Hand Mixer

ACTIVITY HEADER

 

 

 

Name of Activity Hand Mixer
Author Kara Miranda
Keywords hand mixer, gears, gear ratios, not classroom tested, prototype, Engineering Design Process, 4-6, 7-9, 2 Hours Total
Subject NXTs
Grade Level 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9+
Time 2 Hours Total
Brief Description Students will design and build a hand mixer, learning how to use different gears in a variety of ways. *NOTE: not classroom tested.
Lesson Objectives: To apply building techniques and knowledge about gears to an activity challenge.
Materials Needed: RCX or NXT LEGO kits
Photos of different hand mixer designs
Assortment of extra LEGO pieces, especially gears and beams
Building Design Sheet
Preparation and Set Up: Collect necessary materials
Photocopy worksheets
Arrange students into groups of 3
Decide how you will distribute extra pieces
Write design requirements on the board
Necessary Background Review Gears and Gear Ratios

Vocabulary:
Prototype
Engineering Design Process
Gears
Gear Ratios

Procedure
  • Tell students that in this challenge they will be building a hand mixer.
  • Show students different pictures and/or videos of hand mixers, explaining what they do and how they work. Also, it may be a good idea to review how gears work. Explain the engineering design process, emphasizing prototype and redesign.
  • Tell them the requirements for their hand mixers. For example:
  •      Must have at least three gears
  •      Can be a manual or electric hand mixer
  • Allow the class to brainstorm different ideas for their mixer design. Have them plan out and draw their design on the Building Design Sheet.
  • Distribute materials and have students start building.
  • 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 add more gears.
Have students make the bottom of their hand mixer spin faster or slower by adjusting the gear ratio.
Reference 1 http://sites.tufts.edu/stompactivitydatabase/files/formidable/109_image_1.jpg
Reference 2 http://sites.tufts.edu/stompactivitydatabase/files/formidable/109_image_2.jpg
Reference 3 http://sites.tufts.edu/stompactivitydatabase/files/formidable/Building-Design-Sheet.pdf

Simple Machines Mini Golf Course

ACTIVITY HEADER

 

 

 

Name of Activity Simple Machines Mini Golf Course
Author Daniel Meer (Elissa Milto)
Keywords mini golf, create, obstacle, 1 moving part, practical design, imagination, requirements, Simple Machines, 2 Hours Total
Subject Simple Machines, Non-LEGO
Grade Level K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9+
Time 2 Hours Total
Brief Description Have students create a mini golf course, giving each pair the task of creating a single obstacle
and hole) for the course. Must have 1 moving part.
Lesson Objectives: - Experience in practical design.
- Implementing imagination to fulfill requirements while making an interesting requirement.
Materials Needed: - Simple Machine Kits.
- Marbles (lots of marbles).
Necessary Background Go to Candystand.com and choose the “minigolf” game for ideas of obstacle courses and such.
It helps to show this to the students if they are old enough to turn them into practical realities
as opposed to trying to recreate life savers floating down a river.
Procedure -present project -Give groups paper to plan -Let them build -put all together, test
Extensions: - Must have 2 moving parts.
- All sections must connect together.

Relay Race

ACTIVITY HEADER

 

 

 

Name of Activity Relay Race
Author STOMP
Keywords vehicles, steep ramp, relay, team, course, cars, gears, weight, weight distribution, friction, power, accuracy, wheel, axle, speed
Subject NXTs
Grade Level 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9+
Time 2 Hours Total
Brief Description Students will build two types of vehicles, one that is good for going fast on a flat surface and one that is good for climbing a steep ramp. Students will work together to create a relay team of 2 cars that must complete a course with a flat area and a steep ramp.
Lesson Objectives: To learn about gearing and how it can help with climbing ramps.
To learn complex programming that includes Bluetooth for communication between NXTs.
Materials Needed: Poster board, cardboard, wood or foam core for a ramp sloped about approx. 30 degrees from the horizontal.
NXTs or RCXs
Gears
Assorted building materials.
Computer running ROBOLAB or MINDSTORMS
Preparation and Set Up: Setup the relay course.
Set up a flat track that is five feet long with a start and finish and set up the ramp.
Collect necessary materials.
Arrange students into groups of 4.
Distribute the necessary materials.
Necessary Background One of the important things about robots is their ability to communicate to each other. Robots are often limited in their capabilities because it is too difficult to construct multi-tasking robots. For this reason, many different specialized robots are constructed, and then these robots are programmed to communicate to each other. For example, a certain Mars rover may specialize in searching for rock, while another may specialize in drilling rock. These two rovers can work together by sending signals to each other, in the same way we communicate, yet simpler. The following activity incorporates specialized robots that can communicate to each other to complete different sections of a single task: a relay race with different terrain.

CONCEPTS:
Building

Mechanical advantage of gears
- Small gear on motor, larger gear on wheel and axle for more torque to drive up the ramp
- Large gear on motor, small gear on wheel and axle for more speed to drive across the floor

Weight distribution of vehicle
- More weight on the front of the ramp vehicle
- Less weight for the entire floor vehicle

Friction
- Wide wheels for more contact surface area on the ramp vehicle
- Narrow wheels for less contact surface area on the floor vehicle
- Spacing between wheels and sides of vehicle so that the wheels rotate without rubbing

Power
- Large diameter wheels in the front of the ramp vehicle
- Ramp vehicle should be short in length

Accuracy
- Long floor vehicles with four wheels to ensure that the vehicle travels as straight as possible towards the stationary ramp vehicle

Procedure
  1. Introduce the activity and tell students that two people in their group will build and program a car to travel as fast as possible on a flat surface, and the other two people will be building a programming a car to drive up a ramp.
  2. Allow students to build their cars. Remind students that gears might help them build a car that can climb a ramp.
  3. Have students program their vehicles.
    1. The first vehicle must travel 5 feet to the base of a ramp and then stop. The students should use time to stop their robot, or use a light sensor if the course is marked with tape.
    2. When the first vehicle stops, it must send a message to the second vehicle (a number). This will trigger the second vehicle to start climbing the ramp.
    3. The second vehicle should start climbing the ramp when it receives the message from the first vehicle.
    4. Communication between RCXs/NXTs may be tricky.
      1. Use the ‘send mail’ and ‘wait for mail’ icons on the floor and ramp vehicle, respectively.
      2. Each group should send a different number so as to avoid confusion between RCXs and NXTs.
      3. Zero the receiving mailbox at the beginning of the program.
      4. Press run on both robots before starting the relay.
  4. Allow students to test their cars and rebuild/reprogram accordingly.
  5. At the end of class gather the students together. Have each team run their cars and time how long the relay takes from start to finish.
  6. Talk about what designs and programs worked the best and how you could improve upon each teams work.
Reference 1 http://sites.tufts.edu/stompactivitydatabase/files/formidable/Team-up-for-a-Relay.doc

Insulating Materials

ACTIVITY HEADER

 

 

 

Name of Activity Insulating Materials
Author STOMP
Keywords ice, cup, insulation, insulating material, styrofoam, aluminum, cotton, properties
Subject Non-LEGO
Grade Level K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
Time 2 Hours Total
Brief Description Students will place ice into a small cup, surrounded by insulating material (Styrofoam from cup, aluminum foil, or cotton balls), surrounded by a larger cup. The cups will be placed in a baking pan, in which warm water will be poured into when every group is ready. The time it takes for the ice to completely melt will be recorded.
Lesson Objectives: To learn about material use and properties.
Materials Needed: Ice cubes
Four 3 oz. Plastic cups
Clear plastic cups
Warm water in a pitcher
Insulating materials
Foam cup
Aluminum foil
Cotton balls
Rubber bands
Plastic wrap
Baking pan
Large book or magazine
Preparation and Set Up: Arrange students into groups of 2 – 3.
Distribute necessary materials.
Procedure
  1. Have each group break their foam cups into small pieces, tear and loosely crunch the aluminum into pieces, and pull the cotton balls apart and flatten them to look like pancakes.
  2. Place some of each insulating material into its own cup so that it coves the bottom of the cup. Leave one cup empty (air is the insulator).
  3. Place a small cup in the center of each large cup.
  4. Fill the space between the cups with the same insulating material that is on the bottom of the cup.
  5. Place three ice cubes in each cup, cover the large and small cups with plastic wrap and secure with a rubber band.
  6. Lay the cups in a baking pan and fill the pan with warm water. Place a book on top so they won’t float away.
  7. Check every 10 – 15 minutes to see when the ice has melted. When it has, record the data.
    1. Which one seems to be melting first? second? third?
  8. Discuss as a class:
    1. What does “insulate” mean?
    2. What other materials could be used for insulation?
    3. In which cup did ice melt first? second? third?
    4. Do these results make sense?
Reference 1 http://sites.tufts.edu/stompactivitydatabase/files/formidable/Insulating.doc

Lunar Rover Mini Design Project

ACTIVITY HEADER

 

 

 

Name of Activity Lunar Rover Mini Design Project
Author Chris Paetsch
Keywords Lunar Rover, moon, constraints, Engineering Design Process, technical drawings
Subject Non-LEGO
Grade Level 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9+
Time 2 Hours Total
Brief Description Students will design a Lunar Rover on paper that must account for a long list of constraints.
Lesson Objectives: To allow students to apply knowledge of the moon while learning the benefits of the design process. This project is intended to be an introduction to the engineering design process and associated concepts, such as technical drawings.
Materials Needed: Enough blank sheets of paper for each student to redesign multiple times.
Necessary Background How the conditions on the different bodies in the solar system varied. The concept of the engineering design process had been introduced briefly, mentioning that it was an iterative process used to solve design problems and the goal of the design project was to better understand why creating a design requires iteration. The qualities of an effective drawing were also mentioned, such as neatness, clear labels, and being specific. Although this particular activity utilizes space science as the background, it can easily be adapted to other appropriate topics (such as designing miniature rovers for the exploration of anatomy of the human body).

Vocabulary:
Design Process
Moon

Procedure
  1. Introduce the design problem (Identify the Problem).
    1. Tell students that they are to design a lunar rover capable of performing several tasks.
    2. The design requirements include:
      1. The ability to pick up rocks.
      2. The ability to store rocks.
      3. The ability to propel itself over rough terrain.
      4. The ability to navigate around the lunar surface
      5. The ability to generate power for operation.
      6. The ability to transport itself from lunar orbit to the surface.
      7. Must be small and light enough to be launched from Earth’s surface.
  2. Have students research the conditions on the moon (or provide them with research) so that they know what they are designing for.
  3. Give each student a blank sheet to brainstorm their first design.
    1. Students are to draw their design with enough detail so that it could be built from their specifications.
  4. Once students have completed their design, evaluate each design and be sure that it accounts for all the constraints. This teacher evaluation is the “testing” of the design.
  5. Students will build upon and improve their first design until they are satisfied and the design fits all the constraints.
Extensions: Add more constraints to the list of constraints.
Modifications: This activity works best with smaller groups of students (appx. 15-20).
Reference 1 http://sites.tufts.edu/stompactivitydatabase/files/formidable/Lunar-RoverFINAL.doc

Capturing the Wind: Building a LEGO Anemometer

ACTIVITY HEADER

 

 

 

Name of Activity Capturing the Wind: Building a LEGO Anemometer
Author STOMP
Keywords NXT, program, anemometer, data, data collection, axles, bushings, plates, rotation sensor
Subject NXTs
Grade Level 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9+
Time 2 Hours Total
Brief Description Students will use their NXTs to build and program an anemometer that collects data.
Lesson Objectives: - To learn about methods of measuring and collecting weather data.
- To program using NXT software.
Materials Needed: NXT
Rotation sensor
axles
bushings
plates (with holes)
thick paper/index cards/cups
tape/paper clips
Preparation and Set Up: Set up computers running MINDSTORMS.
Gather necessary materials.
Arrange students in groups of 2.
Distribute necessary materials.
Procedure
  1. Have students build fan-like structure:
    1. Attach two plates in a ‘plus-sign’ design.  Be sure the holes line up where they cross!  Then take a bushing and attach it to the plates as shown.  Make sure the smooth edge faces up and the notched edge is touching the plate.
    2. Slide an axle through the plates and bushing.  It is a good idea to secure the plates with a second bushing.  Then slide the other end of the axle through a rotation sensor.  Use bushings to secure the sensor also.
    3. Use thick paper, index cards, or cups to create sails.  Tape or clip these to the plates.  Attach the rotation sensor to the RCX.  Make sure to plug the sensor into port 1.
  2. Have students write a program in investigator in ROBOLAB:
    1. Write a program in level 1 to record rotation sensor data for a certain length of time.
    2. Adjust sampling rate to a very small interval (decimal).
    3. Download and run the program to measure the speed of the fan blades as you blow on them or from outside in the wind.
  3. Have students upload and analyze the data:
    1. Upload the data to investigator.
    2. You will want to convert data from sixteenths of a rotation into full rotations. Use the compute tool to divide the data in the red bin by 16.
    3. Look and the chart and note trends. What happens when the wind blows harder? softer? How fast did the wind blow? How slow?
Extensions: Experiment with different types of arms to see what works best (different material for blades/longer blades/wider blades/narrower blades/angled blades/flat blades).
Once you’ve selected a type, try different sizes.
Reference 1 http://sites.tufts.edu/stompactivitydatabase/files/formidable/Capturing-the-Wind.pdf

Mousetrap Problem

ACTIVITY HEADER

 

 

 

Name of Activity Mousetrap – Problem
Author Terry Greene, Merredith Portsmore, Abe Gissen
Keywords Engineering Design Process, problem, research, brainstorm, mousetrap, motor, sensor
Subject Non-LEGO
Grade Level K, 1, 2, 3
Time 2 Hours Total
Brief Description Students will use steps of the Engineering Design Process to learn about a problem; Identify the Problem, Research the Problem, Brainstorm Possible Solutions. Students will be able to describe the need for mousetraps, different type of mousetraps and possible ways to trap a mouse.

The design challenge is for the students to work as a class to design and build a mousetrap sculpture that has at least nine movable parts, which are connected together. Small groups will work on each part. Each part must use one motor and one sensor.

Lesson Objectives: To understand the steps of the Engineering Design Process
Materials Needed: Mousetrap Game by Milton Bradley
Poster of the design process
Easel with plenty of paper for drafting
Preparation and Set Up: Set up the classroom for easy classroom discussion.
Make a poster of the Engineering Design Process to use as an aid.
Procedure
  1. Have the students play the Mousetrap Game by Milton Bradley.
  2. In a large group, discuss engineering:
    1. Ask if anyone knows an engineer.
    2. Ask what an engineer does
    3. Discuss what engineers do and what kinds of jobs use engineers.
  3. Display the steps of the Engineering Design Process. Go over each step on the poster and explain that, over the next few weeks, students will use all the steps; working like engineers to complete a challenge.
  4. Discuss the Mousetrap Game
    1. Ask individuals to share their favorite part of the game.
    2. Make connections to simple machines.
    3. Ask students how an engineer might have been involved in designing the game.
  5. Present the design challenge
    1. Tell the students that they are engineers working for a toy company.
    2. They have been asked to design a new toy to be modeled after the Mousetrap Game.
    3. The design challenge is for the students to work as a class to design and build a mousetrap sculpture that has at least nine movable parts, which are connected together. Small groups will work on each part. Each part must use one motor and one sensor.
    4. Explain that the students have already completed steps 1 and 2 of the Engineering Design Process
      1. Identify the Need/Problem
        1. By listening to what the teacher has assigned as the design challenge.
      2. Research the Need/Problem
        1. By playing the game.
  6. Have student brainstorm possible solutions (step 3 of the Engineering Design Process). Draw on math and science to articulate the solutions in two and three dimensions.
  7. Use an easel to record ideas and brainstorm possible ideas for different parts of the mousetrap.
  8. Try to make a list of about 25 possible parts of a mousetrap.
  9. Save these ideas for Day 2.

Day 2:

  1. Review the brainstorming session the class participated in on Day 1.
  2. Explain that the next step in the Engineering Design Process is to Select the Best Possible Solution to the Problem.
  3. Brainstorm a list of criteria for the mousetrap with the students.
  4. Go through the list of original parts and cross out ones that do not meet the criteria.
  5. Set up teams of students (usually 2 works best).
  6. Have each team talk about the different parts and decide on 2 – 3 that they would like to build.
  7. As a large group (whole class), decide which team will build which part of the mousetrap and record this on the easel.
Reference 1 http://sites.tufts.edu/stompactivitydatabase/files/formidable/1ideascriteria-1.doc
Reference 2 http://sites.tufts.edu/stompactivitydatabase/files/formidable/1ideascriteria.doc
Reference 3 http://sites.tufts.edu/stompactivitydatabase/files/formidable/mousetrapoverview.doc
Online Reference(s) http://www.ceeo.tufts.edu/robolabatceeo/-CEEOCurriculumWebsite
Umbrella Unit/Curriculum (if applicable) Mousetrap

Solar System Rotation and Revolution

ACTIVITY HEADER

 

 

 

Name of Activity Solar System Rotation and Revolution
Author STOMP
Keywords model, solar system, rotation, orbits, sun, revolution, motion
Subject Non-LEGO
Grade Level K, 1, 2, 3
Time 2 Hours Total
Brief Description Students will create a working model of the solar system.
Lesson Objectives: To develop an understanding about planets rotating on their axes and their revolution around the sun within orbits.
Materials Needed: Video of the solar system
Large, teacher made diagram of the solar system
Teacher made planet info cards
Picture of the planet.
Name
Distance and order from sun
Planet before and after it
Amount of time for one rotation
Four planet markers for each planet (picture and name of planet
Tape Measures
String
Scissors
Preparation and Set Up: Make large solar system diagram.
Construct planet info cards.
Create planet markers.
Collect materials.
Arrange students into four groups.
Distribute materials to the class.
Necessary Background Use online resources to find information on planets. Tryhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_system as a resource.

Vocabulary:

Rotation
Revolution
Motion
Orbit

Procedure
  1. Show students video on solar system. This video should include information about rotation and revolution.
  2. Talk about the meaning of rotation and revolution.
  3. Ask the students:
    1. How can you demonstrate the motions in the solar system?
  4. Break into groups and tell students that they can use anything in the classroom to aid their demonstration.
  5. Students will be allowed approximately 10 minutes to complete the task.
  6. Have each group present their demonstration.
  7. After the group demonstrations, explain to students that they will recreate a model of the solar system’s motions by using themselves as the sun and planets.
    1. Assign individuals, or small groups of individuals to be a specific planet, or the sun.
    2. Each group will be given a ball of string, four planet marker cards, and a planet info card that tells them the length of string they should cut to replicate their planets orbit.
    3. Bring the class to a large open area.
      1. You could clear the classroom by pushing desks to the side, go outside, use gymnasium or multi-purpose room.
    4. Decide where to place the sun first.
    5. The “Planet” groups will use tape measures to determine how far away from the sun they should stand. Students should place their markers at 4 spots with the same radius from the sun where their orbit will be.
    6. Have students place their strings to mark their orbits.
    7. Each student group will choose one member to stand on their orbit in a straight line from the sun.
    8. Using one student as an example show how the student would revolve around the sun while rotating on their axis.
    9. Have nine the students orbit the sun, each representing a planet.
  8. Have the class come together to discuss the difference between rotation and revolution. Students can write their explanations on a paper using words or diagrams.
Reference 1 http://sites.tufts.edu/stompactivitydatabase/files/formidable/Lesson-2-Solar-System-Rotation-and-Revolution.pdf
Online Reference(s) http://pds.jpl.nasa.gov/planets/welcome.htm-vividimagesofeachplanetusenet.net.nx/nineplanets/overview-basicsoftheplanetsrotationsanddescriptitonsofeachplanet
Umbrella Unit/Curriculum (if applicable) Solar System

Snow! Snow! Snow!

ACTIVITY HEADER

 

 

 

Name of Activity Snow! Snow! Snow!
Author STOMP
Keywords vehicle, snow, Simple Machines, prototype, Engineering Design Process, constraints
Subject Simple Machines
Grade Level K, 1, 2, 3
Time 2 Hours Total
Brief Description Students will be asked to design a vehicle that will clear three different types of “snow” from a path with a motorized simple machines car.
Lesson Objectives: - To engage students in an open-ended engineering design challenge that utilizes their motorized vehicles and allows students to make a connection with the real world.
Materials Needed: - Tape to mark the ‘road’.
- Packing peanuts (light snow).
- Extra white LEGO bricks (medium snow).
- Wet paper towel or small stones (wet/heavy snow).
- LEGO Simple Machines kits.
- ‘Engineer’s Planning Worksheet’.
- ‘Engineer’s Final Report’ Worksheet’.
- Pictures of different snowplow designs.
For Extensions:
- Ruler.
- Blank paper for advertisement.
Preparation and Set Up: - Obtain three different types of snow.
- Set up three ‘roads’ with tape, one as a test site for each type of snow (light, medium, wet/heavy).
- Print out enough worksheets for the class.
- Print out photos of different snowplow designs/methods for removing snow (shovels, snowblowers, plows).
- Arrange students in pairs.
- Distribute LEGO Simple Machines kits.
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:
All pieces in LEGO Simple Machines kits
Prototype
Engineering design process
Constraints

Procedure Author: STOMP Time: 1 – 2 one-hour class periods Description: Students will be asked to design a vehicle that will clear three different types of “snow” from a path with a motorized simple machines car. Grade Level:

  • K-3

Lesson Objectives: To engage students in an open-ended engineering design challenge that utilizes their motorized vehicles and allows students to make a connection with the real world. Materials Needed:

  • Tape to mark “road”
  • Packing Peanuts (light snow)
  • Extra white LEGO bricks (medium snow)
  • Wet Paper towel or small stones (wet/heavy snow)
  • LEGO Simple Machines kits
  • ‘Engineer’s Planning Worksheet’
  • ‘Engineer’s Final Report’ Worksheet
  • Pictures of different snowplow designs.

For Extensions

  • Ruler
  • Blank paper for advertisement.

Preparation and Setup:

  • Obtain three different types of snow.
  • Set up three “roads” with tape, one as a test site for each type of snow (light, medium, wet/heavy).
  • Print out enough worksheets for the class.
  • Print out photos of different snowplow designs/methods for removing snow (shovels, snowblowers, plows).
  • Arrange students in pairs
  • Distribute LEGO Simple Machines kits

Teacher 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:

  • All pieces in LEGO Simple Machines kits
  • Prototype
  • Engineering design process
  • Constraints

Procedure: Talk about this lesson using the Engineering Design Process

  1. Identify Problem: Pose this design challenge as the problem: The town’s people need a vehicle that can drive around and clear the roads of snow so that cars can drive on them.
  2. Research:  Think about vehicles that clear the road of snow and different types of plows (show photographs).
  3. Brainstorm: Talk about how you might build some of the ideas in research out of LEGO materials.
  4. Choose and Plan: Have students fill out the ‘Engineer’s Planning Sheet’ and have each partner circle what they will build.
  5. Create:Have students build their design and help students solve design challenges.
  6. Test: Explain the tests that the students must pass:
    1. Pick-Up Test: The design must stay together when it is picked up
    2. Snow Tests:
      1. Light Snow: The vehicle must be able to clear a path in the cotton balls
      2. Medium Snow: The vehicle must be able to clear a path in the LEGO bricks
      3. Heavy Snow: The vehicle must be able to clear a path in the wet paper towels.
  7. Redesign: Have students rebuild vehicles until they have passed all the tests and can clear every type of snow.
  8. Share: Have students fill out the ‘Final Report’ worksheet. Come together as a class.
    1. Compare different designs (straight plows, V-plows, width of plows, proximity to the ground, number of pieces).
    2. Talk about difficulties in building and the solutions students came up with.
Extensions or Modifications: - Few students may actually complete this lesson, so have those who do help other students.
- Students can create an advertisement for their snow plow, writing/drawing why it is a good design.
- Students can use this as a counting and categorizing exercise:
– How many beams did you use?
– How many plates?
– What are the measurements of your car?

Modifications:
- Record what students have passed what tests with a chart.
- If student’s plows are too low to the ground have the students raise the plows.

Reference 1 http://sites.tufts.edu/stompactivitydatabase/files/formidable/Snow1.pdf
Reference 2 http://sites.tufts.edu/stompactivitydatabase/files/formidable/Snow2.pdf

Build a Chair for Mr. Bear

ACTIVITY HEADER

 

 

Name of Activity Build a Chair for Mr. Bear
Author STOMP
Keywords Bear, Mr. Bear, build, chair, problem, solution, design
Subject and Grade Level Simple Machines, K, 1, 2, 3
Time 2 Hours Total
Lesson Objectives: - Ask students to design a sturdy chair that keeps a stuffed bear seated upright
- To expose students to the full engineering design process and allow them to practice their building techniques
Materials Needed: - LEGO Simple Machine kits or other LEGO building pieces
- Engineer’s Planning Worksheet
- Engineer’s Final Report Worksheet
- One stuffed bear per group
For the extensions:
- Extra LEGO building Pieces
- Mini Post-It Note Pads
- Mini Drinking Cups
Preparation and Set Up: Optional:
Research different chair designs and print out pictures to facilitate discussion on
how different types of chairs are designed and why chairs are designed differently for
different purposes. For example, office chairs are designed differently then recliners because
they have different purposes.Teacher Background:
Sturdiness is an important consideration when engineering any design. Furniture
(such as a chair), bridges, buildings, cars, etc. have to be sturdy for safety and other
reasons. Engineers always test their prototypes for sturdiness before any real construction
can begin. This highlights important steps of the Engineering Design Process; Test and
Redesign after a failed test.
Procedure
  1. Review previous activities and emphasize the important lessons learned from those activites especially sturdy building and different pieces in LEGO Simple Machine kits.
    1. note: this lesson follows nicely after Building Sturdy Towers activity and/or the Sturdy Shapes activity.
  2. Introduce the engineering challenge for this activity using the Engineering Design Process
    1. Identify the Problem: Mr. Bear needs somewhere to sit that is sturdy and will keep him sitting upright.
    2. Research: As a class, think about some different chairs and how a LEGO chair might be similar. (provide optional chair research).
    3. Brainstorm: Have student partners think about how to build a chair and how they will work together.
    4. Choose and Plan: Have students fill out the Engineer’s Planning Sheet. Have each partner circle the par that they will build.
    5. Create: Have students design and build. Review piece that may be helpful such as the beams, pegs, bushings and axles.
    6. Test: Explain to the students that their design needs to pass three tests:
      1. Drop Test: The design must survive a drop from the ankle.
      2. Fit Test: The bear must fit in the chair.
      3. Sit-up Test: The bear must sit upright.
    7. Redesign: Have students redesign after failed tests until their design is sturdy and usable. Help students think of ways to make their chair sturdy (overlapping beams, strong shapes, etc.)
    8. Share: Have each student fill out an Engineer’s Final Report Worksheet. Come together as a class, let each student briefly share their chair and discuss:
      1. Difficulties encountered by students and how they fixed them.
      2. One complement and one question for each chair.
Extensions or Modifications: - Build a foot rest for Mr. Bear
- Build a cup holder for Mr. Bear
- Build an easel for Mr. Bear
- It might be helpful to have a chart to keep track of which students have passed which tests
Sample Image 1 http://sites.tufts.edu/stompactivitydatabase/files/formidable/8_image_1.jpg
Sample Image 2 http://sites.tufts.edu/stompactivitydatabase/files/formidable/8_image_2.jpg
Sample Image 3 http://sites.tufts.edu/stompactivitydatabase/files/formidable/EngineeringDesignProcess-1.pdf
Sample Image 4 http://sites.tufts.edu/stompactivitydatabase/files/formidable/Final_report.pdf
Sample Image 5 http://sites.tufts.edu/stompactivitydatabase/files/formidable/planning_sheet.pdf

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