Name of Activity LEGO Sailboats
Author Adam Glaser and Jordyn Wolfand
Keywords LEGOs, wind, wind power, vehicle, sail, sailboat, boat
Subject Non-LEGO, LEGO Building
Grade Level K, 1, 2, 3
Time 1 Hour Total
Brief Description Students will use LEGOs and other materials to build a wind-powered vehicle.
Lesson Objectives: To learn about wind power and building.
Materials Needed: LEGOs to build simple cars
Plastic bags
Preparation and Set Up: Make kits for each group with enough LEGOs to build a car, straws and plastic bags.
Arrange student into pairs.
Necessary Background Vocabulary:
Wind Power
  1. Introduce wind power to the students.
    1. Talk about the places we find wind power.
    2. Talk about why and when wind power is useful.
      1. e.g. on the open water vs. on the highway.
  2. Tell students that they should build a car that will drive when a fan is blowing wind on it.
  3. Pass out the building kits and allow students to build their designs.
  4. Have students test their designs using a fan to simulate wind.
  5. Have students try different sized sails, wheels etc. to see what works the best.
  6. At the end of class let each student demonstrate their fan. Have a class discussion about the different designs. Ask:
    1. Which combinations worked best and why?
    2. Which combinations did not work well? why?
    3. What are some pros and cons of wind power?
    4. What are some of the forces that were affecting the cars? What types of wheels were best? Were lighter or heavier cars better? (you can talk about friction, aerodynamics, force, etc.)
Reference 1
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