LEGO Sailboats

ACTIVITY HEADER

 

 

 

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

Straws

Plastic bags

Tape

Fan

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

Wind Power

Procedure

  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.

  • Tell students that they should build a car that will drive when a fan is blowing wind on it.
  • Pass out the building kits and allow students to build their designs.
  • Have students test their designs using a fan to simulate wind.
  • Have students try different sized sails, wheels etc. to see what works the best.
  • 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

    http://sites.tufts.edu/stompactivitydatabase/files/formidable/Lego-Sailboats-Outline.doc

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