Measuring Volume

ACTIVITY HEADER

 

 

 

Name of Activity Measuring Volume
Author Laurie Cormler
Keywords units, perimeter, area, volume, measurements, surface area, LEGO
Subject Non-LEGO, LEGO Building
Grade Level 4, 5, 6
Time 1 Hour Total
Brief Description Students will learn about units, perimeter, area and volume by measuring various
objects around a room and finding their volume and surface area.
Lesson Objectives: To learn about volume, area, and perimeter.
To learn about three dimensional space.
Materials Needed: LEGO shapes (a cube of LEGO bricks)
Rulers
Scrap paper
Scissors
Tape
Preparation and Set Up: Make copies of activity worksheet (attached).
Arrange Students into groups of 2.
Distribute materials.
Necessary Background Vocabulary:
Area
Formula
Perimeter
Volume
Procedure
  1. Have students fill out the beginning of the worksheet that asks for definitions and formulas. If students do not know these formulas write them on the board and have students copy them down.
  2. Next, have student measure various objects in the room with units such as thumb or arm lengths.
  3. Next have students find the volume of LEGO shapes and figure out how many bricks would make the object a complete cube.
  4. Finally, have student create their own object using the template on the worksheet and figure out the volume using a ruler (The dimensions should fit on the paper).
Extensions: Have students find a conversion factor from thumb units to inches or centimeters.
Reference 1 http://sites.tufts.edu/stompactivitydatabase/files/formidable/MeasuringVolumeWorksheet.doc
Reference 2 http://sites.tufts.edu/stompactivitydatabase/files/formidable/MeasuringVolumeWriteUp.doc

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

Whale Adaptations: Creature of the Sea

ACTIVITY HEADER

 

 

 

Name of Activity Whale Adaptations: Creature of the Sea
Author STOMP
Keywords design, creature, adaptation, ocean, problem-solving, sturdy structure, moving parts
Subject Non-LEGO, LEGO Building
Grade Level K, 1, 2, 3
Time 4 Hours Total
Brief Description Students will use LEGOs to design a creature that is adapted to life in the ocean.
Lesson Objectives: To apply engineering problem-solving strategies to creat a sturdy structure with LEGOs that has a least one moving part.
To demonstrate an understanding of animal adapations by designing a creature with features adapted to life in the ocean to help it breathe, eat, move, protect itself, and adjust to warm and cold temperatures.
Materials Needed: Sea Creatures Design Brainstorming sheet
Sea Creatures Design Worksheet
Our Sea Creature Paragraph planning Worksheet
LEGO kits
Preparation and Set Up: Make photocopies of worksheets.

Arrange students in groups of two.

Distribute necessary materials.

Necessary Background Vocabulary:
Adaptations
Procedure
  1. Introduce the concept of animal adaptations, with a focus on whales. (e.g., blowholes for breathing, blubber for warmth and feeding in winter, baleen teeth for eating, fins/flippers/flukes for moving though water, warm blood for keeping warm)
  2. Review different types of adaptations that would help different creatures survive in the ocean. (e.g., clam shells for protection, bird’s wings and hollow bones for flight, cat’s whiskers for feeling)
  3. Have each student fill out a sea creature adaptation brainstorming sheet.
  4. Have students get into their groups and combine ideas to make come up with a sea creature that the group wants to design. Each design should have at least one element from every group members original brainstorm.
  5. Students should complete a Sea Creature Design Worksheet as a group.
  6. Distribute kits and allow students to start building.
  7. Each student should write a paragraph describing his/her creature. They will include a name for their creature and at least 3 features that are an adaptation to life in the sea.
  8. Students will present their work to the class, demonstrating and describing all adaptations.
Reference 1 http://sites.tufts.edu/stompactivitydatabase/files/formidable/Lesson-1-Creature-of-the-Sea.pdf
Reference 2 http://sites.tufts.edu/stompactivitydatabase/files/formidable/Lesson-1-Our-Sea-Creature.pdf
Reference 3 http://sites.tufts.edu/stompactivitydatabase/files/formidable/Lesson-1-Sea-Creature-Design-Sheet.pdf
Online Reference(s) http://www.ceeo.tufts.edu/robolabatceeo–CEEOCurriculumWebsite

Animal Adaptations

ACTIVITY HEADER

 

 

 

Name of Activity Animal Adaptations
Author Emily Ryan
Keywords animal adaptations, environments, design, build, unique, animal, animals, found materials, adapt, modeling
Subject Non-LEGO, LEGO Building
Grade Level K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
Time 1 Hour Total
Brief Description This activity explores animal’s adaptations to their environments. Students will look at
animal adaptations and then design and build their own unique animal that could live
in their backyard.
Lesson Objectives: To teach students about animals and why they have certain adaptations for
particular environments.
To teach students to design and build a model based on particular constraints.
Materials Needed: pipe cleaners
feathers
cloth
glue
string
tape
popsicle sticks
any available building materials
Preparation and Set Up: Gather an assortment of building materials (can use LEGOs or not).
Collect some research on animals and their adaptations.
Pictures of an environment that the animals need to adapt to.
If desired, break students into groups of 2 – 4.
Distribute materials to students.
Necessary Background Animals adapt to their environment in many different ways. The most evident adaptation
is color and texture. Camouflage is used by many animals to protect themselves from
predators. Some examples include tree frogs, polar bears, and iguanas. Animals may also
be colored to make them appear to be something they are not. Moths and butterflies
often have coloration that makes their wings look like eyes. Animals also adapt to their
environment. Giraffes developed long necks to allow them to reach food at the tops
of trees. Arctic foxes have snow white coats during the winter which they shed to
reveal a light brown coat for the summer months

Vocabulary:
Adaptation
Design
Modeling

Procedure
  1. Introduce animal adaptations to students, giving examples of familiar and unfamiliar animals that have different adaptations that help them live in a particular environment.
    1. The attached document labeled AnimalAdaptPres.pdf can be used to present info on animal adaptations to students
  2. Tell students that their backyards have a certain environment.
    1. Have students brainstorm some aspects of their backyard environments including:
      1. Space.
      2. Available foods.
      3. Places to make a home.
      4. Year round temperature.
      5. Dangers (pets/cars/people)
    2. If time, let students draw a picture of their backyard.
  3. Distribute building materials and tell students to build a model of an animal that might live in their backyard. Tell the students to build the animal with adaptations for the environment in their backyard.
  4. At the end of class, have students or student groups present their animal to the class.
    1. Students should mention the adaptations that the animal has.
    2. Students should explain how their animal moves, behaves, what it eats, where it lives, etc.
Reference 1 http://sites.tufts.edu/stompactivitydatabase/files/formidable/AnimalAdaptPres.pdf

Rube Goldberg Machine

ACTIVITY HEADER

 

 

 

Name of Activity Rube Goldberg Machine
Author STOMP
Keywords Goldberg Machine, engineering design, planning, Simple Machines, Engineering Design Process
Subject Simple Machines
Grade Level K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9+
Time 4 Hours Total
Brief Description Students will use any type of LEGO or non-LEGO kit to build a Rube Goldberg Machine. This activity works well as a final project.
Lesson Objectives: - To learn about engineering design.
- To learn how to work together as a class to put together a final project.
- To use previous knowledge to accomplish a new task.
Materials Needed: - Any type of LEGO or non-LEGO kit.
- Easel with plenty of paper for planning.
- Any materials that the class specifies they will need for their machine.
Preparation and Set Up: - Arrange students into groups (or let students arrange themselves into groups).
- Set up an easel for painting.
Necessary Background Rube Goldberg was an American inventor and cartoonist who was famous for drawing pictures of complex machines that performed simple tasks in very round-about ways.

The Rube Goldberg machines that students will be creating are a series of simple machines that work together to perform a simple task. This task can be to open a door, play a sound, turn on a light etc.

Vocabulary:
Rube Goldberg
Simple Machine

Procedure
  1. Introduce to the class what a Rube Goldberg machine is. Tell them that it is a series of smaller machines that work together to accomplish a simple task.
  2. Tell students that they will be building their own Rube Goldberg machine using LEGOs or non-LEGOs (whatever the teacher chooses or has available).
  3. Have students brainstorm an idea for what they want their machine to accomplish.
    1. If students need help give them some examples – turning on/off a light. Having the last machine play a song. Starting a car, turning on a computer, etc.
    2. Have student vote to decide on the task that their machine will do.
  4. Next, tell students that each group will need to create a machine that does one actions out of the series of actions that all the machines will do. Each group will therefore be responsible for one part.
  5. Have the students brainstorm the series of parts and what each part can do. Make sure students think about how to connect each part to the part before and after it.
  6. Have students assign one part to each group.
  7. Let each group brainstorm their part.
  8. When students have filled out their “planning sheets”(attached), allow them to begin building.
  9. When all the groups have completed their parts, have the class put the pieces together.
  10. When all the pieces are together allow the class to test and redesign any parts that do not work well.
  11. When the students have completed their machine take pictures and allow the students to present their machine to other students, teachers, administrators and parents. If there is time, allow students to build an advertisement or poster for their machine.
Extensions or Modifications: - Make a poster advertising either one part or the whole Rube Goldberg machine.
- Add additional parts to the machine.
Reference 1 http://sites.tufts.edu/stompactivitydatabase/files/formidable/Rube-Goldberg-Planning.doc
Reference 2 http://sites.tufts.edu/stompactivitydatabase/files/formidable/RubeGoldberg.doc
Online Reference(s) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rube_Goldberg–MoreinformationonRubeGoldberg

Bicycle Unit: Engineering the Wheel

ACTIVITY HEADER

 

 

 

 

Name of Activity Bicycle Unit: Engineering the Wheel
Author STOMP
Keywords bikes, force, friction, rolling, ramp, travel, wheel, tire, LEGO
Subject LEGO Building
Grade Level 4, 5, 6
Time 1 Hour Total
Brief Description Using bikes as an example, students will examine the force of friction. They will apply their knowledge to build an object that rolls down a ramp and travels as far as possible.
Lesson Objectives: - To experiment with wheel sizes, shapes, and materials.
- To learn about the affect of friction on bike tire design.
- To practice teamwork and competition.
Materials Needed: - Ramp (made of wood, cardboard, foamcore etc.) that is approximately 25 cm high at the top.
- Tape lines to mark where to start measuring distance.
- Ruler.
- ‘Ramp Roller Challenge’ and ‘Tire Chart’ Worksheets.
- Homemade LEGO kits (consisting of different types of wheels, axles, bushings, beams, bricks and weighted bricks).
OR:
- Other materials that cars could be constructed out of:
– Wood, cardboard, straws, old containers, art supplies, blocks, etc.
Preparation and Set Up: - Create kits to make cars with.
- Make a ramp that is about 25 cm high and mark starting point on ramp and start point for measuring distance at the bottom of the ramp.
- Photocopy a ‘Tire Chart’ worksheet for each student.
- Photocopy a ‘Ramp Roller Challenge’ Worksheet for each student.

- Arrange students in pairs.
- Distribute materials.
Necessary Background Wheels must respond to a lot of forces. Riders weight, Bumps and dips, Weight of the frame, Wheel itself.
Friction is a force that affects the wheels of a bike because tires are the part of the bike in contact with the road. Friction is the force that appears when two things rub together (rub your hands – makes heat). The smoother two objects sliding against each other are, the less friction there is. Microscopic ridges are what interact with each other when any two objects meet. If a wheel had no friction it would not be able to move a bike; it would just spin in one place. However, too much friction causes a rolling wheel to slow down, and makes it harder to pedal.

Vocabulary:
Friction
Force

Procedure Part 1:

  1. Show students two different bike tires; one from a mountain bike and the other from a road bike (pictures are fine, the real thing is better).
  2. Have each student fill out the ‘Tire Chart’ worksheet attached to this document to examine the properties of each wheel and the reason that property is there.
    1. E.g., MOUNTAIN BIKE WHEEL - Property: wide tires, Reason for Property: More surface area on the ground for better stability
  3. Discuss, as a class, the different forces on tires and the design features that account for these forces.

Part 2:

  1. Have students build an object that will travel the farthest once it rolls down a ramp.
  2. Remind the students that you used the word “object” because they do not have to design anything that resembles a car.
  3. Once students have built their original design, let the students test their design on the ramp.
    1. Students should record their results on the ‘Ramp Roller’ worksheet: the distance traveled from the bottom of the ramp, and the design changes that they make.
  4. Have students redesign or make changes to their original design and retest.
  5. Students get a total of three trials.
  6. When everyone has finished bring the class together for  class discussion.
    1. Talk about different factors that affected the distance the cars traveled.
    2. Talk about how weight might have affected their cars.
      1. Tell students that, for some of their designs, adding weight did not help because it added friction to the place that the axle went through the beam. The more mass on the car the more friction there would be between the wheel’s axle and the hole that supported the rest of the car.
    3. Compare different designs.
      1. Which design was the best?
      2. How could other designs be improved?
    4. Review how friction affected designs, and point out all the different places that friction had an effect on a vehicles performance for each model.
Reference 1 http://sites.tufts.edu/stompactivitydatabase/files/formidable/bicycle1.pdf
Reference 2 http://sites.tufts.edu/stompactivitydatabase/files/formidable/bicycle2.pdf
Reference 3 http://sites.tufts.edu/stompactivitydatabase/files/formidable/bicycle3.pdf

Gears

ACTIVITY HEADER

 

 

 

Name of Activity Gears
Author Laurie Cormler
Keywords gears, axles, Drive Gear, Follower Gear, Gear Ratio, Gear Trains, Simple Machines
Subject LEGO Building
Grade Level K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
Time 1 Hour Total
Brief Description Students will learn about gears through hands on exploration with LEGOs and a worksheet.
Lesson Objectives: - Familiarize students with gears.
- Learn how gears can be useful.
Materials Needed: One Homemade LEGO kits for each group:
- Kit should contain several gears of each size (about 5 of each).
- Kit should contain many axles (10 – 20) and bushings (20 – 30).
- Kit should contain a “challenge wall” – This wall should be a collection of beams with holes about 4 inches tall and 6 – 8 inches wide. On the top left corner attach a gear with an axle and a bushing.
- One activity worksheet per student.
Preparation and Set Up: - Create homemade LEGO kit.
- Make photocopies of worksheets.
- Arrange students in pairs.
- Distribute materials.
Necessary Background The engineering design process is an eight step process that engineers use to design:

Step 1. Identify the need/problem

Step 2. Research the need/problem

Step 3. Develop possible solutions

Step 4. Select the best possible solution

Step 5. Construct a prototype

Step 6. Test and evaluate the solution(s)

Step 7. Communicate the solution(s)

Step 8. Redesign

Vocabulary:
- Gears
- Drive Gear
- Follower Gear
- Gear Ratio
- Gear Trains
- Simple Machines

Procedure
  1. Explain gears to the class
    1. Talk about how gears are simple machines – a device that helps people do work
    2. Talk about how gears connect to each other with interlocking teeth.
    3. Show that different sized gears have a different number of teeth – This means that one turn of a big gear will turn a small gear more than one turn.
    4. Explain what a gear ratio is. A gear ratio is the number of teeth on the drive gear compared to the number of teeth on the follower gear. Teeth on drive gear: Teeth on follower gear
    5. Explain the difference between gearing up and gearing down and their purpose:
      1. Gearing up mean that for ever revolution of the drive gear the follower gear turns more than one revolution – this is used to make something move faster and gives less power to whatever is attached to the follower gear.
      2. Gearing down means that for every revolution of the drive gear, the follower gear turns less than one revolution – this is used to give more power to whatever is attached to the follower gear because it moves slower with the same power as the drive gear.
    6. Explain that gears are used to slow down or speed up motors in cars, give bikes more resistance up hills, make watch hands move at different speeds etc.
  2. Pass out the gears to the students so they can have a close look.
    1. Have students count the number of teeth on each sized gear.
    2. Have students do the Gear Ratio Worksheet and activity (attached).
  3. Explain to students how when one gear is turned clockwise, the other gear turns counterclockwise.
    1. Pass out the ‘Gears Worksheet’ (attached).
  4. Explain the final challenge of the activity.
    1. Show students the “challenge wall” with one gear at the top left.
    2. Tell students that they must add gears to the wall so that when you turn a driver at the bottom right, the top left gear will turn.
Extensions or Modifications: - Have students make the top left gear turn clockwise when the bottom right gear is turned counterclockwise.
- Add a spindle attached to a net over a LEGO man on the top left gear that the students have to turn with the other gears. Have the challenge be to free the LEGO man by adding a Gear Train to the lower right of the wall so that when it is turned the net is lifted.
Modifications:
Reference 1 http://sites.tufts.edu/stompactivitydatabase/files/formidable/gears1.pdf
Reference 2 http://sites.tufts.edu/stompactivitydatabase/files/formidable/gears2.pdf
Reference 3 http://sites.tufts.edu/stompactivitydatabase/files/formidable/gears3.pdf

Transportation Design

ACTIVITY HEADER

 

 

 

Name of Activity Transportation Design
Author STOMP
Keywords Transportation, vehicle, client, Engineering Design Process, LEGO Building
Subject Simple Machines
Grade Level K, 1, 2, 3
Time 4 Hours Total
Brief Description Students will act as real engineers to design a vehicle for a client that answers a specific client problem. Students will use the Engineering Design Process to solve the challenge.
Lesson Objectives: - Learn how to build for client specifications.
- Use the Engineering Design Process to achieve the goal.
- Connect LEGO building to real engineering.
Materials Needed: - LEGO Simple Machines kits for each student pair.
- ‘Client Design Bags’ – in attached file.
- ‘Transportation Design Book’ – in attached file.
Preparation and Set Up: - Make a copy of the ‘Transportation Design Book’ for each students.
- Collect materials for each client problem specified on the ‘Client Problems’ sheet to make up a ‘Client Design Bag’ for each student pair.

- Arrange students in pairs.
Necessary Background
The engineering design process is an eight step process that engineers use to design:

Step 1. Identify the need/problem

Step 2. Research the need/problem

Step 3. Develop possible solutions

Step 4. Select the best possible solution

Step 5. Construct a prototype

Step 6. Test and evaluate the solution(s)

Step 7. Communicate the solution(s)

Step 8. Redesign

Vocabulary:

Axle
Axle Extender
Beam
Brick
Bushing
Connector Peg
Friction Peg
Hub
Motor
Plate
Pulley Wheel
Pulley Bands
Tire
Client

Procedure Use the Engineering Design Process to explain and teach this lesson:

  1. Identify Problem: Have students identify the specific problem that their client has asked them to solve. Have students think about the props they are given for their problem and how these props change their design from a normal car to a vehicle with a certain purpose.
  2. Research: Have students look at pictures of vehicles that has solved a problem similar to the problem each group was given (See attached research).
  3. Brainstorm: Have students talk with their partners about ways to solve their client’s problem along with how they will work together as a team to solve the problem.
  4. Choose and Plan: Have student pairs agree on what and how to build their vehicles. Have students fill out the first few pages of the ‘Transportation Invention Book’. Each students planned design should look like their partners.
  5. Create: Have students build their design.
  6. Test: Each group will have to pass 4 tests the first two are given, the second two are invented by the group:
    1. Shake Test: The invention cannot break when shaken.
    2. Drive Test: - The vehicle must drive using the motor and battery pack.
    3. Group Invented Test - Should test some constraint of the clients problem.
    4. Group Invented Test  – Should test some constraint of the clients problem.
  7. Redesign: Have students redesign after failed tests. Tell students that this is normal and happens to all engineers. Help students look for solutions.
  8. Share: Students should complete their ‘Transportation Invention Book’.

This entire challenge will take between 2 – 4 class periods depending on the age level of the students and how efficiently the class works. The following is a 4-day breakdown of the activities: Day 1:

  • Introduce the challenge to the students by handing out one ‘Client Design Bag’ to each group.
  • Explain that each group has a different design problem with props to design a solution for (Props are the materials listed at the end of each client design card.
  • Tell students that they can take the props from the bag and design a solution for their client’s problem.
  • Have students fill out the planning section of their ‘Transportation Invention Book’.
  • Students should talk to their partners during this process to design the same vehicle.

Day 2:

  • Review the goals for the transportation design project.
  • Have students begin building their designs when they are finished with the design phase.
  • Take pictures of the students working, and of each groups project, to print out and let them put in their ‘Transportation Invention Books’.
  • At the end of this class bring the students together and talk about problems s tudents are having and ways that students have solved problems.

Day 3:

  • Have students continue building and testing their designs.
  • Continue to take pictures.

Day 4:

  • Finish up. Make sure that each group completes their ‘Transportation Invention Books’.
  • Let each group give a short presentation on their design.
    • Each group should present their client’s problem.
    • Each group should talk about ideas that they had to solve the problem.
    • Each group should share the tests that they put their vehicle through.
    • Each group should share their final project and Transportation Invention Book.
Extensions or Modifications: Extensions:
- Change vehicles to drive over a different terrain.
- Change vehicles to drive up a steep incline.
- Create specific extensions that relate to individual client problems.
- Have students create and advertisement for their design.
- Have students create an engineering design company and make their own business cards.

Modifications:
- It may be helpful for students to have a checklist attached to their Transportation Invention Book that helps them keep track of what they have done or have not done.
- You may want to wrap up with a class discussion. Ask the students:
– What building technique made your invention sturdy?
– What difficulties did you encounter?
– Describe what it was like to build your invention to size?
– What was the best part of this activity?

Reference 1 http://sites.tufts.edu/stompactivitydatabase/files/formidable/t1.pdf
Reference 2 http://sites.tufts.edu/stompactivitydatabase/files/formidable/t3.doc

Introduction to Engineering

ACTIVITY HEADER

 

 

 

Name of Activity Intro to Engineering
Author STOMP
Keywords Introduction to Engineering, Compromise, share, respect, cooperate, evaluate, brick, beam, plate
Subject LEGO Building
Grade Level K, 1, 2, 3
Time 1 Hour Total
Lesson Objectives: - Introduce engineering and what an engineer does.
- Assist students in their ability to work with others.
- For students to learn how to plan, share, and discuss ideas, for building a simple structure.
Brief Description In this activity, students will be introduced to engineering and partner building. Students will work with a partner to build a design of their choice, but must cooperate, discuss, and compromise as part of the challenge.
Materials Needed: - 20 LEGO pieces in a small plastic bag (one bag for each pair).
- Engineer’s Planning Worksheets.
- Optional – What do Engineers Do book (available at Tufts CEEO).
- Optional – Books about sharing and taking turns (Dandelion Warriors or It’s Mine by Leo Lionni).
For Extensions:
- Extension LEGO kits (10 pieces in a bag for each student).
- Mystery number of LEGO pieces in a bag for students to count and name.
- Mystery pieces students must identify by feel.
Preparation and Set Up: - Arrange students in pairs.
- Distribute LEGO kits.
- Distribute ‘Engineer’s Planning Worksheets’.
Procedure Background: To properly refer to LEGO bricks, plates and beams of different sizes count the number of bumps on top of the brick/plate/beam widthwise by lengthwise. A 1 x 4 beam is 1 ridge wide and 4 ridges long. A 2 X 8 brick is 2 bumps wide and 8 bumps long.   Procedure:

  1. Introduce what engineering is and what engineers do, you may want to use picture representations, books, or examples.
  2. Introduce to the class that they will be exploring engineering through LEGOs
  3. Talk about the importance of teamwork, sharing and cooperation in engineering and discuss how students might work together by planning, compromising and taking turns.
  4. Introduce the pieces students will be using in this activity (brick, beam, and plate) and how to name each one and each size (e.g. 2 X 4 Brick).
    1. You may want to create a worksheet to enforce the naming system.
  5. Introduce the challenge — Tell students that they must use their bag of 20 LEGO pieces to build a structure with their partner. Before you distribute LEGOs , have students plan using their Engineer’s Planning Worksheet (attached to activity).
  6. When students have finished, come together as a class. Let each student share their design, one thing they like about it and one problem they had. Ask students how they worked cooperatively with their partners.
Extensions or Modifications: If students are having trouble working together, role model and discuss the following situations with another adult: grabbing pieces, working on separate projects without communicating, arguing
Sample Image 1 http://sites.tufts.edu/stompactivitydatabase/files/formidable/planning_sheet-1.pdf

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