Name of Activity Amusement Park Ride
Author STOMP
Keywords amusement park, ride, NXT, prototype, mechanical engineer, engineering design process, safety, constraints, build, program
Subject and Grade Level NXT, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
Time 2 Hours Total
Lesson Objectives: – To apply building and programming techniques to a design challenge.
Materials Needed: – NXT LEGO Kits.
– Computers running NXT-G MINDSTORMS software. Be sure correct firmware is downloaded onto NXTs.
– Assortment of extra LEGO pieces, people, motors, and sensors.
– Extra Pieces Request Sheet (optional).
– Engineer’s Planning Sheet and Final Design Sheet (attached, or make your own).
– Engineering Design Process visual (attached, or make your own).
– Art supplies for students to decorate and extend on their LEGO design.
– Poster and art supplies for students to make an advertisement of their ride (optional).
Preparation and Set Up: – Collect necessary materials.
– Photocopy worksheets.
– Arrange students into groups of 2.
– Decide how you will distribute extra pieces.
– Write design requirements on the board.
  1. Tell students that in this challenge they will be building an amusement park ride of their choice.
  2. Talk about how the engineering design process will be used in todays activity.
  3. Tell students the requirements for their rides. Adjust the requirements to be age appropriate. For example:
    1. Your ride must use a least ________motor(s).
    2. Your ride must use at least ________sensor(s).
    3. Your program must include  ______________.
  4. Allow the class to brainstorm different ride ideas and come up with different ideas for rides.
  5. Allow each student pair to build the ride of their choice, you may also decide as a class who will build what ride.
  6. Have students plan out their design on an engineering planning sheet (use attached or create your own). Be sure that students include the design requirements in their designs.
  7. Distribute materials and have students create their ride (see below for example rides and programs)
  8. When the students have completed the building of their design allow them to program their NXTs.
    1. Choose the appropriate software either NXT MINDSTORMS software.
    2. Attached is a sample of the program in the NXT MINDSTORMS software.
  9. When all the students have completed their rides, allow each group to fill out a Final Design Sheet and then share their design with the class.

NXT Ferris Wheel

NXT See-Saw

  • Optional: You may want to put the park together and share with other teachers, classrooms, parents.
Extensions or Modifications: – Have students create more complex rides with more sensors and motors.
– Have students design and create an advertisement for their ride to attract customers to the amusement park.
Activity Page
Design Plan Worksheet
Final Design
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