the template to a heavy paper and then cut, fold, and tape or glue the tabs. I tried that but it took a really long time. I found it much quicker and easier to print the templates themselves on heavy bond paper (80-100lb.). Leaving out that step meant you only had to cut the mask out once instead of twice which made it much more pleasant.
We had a long discussion of mountain folds vs. valley folds - noted by dotted lines vs. dashed lines- and the fact that you needed to cut all solid lines. We also discussed the history and place of folded paper in various cultures and the use of such techniques in model making in various fields. A few of the designs were full head masks which took considerably long to make, most were just half-face masks.
Most of the selections I purchased were fanciful woodland creatures, but the were assorted demos and devils as well.
One of the balances we try to strike with STEAM club is to present an even mix of creative, artistic projects that have scientific application and components, and those that are more science, engineering, and math0based on their face but have artistic components. I think a lot of STEAM work leans heavily one way or another based on the background of the facilitator. We try to be self-aware of our artist way of looking at the world and keep in mind that our long-term goal is to illuminate pathways to STEM for kids who do not habitually think of themselves as excelling in science and math.