Flubber

ACTIVITY HEADER

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
-borax
-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.

Hover Crafts

Name of Activity Hover Crafts
Author STOMP
Keywords air resistance, design engineering, aeronautical engineering, wind, tunnel, fan
Subject Non-LEGO
Grade Level 3, 4, 5, 6
Time 1 Hour Total
Brief Description Given some basic household supplies (popsicle sticks, paper, foam, aluminum foil, straws, clothes pins, etc), students were asked to create a “hover craft” that could remain in the air inside a wind tunnel created using a tunnel and a fan.
Lesson Objectives: -Emphasize the engineering design process and the need for testing and redesigning.
-Discuss and explore air resistance and forces.
Materials Needed: -wind tunnel
-fan
-popsicle sticks
-paper
-foam
-aluminum foil
-straws
-clothes pins
-construction paper
-Activity Worksheet
Preparation and Set Up: -Print out enough copies of the activity worksheet
-separate materials into bags will equal numbers of each material per group
-set up the wind tunnel by placing the tunnel on top of the fan and turning the fan on
Necessary Background -Discuss air resistance
-Discuss design engineering/aeronautical engineering
Procedure 1. Explain the challenge–to create a hovercraft that stays in the air the longest. 2. Students draw initial designs and then discuss their designs in their groups. 3. Students combine ideas into one design and then may begin to build with the materials. 4. Students test and redesign throughout the class period evaluating what is working well and what isn’t. 5. The class discusses the best and worst pieces of their many designs and discusses why they might have worked/not worked.
Extensions: To make the activity more difficult, you may give students fewer materials or give them a “budget” with which to “buy” materials.
Modifications: It is important not to use too strong a fan or else no matter what they make, it will just fly out of the tunnel.
Reference 1 http://sites.tufts.edu/stompactivitydatabase/files/formidable/worksheet-for-aeronautical-engineering.docx
Umbrella Unit/Curriculum (if applicable) Intro to Types of Engineering

Little Johnny and his Pet Cow

ACTIVITY HEADER

 

 

 

Name of Activity Pulleys- Little Johnny and his Pet Cow
Author Matthew Mueller
Keywords Pulleys, simple machines, weighing, balancing, well
Subject Simple Machines
Grade Level 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
Time 1 Hour Total
Brief Description Little Johnny’s pet cow has fallen down a well! You need to come up with a system of pulleys that will help little Johnny lift his cow out of the well.
Lesson Objectives: Get kids to understand the idea that pulleys can both change direction of motion, and lessen the amount of force needed to lift a heavy object.
Materials Needed: Lego pulleys, beams, axles, string, weights
Necessary Background A basic understanding of pulleys and their uses.
Procedure First have the kids try and make a wall of pulleys and show how it is easier to pull up a heavy object when using the pulleys.  Then challenge the kids to build a wall of pulleys that is capable of balancing as many weights on one side with just one weight on the other side.
Extensions: They can always try to balance more weights on one side and show that the more pulleys there are, the lighter the load will seem on the other side.
Umbrella Unit/Curriculum (if applicable) Simple Machines

Red Light, Green Light

ACTIVITY HEADER

 

 

 

Name of Activity Red Light, Green Light
Author STOMP
Keywords NXT, cars, robotics, sensors
Subject NXTs
Grade Level 3, 4, 5, 6
Time 1 Hour Total
Brief Description Students will program cars to play a game of “Red Light, Green Light” based on sound. Robots will race each other, but have to stop at hearing a clap, go on the next clap, etc.
Lesson Objectives: Learn the use of the sound sensor.
Materials Needed: NXT Kit, laptop
Preparation and Set Up: Have a defined start and end line for the race.
Necessary Background Have a functioning car to be programmed, knowledge of programming loops.
Procedure 1. Brainstorm the programming strategy. 2. Program the cars to alternately stop and go on hearing a noise. 3. Refine the decibel threshold of the sound sensor so it is not too sensitive or overly sensitive. 4. Have the cars race each other, disqualifying cars if they don’t follow the rules.
Extensions: This could be modified to use another sensor as the “light.”
Umbrella Unit/Curriculum (if applicable) NXT Robotics

Simple Pulleys

ACTIVITY HEADER

 

 

 

Name of Activity Simple Pulleys
Author STOMP
Keywords pulley, effort, load, Simple Machines
Subject Simple Machines
Grade Level K, 1, 2, 3
Time 1 Hour Total
Brief Description Students will learn the basic concept of a pulley and how it is used to life weights.
Lesson Objectives: - To familiarize students with pulleys.
- Introduce a simple machine.
Materials Needed: - LEGO Simple Machines kits.
- Weight.
- String.
Preparation and Set Up: - Photocopy one worksheet per student.
- Gather materials.
- Arrange students in pairs.
- Distribute materials.
Necessary Background Pulleys are simple machines that allow us to lift heavier loads by increasing the distance
required to lift the load (just like levers).Vocabulary:
Pulley
Effort
Load
Procedure
  1. Have students design a pulley on a lego wall that will lift a load up off the table to the top of the wall.
  2. Let student brainstorm what their pulley should look like.
    1. The pulley should have a string wound-up to an axle on the base of the pulley structure.
    2. The pulley should have a solid base and wall to support the pulley wheel when the weight is being lifted.
    3. If possible (depending on age and ability), students should build a container to place the weight in at the top of the wall.
    4. If possible, the pulley should be able to rotate to move the weight into the box at the top of the wall.
    5. Have students brainstorm by drawing out their design on their activity worksheet.
  3. Have students build and test their designs.
  4. When everyone is done let students demonstrate their designs.
    1. Discuss how pulleys make lifting the object easier.
    2. Discuss difficulties and successes students had in this activity.
Extensions or Modifications: - Make the pulley work by using a motor.
Reference 1 http://sites.tufts.edu/stompactivitydatabase/files/formidable/pulley1.pdf

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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