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Heather Seabourne teaches STEAM by making hologram viewers with the FormBox

Tools for STEAM Education Desktop Vacuum Forming Machine
Heather in the classroom with the Mayku FormBox, desktop vacuum former

How to use a desktop vacuum forming machine for teaching STEAM education

Sherfield School is a leading Co-Educational school based in Hampshire which places innovation at the heart of student development. Using our desktop vacuum former, the Mayku FormBox, Sherfield School engaged children as young as 5 with an introduction to product design and engineering by allowing students to create hologram viewers under the supervision of teachers and assistants.

Engaging Students in STEAM Education using Desktop Manufacturing Tools

Using desktop manufacturing tools to engage students in STEAM education

Sherfield School wanted to provide students aged 5 - 8 with a hands-on and engaging introduction to vacuum forming technology and design principles. Typically this part of the curriculum is reserved for students between the ages of 12 - 18 years old. The challenge was to show how the Mayku FormBox can be used successfully with younger learners by putting the power into the students hands.

“The Mayku FormBox is a great tool to get students engaged in product design from a young age.” - Heather Seabourne, Sherfield School

How to Use Vacuum Forming for STEAM Education Classes

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How to use the Mayku FormBox for STEAM education

Using Vacuum forming as an activity, Sherfield used this workshop to teach reception and junior students about geometry and design by forming a hologram viewer taken from the FormBox’s starter kit. These kits are included with every FormBox and are designed to get everyone making straight out of the box. Whilst the machine was heating up the teacher provided a basic introduction to vacuum forming. They also engaged students in aspects of geometry and science by explaining how holograms are made from the size and shape of the viewer.

The FormBox is suitable for independent use by children over the age of 8. However, with the help of an adult, the children involved in these workshops still gained a hands-on experience. They were shown how to place the material correctly in the trays, how to know when it was ready to form, as well as helping the teacher move the trays down onto the vacuum plate. Once all students had had their turn the teacher explained how to cut out their form from the sheet. She then showed them how to use the viewer with a smartphone, which was naturally a hit with the students. Both FormBoxes were running for 40 minutes at a time continuously across the two workshops without any issue or safety hazard for the user.

Once every student had experienced the FormBox everyone was handed an activity booklet to be completed at home about what they had learnt throughout the workshop. This included a link to YouTube channels which host a number of fun and entertaining hologram films for students to use their viewers with. Students, teachers and parents can then check out the Mayku YouTube channel which hosts a variety of informative videos of how vacuum forming is used for a range of other  projects. Amongst these are tutorials for how to partner the FormBox with a 3D Printer to expand the range of things children can create.

The FormBox is designed for independent learning in the classroom. The simple user interface means students can use the FormBox independently. Affordable at just £599, the FormBox is powered by any vacuum cleaner which makes it portable and able to be used in a variety of learning environments. The size of the FormBox made it easy to transport between classrooms and for use by younger children to create a fun hologram viewer to take home at the end of the day.

Using the Mayku FormBox in Education

The benefits of including a desktop vacuum former in your classroom

Cross-curriculum learning

With the FormBox students were able to learn about a range of subjects within one workshop. The FormBox can also be incorporated into other lesson plans to help further engage students.

Significant time savings


Quick to set up and without the need to have a technician on hand the Mayku FormBox means that students have more time to spend creating, freeing up the teacher for other tasks throughout the lesson.

Affordable and long lasting

At £599 the FormBox is an affordable addition to any classroom. With a two year warranty, you’re covered should anything go wrong. Plus, if you're an educator, ask about access to Mayku Teach for a database of free lesson plans and inspiration designed by teachers for teachers. 

Want to learn more? You can follow @TeamMayku on social media, join our Facebook Group, the Mayku Community or request to Speak to a Specialist at anytime to find out how you could use a FormBox for your next project. 

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