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

LEGO House





Name of Activity LEGO House
Author Emily Taintor
Keywords LEGO, house, building, town, electricity, circuit, light, bulb, constraints, construction, squishy circuits
Subject Non-LEGO, LEGO Building
Grade Level 3, 4, 5
Time 3 Hours Total
Brief Description Students will build LEGO houses that are lit by LED bulbs to certain design constraints.
Lesson Objectives: - Introduce students to LEGO building under design constraints
- Familiarize students with the process of planning and implementing a circuit
Materials Needed: - LEGO Bricks
- LED Bulbs
- Wires (or playdough)
- House bases (for the design constraint)
- Batteries
- Alligator clips
Preparation and Set Up: - Give each group a base, bricks, an LED bulb, and wire (or playdough)
- Explain design constraints
Necessary Background Basic electricity information, LEGO familiarity
  1. Distribute materials
  2. Explain design constraints
  3. Students should begin by constructing a LEGO House to whatever design constraints the instructors decide upon. Our class had size and height constraints (had to fit on the small base, had to be big enough for a LEGO man to live in) but they could be any sort of design constraint, service learning-related or otherwise. During the building process the students should be considering how they want to wire the house so that an LED bulb can light the inside of the house from a battery on the outside of the house.
  4. Once the house has been constructed, have the students plan out the circuit that they want to use to light the house. We had the students use just one LED bulb so the circuits were very basic.
  5. Students should wire the house so that the LED bulb lights the inside of the house from a battery on the outside. We used playdough instead of wires to create the circuit to build off of the squishy circuits activity, so they had a lot of flexibility on implementing the actual circuit.
  6. Students should assemble their houses in one big “town” and present their houses to the rest of the class. Students should be able to explain their circuit to the class, as well.
Extensions: - Make the house more realistic (make the light connect to the ceiling or look like a lamp)
- Give more specific design constraints
- Use more than one bulb per house – would create better diversity of solutions
- Have groups of students create ‘neighborhoods’ so that they have to combine their circuits to connect to one communal energy source

Inclined Planes





Name of Activity Inclined Planes
Author STOMP
Keywords inclined planes, ramps, lego, simple machines, found materials
Subject Simple Machines, LEGO Building
Grade Level 4, 5
Time 1 Hour Total
Brief Description Students will practice building inclined planes of all sorts (tubes, ramps, tilts) in order to have a ball object roll across the table/space.
Lesson Objectives: Use engineering design process to work and collaborate in groups efficiently.
Introduce students to building inclined planes and inspire creativity for the future rube goldberg final project.
Materials Needed: found materials, legos, any classroom materials that seem helpful, tape, poster board, cardboard.
Preparation and Set Up: Spend about five-ten minutes gathering groups and encouraging brainstorming before building. Provide each group an NXT kit for lego parts, tape, and poster board/cardboard.
Necessary Background Inclined planes, slopes, speed, force
  1. Review inclined planes.
  2. Identify the goal: to allow ball to travel at least 2-3 inclined planes across a table or space.
  3. Divide into groups and allow students to develop possible solutions.
  4. Before giving materials allow each group to decide the best possible solution for their group given certain materials.
  5. Allow students to construct/build.
  6. Allow 5 minutes for Testing for each group before redesigning.
  7. Encourage communication within groups.
Extensions: Tell students to use more than 2-3 inclined planes.
Have students incorporate a previous activity (an other simple machine) into their works.
Umbrella Unit/Curriculum (if applicable) Simple Machines

Simple Machine Crane





Name of Activity Simple Machine Crane
Author Matt Mueller, Emily Naito, Mary McCormick, Karman Chu
Keywords Simple machines, pulleys, gears
Subject LEGO Building
Grade Level 5
Time 3 Hours Total
Brief Description Students design and build a crane system using simplemachines that will lift as much weight from the floor as possible. The simple machine system will be attached to a motor on the desk. Students may use string attached to motor, gears, pulleys to lift the weights.
Lesson Objectives: Designing and building simple machine systems, using pulleys and gears in combination, employing engineering design process to design, build, and test systems.
Materials Needed: LEGO bricks, gears, pulley wheels, string, motors, weights, cup for weights.
Preparation and Set Up: Strings attached to cups that can hold weights, worksheets for students to learn about gears and pulleys.
Necessary Background Simply machines background on gears, pulleys functions and uses.
Procedure 1. Clarify the problem: lifting as much weight as possible from the floor to the desk using simple machines - gears and pulleys – that are attached to a motor on the desk. 2. Talk about how it might work.  What do gears do? What do pulleys do? 3. Brainstorm designs in groups. 4. Get materials and start building. 5. After 1 class period, review gears and pulley functions and uses.  Work more on designs. 6. Return to building, testing and revising as needed. 7. Come together as a class to talk about different designs.  Test how much weight each design can hold, and make it collaborative by seeing how much the whole class holds together (summation of weights). 8.  Discuss as group how the designs worked. 9. Redesign – If time, let students incorporate what they lave learned to redesign.
Extensions: Class discussions:
How might these cranes be more effective with other simplemachines? How do cranes work in real life? Where do we seecranes?
Redesign could be to make it more challenging by lifting weight faster/slower.
Reference 1






Name of Activity NXT Car
Author STOMP
Keywords NXT, car, robotics
Subject NXTs, LEGO Building
Grade Level 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
Time 1 Hour Total
Brief Description Students construct a basic car that can move and turn using the NXT kit.
Lesson Objectives: Learn how the NXT pieces work together to create structures and how to incorporate motors and the NXT brick elements into the design.
Materials Needed: NXT Kit
Preparation and Set Up: None
Necessary Background Basic understanding of how cars move and turn, as well as familiarity with the NXT kit.
Procedure 1. Describe the goal and mention basic guidelines (at least 2 wheels, ability to turn). 2. Brainstorm potential ideas or structures in individual groups. 3. Build the cars.
Extensions: None
Modifications: More elaborate design guidelines could be given.
Umbrella Unit/Curriculum (if applicable) NXT Robotics

The Perfect Puppy





Name of Activity The Perfect Puppy
Author Alison Boreiko
Keywords NXT, introduction to robotics, animal, dog, programming, sensors
Subject NXTs, LEGO Building
Grade Level 5
Time 3 Hours Total
Brief Description Students will combine their knowledge of sensors, programming and building to create their “perfect puppy.”
Lesson Objectives: -Teach students to program with more than one sensor
Materials Needed: -Project Proposal Worksheet
-NXT kits
-*optional: Craft Supplies (for decorating the dog)
Preparation and Set Up: -Make copies of the Project Proposal Worksheets (1 per group)
Procedure 1. Give instructions: Students are to design a pet dog. The dog should use two sensors to mimic dog behavior. 2. Have the students fill out a project proposal form. It’s important that they clearly explain which behavior they wish to mimic and how they will go about mimicking it with the NXT. Demand precision and specificity in their project proposals. 3. Once a group has had their proposal approved, give them their NXT kit and their laptop so they can get to work!
Extensions: Students can continue to develop their robotic dogs.

Climate Change





Name of Activity Climate Change
Author STOMP
Keywords climate, change, climate change, planet, environment, polar bears, arctic, zoo, transportation
Subject NXTs, LEGO Building
Grade Level K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
Time 1 Hour Total
Brief Description Teach students about climate change and how it could affect the planet. Then the students will build a vehicle that can transport 2 polar bears from the melting arctic to a safe zoo.
Lesson Objectives: To teach students about climate change.
Materials Needed: Lego kits, polar bears (can be made from clay, cotton balls, etc- just make sure they will be scaled so they can fit in a Lego car)
Preparation and Set Up: Make polar bears. Make an overhead about climate change if you want to.
Procedure There is not an overhead about climate change- but it would be pretty easy to make one. Do the activity. The worksheet is just for fun.
Extensions: Depending on the students’ building skills- the cars can use motors or not. You can have certain specs such as the polar bears must be enclosed so they don’t get too hot during the journey.
Reference 1






Name of Activity Catapult
Author Kara Miranda
Keywords design, challenge, build catapult, launch, LEGO, not classroom tested, k-3, 4-6, 7-9, prototype, Engineering Design Process, lever, fulcrum, force, load
Subject Simple Machines, LEGO Building
Grade Level K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9+
Time 2 Hours Total
Brief Description An design challenge in which students will design and build a catapult and see which design will launch an object the furthest. This activity can use either Lego or non-Lego pieces. *This activity is not classroom tested.*
Lesson Objectives: To apply building techniques and knowledge about levers to an activity challenge.
Materials Needed: Simple Machine or RCX kits
Example photos of catapults
Assortment of extra LEGO pieces, especially beams
Engineer’s Planning Sheet
Plastic spoons
Rubber bands
Tongue depressors
Ruler (yardstick or tape measure)
Preparation and Set Up: Collect necessary materials

Photocopy worksheets
Arrange students into groups of 2

Decide how you will distribute extra pieces and other materials

Write design requirements on the board

Find a section of the floor at least 15 feet long and put tape down on one side. Students will place their finished catapults on this line and launch the object from there, and the teacher can measure how far it has gone.

Necessary Background Review three different classes of levers.

Engineering Design Process

Lever (first, second, and third class)

    • Tell students that in this challenge they will be making a catapult. Explain to them what a catapult is, making sure to go into levers and its three different classes. A catapult can mean any machine that hurls a projectile. Students can use either Legos or non-Lego materials to create their catapult.
    • Show students different pictures and/or videos of catapults, explaining what they do and how they work. Explain the engineering design process.
    • Tell them the requirements for their catapults. Examples of requirements are:
    •       Must be six inches tall
    •       Must launch a ball at least 6 feet
    • Allow the class to brainstorm different ideas for their catapult design. Have them plan out and draw their design on the engineering planning sheet.
  • Distribute materials and have students start building.
    • After students finish building their catapults, have them place their catapult on the line and launch an object (preferably something that will not roll, perhaps a Lego piece). Measure how far the catapult launched the object.
  • After the students finish, review the activity with the class. Have them share their ideas, ask groups to explain what the hardest part of the challenge was, etc.
Extensions: Have students redesign their catapult to make it launch objects even further.
Have a class-wide competition to see whose catapult launches the furthest.
Reference 1
Reference 2
Reference 3

Engineering and Conservation





Name of Activity Engineering and Conservation
Author STOMP
Keywords house, LEGOs, materials, found materials, resources, resourcefulness, conservation, Engineering Design Process, renewable, non-renewable
Subject Non-LEGO, LEGO Building
Grade Level 4, 5, 6
Time 1 Hour Total
Brief Description Students will be asked to build a house (out of LEGOs or non-LEGO materials). Students
will not be aware that after the first house they will be asked to build a second house
using the materials that they have left over. This will continue until it is impossible for
the student to build more houses. This should lead to a discussion on resource use and
engineering while being aware of conservation.
Lesson Objectives: - To reinforce the Engineering Design Process.
- To teach students about the relationship between engineering and conservation.
- To teach students how they can participate in conservation.
Materials Needed: Planning Worksheet
Review of Activity Worksheet
One kit per pair of students
Preparation and Set Up: Make enough copies of the worksheet for each
student (attached)
Setup the PowerPoint presentation (attached)
Gather materials and make kits for students to use
Necessary Background Vocabulary:
Engineering Design Process
Renewable vs. Non-Renewable
  1. Arrange students into pairs
  2. Discuss the Engineering Design Process. Tell the students that their task is to design and build a house. DO NOT TELL STUDENTS THEY WILL HAVE TO BUILD MORE THAN ONE HOUSE
  3. Pass out the planning worksheets and have students plan their design.
  4. When students have completed their designs pass out the kits and allow the students to build their design for 10 – 15 minutes.
  5. When students have completed their first house have students place their houses on a desk/table and sit back down.
  6. Next, tell the students that their next task is to build a house out of the left-over materials and that they house must meet the same requirements of the first house.
  7. Some students may not have enough materials left to build a second house, if this is the case, allow groups o combine resources so that they can build a second house.
  8. If all the students have enough materials to build a second house that meets the requirements, have the students build a third house. By the time the students get to the third house they should pretty much have run out of materials.
  9. When the students have finished pass out the second worksheet and then discuss as a class the following issues, you can use the attached powerpoint in this discussion:
  • What would you have done differently if you knew that you had to build more than one house?
  • How might this relate to the real world?
  • What if you were required to build a neighborhood and you only had a certain amount of timber/bricks?
  • What are some resources that we use a lot of?
  • Could we run out of these resources (are the renewable, non-renewable)?
  • What are some ways that we can conserve these resources?
  • What can you do personally to reduce your impact on the environment?
Extensions: If there is enough time at the end of this lesson have the students build three houses that
meet the requirements with all the materials to show that if you use fewer resources for
each house then you will have enough to build more houses.
Reference 1
Reference 2

Fraction Carnival





Name of Activity Fraction Carnival
Author Erika Goodwin
Keywords fractions, 1 Hour Total
Subject Non-LEGO, LEGO Building
Grade Level K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
Time 1 Hour Total
Brief Description Students will learn about fractions by doing four related activities on fractions. Students should have a basic understanding of fractions going into this activity.
Lesson Objectives: To learn about fractions.
Materials Needed: ball
basket (empty garbage can)
pattern blocks
grid paper
Blue and white LEGO bricks
One worksheet for each students
“Parts of a fraction” help sheet at each station
Preparation and Set Up: Make photocopies of the worksheets.
Set up each station:
Ball toss – ball and a basket
LEGO station – 3-D objects made of blue and white LEGOs
Coin Toss – coins
Geometric figures – pattern blocks.
Arrange students into 4 groups (one for each station).
Distribute worksheets
  1. Have each group spend 15 minutes at each station, doing the activity and filling out the worksheet as they go.
    1. Coin toss station – students must flip a coin 20 times by themselves and record whether they get heads or tails on each flip. Then they set up fractions from the number of heads and tails flipped out of the total.
    2. Pattern blocks – The students look at different geometric shapes and how smaller geometric shapes can be used to build larger ones. e.g. how many green triangles fit into a ayellow hexagon? The students should express these relationships as fractions.
    3. Basket toss – Students attempt to toss a ball into a basket from a specified distance. The student determine what fraction of the tosses they made into the basket – this can be related to sports statistics.
    4. LEGO station – Students examine 3-D objects made of blue and white LEGOs. Students will determine what fraction of the objects are white and what fraction are blue.
Reference 1
Reference 2

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