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THE CREATURE SHOP explores the science behind movie magic. Exciting STEM workshops take students behind the scenes to see how simple machines such as pulleys, gears, push-pull rods, and even an ordinary pair of scissors can be used to create motion-picture special effects.

THE CREATURE SHOP was designed for students in Grades 4 and up. This program involves students constructing their own animatronic robot hand from supplied materials.

CREATURE SHOP JUNIOR is suitable for students in Grades 1 and up. This program has students assemble “gear-bots” from supplied materials.

What Are CREATURE SHOP Workshops?

In both workshops, kids will:

• Take a look at different kinds of special effects, comparing computer-generated effects to “old-school” effects and explain the advantages of each.

• Using their mastery of gravity, bring a blob of interstellar protoplasm to life and recreate a classic Hollywood science fiction movie in the classroom.

• Go behind the scenes to examine an animatronic puppet used in a production and learn about the simple machines that gave it the illusion of being alive. Using a hands-on replica, students will be able to operate these simple machines for themselves.

• Finally, CREATURE SHOP students will build (and keep) their own animatronic robot-hand and show it off in a contest of robotic skill and daring! Younger students participating in CREATURE SHOP JUNIOR will build (and keep) their own gear-bots.

THE CREATURE SHOP is the STEM program that comes to you! This complete workshop is set up in your classroom, daycare facility, summer camp, or birthday venue.


  • in-class media literacy workshops
  • PA day programming
  • summer camp programming
  • birthday parties that come to you
  • workshops for Sparks, Brownies, and Girl Guides units throughout Southern Ontario

All supplies and materials are included with the workshop.


Created by the people at PUPPETS-COOL!, THE CREATURE SHOP and CREATURE SHOP JUNIOR are Canada’s only STEM workshops that were created by and are owned and operated by media industry professionals with verifiable production credits.

Steve Schnier, THE CREATURE SHOP’s creator, spent 35 years producing the key creative elements for memorable children’s television. He created the sound effects for The Inspector Gadget Show, produced The Magic School Bus, created (wrote, produced, and directed) Freaky Stories, served as head writer on Atomic Betty and has written for many other shows including George of the Jungle, Jimmy Two Shoes and Family Biz, to name just a few. Most recently he designed, created, and puppeteered the title character in the APTV series, I Am Ripley.

Steve holds a Guinness World Record for creating the largest googly eyes in the world, and he was the first person to send a model of Star Trek’s U.S.S. Enterprise into space.

In-Class STEAM Workshops at TDSB Schools

The CREATURE SHOP STEAM workshop is now an approved educational partner program with the Toronto District School Board. After a thorough vetting process, the creative program was found to provide unique learning opportunities and enhancements to the Ontario Curriculum. This innovative in-class program is not offered by or available through any other source.


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