Three Little Pigs House Building





Name of Activity Three Little Pigs House Building
Author Emily Lai and Emily Naito
Keywords three little pigs, build, house
Subject Non-LEGO
Grade Level K, 1, 2
Time 2 Hours Total
Brief Description After reviewing the story of the 3 little pigs, students get into groups and build three houses out of different materials. Then, the houses are tested with a fan to see if the “big bad wolf” can knock their houses down.
Lesson Objectives: - Using the engineering design process
- Learn to build with different materials and adjust designs based on constraints of materials
Materials Needed: House 1: Paper
House 2: Straws (cut in half), popsicle sticks
House 3: Lego Bricks


Fan (paper fan, folder, etc.)

Preparation and Set Up: Arrange students in pairs

Cut straws in half

Necessary Background Know the three little pigs story.
Procedure 1. Tell story of the three little pigs. 2. Assign students to pairs, and distribute pairs evenly into three different stations (one station for each house) 3. Plan/Discuss possible house designs with partner 4. Construct house out of given materials 5. Rotate through stations until every group has build three houses. 6. Test designs by using a fan to see if the houses blow down.
Modifications: Limit the amount of tape/glue students can use for their houses.
Instead of a paper fan, use a hair dryer or a mechanical fan.
Umbrella Unit/Curriculum (if applicable) Robotics in Motion – Naito and Lai

Wedo Cars





Name of Activity Wedo Cars
Author Emily Lai, Emily Naito
Keywords Wedo, Car, LEGO, Robotics
Subject LEGO Building
Grade Level K, 1, 2
Time 2 Hours Total
Brief Description Part 1: Students create their own cars using the pieces in the Wedo kit.
Part 2: Students follow a set of pictoral instructions to construct a car using the Wedo kit pieces.
Lesson Objectives: - Introduce students to building vehicles using unfamiliar Wedo pieces
Materials Needed: Wedo kits
Pictoral instruction handouts (Part 2)
Preparation and Set Up: - Arrange students in pairs
- Print out enough copies of the handouts for each pair of students
Necessary Background Familiarity with the wheels/axles/other unique Wedo kit pieces
Procedure Part 1: – Show students which parts in the wedo kits will be used as wheels – Show students how to attach the wheels to axles and then to the body of the car – Distribute Wedo kits to pairs of students – Build the cars Part 2: – Have students disassemble cars from part 1 – Distribute handouts to pairs; explain what order the pictures go in – Build cars according to instructions
Online Reference(s)
Umbrella Unit/Curriculum (if applicable) Robotics in Motion

Sochi 2014 – Figure Skating





Name of Activity Sochi 2014 – Figure Skating
Author STOMP Minigroups
Keywords Robotics, NXT, Olympics, Sochi, ice skating, figure skating, movement
Subject NXTs
Grade Level 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Time 1 Hour Total
Brief Description Students will program a pre-made car to move around on a “rink” like a figure skater.
Lesson Objectives: - Explore the movement options on MINDSTORMS
- Familiarize students with programming on pre-made cars
Materials Needed: NXT kits (premade cars)
Material for a rink
Optional: different colored paper for conditional programming, tape to outline a rink
Preparation and Set Up: Make NXT cars beforehand.
Set up a rink, distribute kits and cars.
Necessary Background NXT Programming (including sensors)
Building with LEGOs
Procedure - Distribute materials – Depending on the age group, introduce programming and the theme of the lesson (Olympics, Sochi, Figure Skating) to get the kids excited – Depending on the age group, decide which extensions and modifications you need in place to be at the appropriate level for the students – Have the students make their robot “figure skate” using MINDSTORMS and make their routine fit into whichever requirements you give them (e.g. +1 point for a 360, car must do a 180 every time it drives over a red block, -1 every time the car moves off the rink)
Extensions: Depending on the age group, introduce restrictions and point incentives as described above.

Scratch Challenges!





Name of Activity Scratch Challenges!
Author Emily Taintor
Keywords Scratch, programming, challenges, glide, walk, pattern, draw, pen, costume, 2nd grade, 1 hour
Subject Non-LEGO
Grade Level 2
Time 1 Hour Total
Brief Description Students will complete a series of challenges with help from STOMPers and conclude the lesson with an open-ended challenge.
Lesson Objectives: - Familiarize students with programming
- Introduce logic in programming (if, if-else, etc.)
- Familiarize students with the Scratch program in general and get them comfortable with exploring the less obvious features of the program
Materials Needed: - One laptop per pair of students
- Scratch on every laptop
- Projector (preferably
- Attached worksheet
Preparation and Set Up: Get Scratch running on all the computers, set up one computer on the projector so that you can go over the potential ways to complete the challenges as a class.
Necessary Background Limited programming experience necessary. Familiarity with Scratch is necessary to explain the process to the children.
Procedure - Distribute worksheets to children – Have them work on the challenge worksheet challenge by challenge and go over responses as you go – Synthesize student answers into final program on the projector screen for students who didn’t get it independently
Reference 1 Scratch Programming Challenges
Challenges 1-3 Sample Programs  Challenge1 Challenge2 Challenge3
Umbrella Unit/Curriculum (if applicable) Scratch Programming



Name of Activity Flubber
Author Laura Fradin
Keywords goo, fun, chemical engineering, borax, glue
Subject Non-LEGO
Grade Level K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Time 1 Hour Total
Brief Description This will take less than an hour, but is a fun way to introduce chemical engineering by making goo that the kids can take home.
Lesson Objectives: -introduce students to the concept of chemical engineering
-explore how different ratios of chemicals/ingredients produce different results
Materials Needed: -water
-elmer’s glue
-food coloring (optional)
Preparation and Set Up: Have 2 different containers for mixing the ingredients.
Necessary Background None
Procedure How Flubber is actually made: 1) Mix 3/4 cup of the water with 1 cup glue in a bowl. Stir this mixture until it is thoroughly mixed together. Set it aside. 2) Mix 2 tablespoons of Borax with a 1/2 cup of water in a separate bowl. Mix thoroughly until all of the Borax is dissolved. 3) Combine the two mixtures. Stir them together. Add several drops of food coloring until the mixture is the color you want it to be. 4)Continue stirring until it is one mass of goo. See extensions to see how this activity can be more independent for students and take a full class period.
Extensions: This activity can be done as a demonstration in front of the whole class, allowing students to come do different parts of the reaction/procedure.

However, this activity can be done by giving the students a certain amount of each material and have them work in pairs to try and create something that is the consistency of flubber. This will take almost a whole class period! Each group should have a different mixture and they can learn the effects of using various proportions/ratios of each ingredient. After each group has experimented and they have discussed what happened when they mixed various proportions, you can make flubber as a whole class using the procedure outlines above.

Spaghetti Towers





Name of Activity Spaghetti Towers
Author Laura Fradin, Jake Hellman
Keywords spaghetti, towers, introduction, engineering, 5th grade, aguayo, marshmallows, tape
Subject Non-LEGO
Grade Level 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Time 1 Hour Total
Brief Description Students build the tallest tower possible out of spaghetti, tape, and place a marshmallow at the top of their tower.
Lesson Objectives: -Intro to Engineering
-Understand what constraints are
-Triangles are stronger than squares
-Failure is okay
Materials Needed: -spaghetti (10 pieces for every group)
-tape (1 ft for every group)
-marshmallows (1 per group)
-measuring tape
Preparation and Set Up: -arrange students in pairs
-collect necessary materials
Necessary Background Start the Class with an Intro to Engineering. What is engineering? What does an engineer do? Once students have a basic understanding of what engineering is, tell them we are going to do an engineering challenge!
Procedure 1) Explain the activity. They will have 15 minutes to build the tallest tower out of 10 pieces of spaghetti and 12 inches of tape. The marshmallow must balance at the top of the tower.  The time limit and the limited amount of materials given are known as constraints. (No you can’t eat the marshmallows. We will be measuring from to the top of the marshmallow so don’t use it as  a base) 2) Split students into pairs and let them work for 15 minutes. Wander the classroom and talk about different designs. See if any groups need help. 3) When time runs out, have everyone take a look at the various tower designs. Which ones are the tallest? What did you have trouble with in this challenge? What do you think you needed to make a better tower? How did you make yours stand up? Did the weight of the marshmallow make any towers collapse? 4) Explain the difference in stability between triangle and square/rectangle structures. 5) Engineers have to work with constraints all the time. Failure is just a part of the Engineering Design Process.
Reference 2

Spin Art





Name of Activity Spin Art
Author STOMP
Keywords spin art, motors, gears
Subject Simple Machines
Grade Level K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Time 1 Hour Total
Brief Description Legos are used to create a “spin art machine” to attach to a box.
Lesson Objectives: - Understand how to use gears and motors together.
Materials Needed: - A box with a flap at the top and a small square to squirt paint into
- two to three gears of different sizes per spin art machine
- Lego motor
- Lego beams
- Axles
Preparation and Set Up: - Prepare a box with a flap opening and a small square opening at the top of flap.
- Prepare one box per group of students
- split students into groups of 4-5 per group
- Assemble a kit with a few axles, lego beams, and a few gears of different sizes
Necessary Background Understand how to use motors.
Understand basics to gears
Procedure Have students construct a small machine using a few Legos and gears. Once the students build the machine, attach a motor to the axle of the gear system.
Modifications: When building gear system, advise students to make a simple gear system. More than two gears will make a gear train that will be hard to move with the motor.

Mariana & Alyssa Semester Outline


(journal for observations? or posters for drawing?)

-giving time to play with materials before activity starts (exploration)

-defend observations to each other

-can we make the time shorter?

-breaks in the middle to talk about things as a class

- ask who will leave so they can be paired together, or just partnering generally (email)

-check in with teacher during exploration time?

-carrot-and-stick thing for balloons etc


September 23- Introduction and spaghetti towers activity

September 30- failure analysis (of structures that we have pre-built), straw structures- towers, bridges, strength, etc., building animals out of straws

October 7- lego vehicles, ramp (no motors), play around with ramp size/slope and wheel size  etc, maybe with balloons/rubber bands for propulsion

October 21- introduce motors an gears, maybe an activity with vehicles and speed, maybe something new

October 28- dinosaur tail activity (using simple machines and pulleys for something other than wheels)

November 4- design and construction of an imaginary animal based on qualities picked from a hat

November 11- obstacle course with robot animals, trial run 1

November 18- redesign of robot animals

November 25- redesign of robot animals

December 2- obstacle course run 2

New Test Activity





Name of Activity New Test Activity
Author Tufts STOMP
Keywords keyword 1, keyword 2, keyword 3, keyword 4, keyword 5, 1 Hour Total, NXTs, LEGO, k-3
Subject NXTs
Grade Level K, 1, 2, 3
Time 1 Hour Total
Brief Description Brief description goes here. Describe what the activity consists of in 1-4 sentences.
Lesson Objectives: - To teach students about _____________________.
- To introduce ____________________ vocabulary words.
- To familiarize students with LEGO building.
- To introduce programming to students grades k-3.
Materials Needed: - Material 1.
- Material 2.
- Material 3.
- Material 4.
- Material 5.
- Material 6.
- Worksheets 1-4.
Preparation and Set Up: - Describe all set up here.
- Hand out worksheets.
- Split students into groups.
- etc etc etc.
Necessary Background Fill in necessary teacher background here. This can include vocabulary words, general information, or any prepared information about important subject matter here.
  1. Step by step procedure goes here.
  2. Include the Engineering Design Process wherever applicable.
  3. continue all the way through the activity, start to finish.
Extensions: Please elaborate here if there is any way to make the activity more difficult for students who finish the activity early or are more experienced than other students in the subject matter.
Modifications: Please elaborate here if there are ways to change this activity to make it slightly different or better in any way after your experience with it.

Smiley Genetic Engineering





Name of Activity Smiley Genetic Engineering
Author Jay Clark
Keywords flip coins, coins, baby, genetics, genetic makeup, breeding, specifications, dominant, recessive, traits, heterogenous, homogenous, 1 Hour Total
Subject Non-LEGO
Grade Level K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
Time 1 Hour Total
Brief Description Students flip coins to determine the genetic makeup of a baby smiley from mom and dad smilies. Next, the children “breed” their smilies to try and make a specific smiley.
Lesson Objectives: - learn about dominant and recessive traits.
- learn about heterogeneous and homogeneous genetic makeup.
- learn about genetic engineering.
Materials Needed: 1 unique smiley for every student in class with genetic makeup.
key for genetic makeup
1 coin per student
Baby smiley worksheet
Preparation and Set Up: Print out attached documents, or make your own.
Procedure Lesson – 10 minutes Ask all brunettes to raise their hands Ask all blonds to raise their hands Why are there more brunettes? Brown hair is a dominant trait! explain how if you inherit a dominant gene, you will show that trait no matter what gene it’s paired with.   What are some other inherited traits? (have students see who has dominant and recessive traits) widows peak (dominant) hitchhikers thumb (recessive) rolling tongue (dominant) left thumb over right when hands are interlaced (left over right – dominant) attached/detached earlobes (detached – dominant) You inherit traits from your parents! which gene you inherit from each parent is just like a flip of a coin! Talk with students about genetic engineering- breeding to achieve favorable traits. This includes seedless fruit, large vegetables, and fast horses.   Activity – 40 minutes Hand out a smiley and a coin to each student. With their partner, students should have a set of ‘parent’ smileys, and two coins. One trait at a time, students flip coins to determine which gene is passed on from the parent smiley. Heads means the first trait is passed, tails means the second trait is passed. Students fill out their ‘baby smiley’ worksheet to determine the genetic make up of the baby, and then draw the child in the box. activity phase two – if time permits Students draw a smiley using their favorite traits, and go around the room flipping coins with other smilies to try and ‘breed’ their favorite smiley. Students should keep track of how many generations it took them to arrive at their smiley.
Reference 1
Reference 2
Reference 3
Online Reference(s)

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