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Science Rocks!

Build a Tent


your results

Sent in by:
Brittany of Suffolk, VA

Try out a tent made from tubes and tape.

Materials Needed

  • cardboard shoeboxes
  • thumbtacks or push pins
  • string
  • straws
  • scissors
  • stuff from around your house to make your tent, like...
  • wrapping paper tubes
  • broomsticks
  • tape
  • rope
  • sheets
  • shower curtain



  1. Check with a grown-up before you get started.
  2. What if you didn't have a tent to sleep in when you went camping? You can make your own tent using materials you find around the house.
  3. First you'll need to make sure you have a good tent design. Start by building a tent model on top of a cardboard shoebox. The ZOOMers used straws as tent poles. Then they stretched string over the poles and used thumbtacks to anchor the string to the box.
  4. Test out a few different designs on your shoeboxes. Think about the size and shape you want your tent to be, how complicated it would be to set up, how portable it would be, and if it would have enough room to sleep in. As you test different designs, remember that the tension on the string keeps the poles from falling and holds the tent together.
  5. Once you've chosen the best design, find the materials you need to build a full-scale tent based on your design model. If you're building your tent indoors, your materials don't need to be waterproof. We've listed a bunch of household items above that you might use for your tent.
  6. If you build your tent outside, you might want to use different materials. Like, you might want to have plastic on the floor so your sleeping bags don't get damp - or you could use stakes instead of tape to hold the ropes in place.
  7. Test it out, and then send an e-mail to tell us how it went!

Some of your Results

Rhiannon, age 6 of East Troy, WI wrote:
it fell down I trid a gean it did not fall down bekuz my dad halpt me put it up.

Jasmine, age 10 of Fort Mohave, AZ wrote:
at first my tent stayeyed up but when my cousin leslie and I tried putting the blankets over it the whole thing collapesd boy were we dissapointed when we just tried puttinng lighter and shorter blankets on it worked

Elizabeth, age 10 of Atlanta, GA wrote:
IT was easy I mad it just like it was on the pic

Meg, age 10 of Muskego, WI wrote:
I slept in the tent.

Brooke, age 6 of Huntsville, TN wrote:
When I built a tent my dog got in but it was pretty funny.

ZOOM Fan, age 10 of Peoria, IL wrote:
it stay up until the next week.

Lily, age 7 of Mount Juliet, TN wrote:
at first it was really bad but then I got a diffrent idea and then it was great.

Samuel, age 10 of NB wrote:
I went in the tarp and ran in the tunnels I made. It was awsome!!!

Rasiacha, age 14 of Atlanta, GA wrote:
I did ti and it absolutly did not work!!!

Kaci, age 11 of Reagan, TN wrote:
My little brother was in it and it fell down on him.

Pater, age 10 of Kaukauna, WI wrote:
Over the summer I did it. It worked out just fine until my neighbors Saint Bernard dog went on the loose and destroyed while I was doing it outside in my yard. I worked so hard for it though.

M.Q., age 11 of Richmond, VA wrote:
Really I build a big one it was awsome and cool I build it with sticks and covers it didnt blow away when I left it outside.

Jaspreet, age 9 of Alberta wrote:
it worked great but my mom said it has to go boo hoo

Melanie, age 10 of Hawaii wrote:
It worked for 2 days and then fell down.

Karrenk of Corpus Christie, TX wrote:
I did very well accept when I had to put the poles in.

Makayla, age 8 of Clarksville, TN wrote:
it fell

Hallee, age 8 of Louisville, KY wrote:
I made a big tent and I had a sleepover

Rebecca, age 9 of Atlanta, GA wrote:
It was so hard for me but my family did help me so this is fun.

Joy, age 12 of Miami, FL wrote:
First thing I did was mess up. It was the hardest one I did in my life. Then I watch the show again and I forgot the glue how dum am I.

Jaspreet, age 11 of Yuba City, CA wrote:
It worked and it feel when got in!

Kristin, age 10 of Lansing, MI wrote:
Well when I build my tent it cealt on falling

Lisa, age 11 of Bellevue, MI wrote:
my tent fell down cuz of my little sister but then I made another tent and this time it worked. when r u guys on t. v. I loved ur show!

Shanae, age 7 of Abbville, KS wrote:
the first it fell but then istade because I helped. we stad ther two nights and it was fun!!

Cammie, age 12 of Vidor, TX wrote:
it all fell with a boom

Erin of Cobbs Lake Preserve, PA wrote:
well it worked good.

Jessica, age 10 of Portdover wrote:
it word for one min & then it fell a part

Soubia, age 6 of Hackensack wrote:
it was hard and then I got it.

Sara, age 11 of Northampton, PA wrote:
Well when me and my friend tried to to build it at first it fell, but then we put duct ape and it really worked!!!

Cadesha, age 14 of Warner Robins, GA wrote:
it was very intent but I was very fun... thanks zoom you are the best.

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