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
-popsicle sticks
-aluminum foil
-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

Speed Fans





Name of Activity Speed Fans
Author STOMP
Keywords fan, LEGO, speed, touch sensor, programming, 1 Hour Total, 4-6
Subject NXTs
Grade Level 4, 5, 6
Time 1 Hour Total
Brief Description The activity involves building a fan out of LEGOs and creating a MINDSTORMS program that will change the speed of the fan every time the touch sensor is pressed.
Lesson Objectives: Gain basic understanding of programming with MINDSTORMS.
Materials Needed: NXT Kits/ RCX Kits.

Computers with MINDSTORMS or ROBOLAB installed.

Necessary Background Knowledge of programming with MINDSTORMS.


Touch sensor

Power Levels

Procedure 1) Explain the basics of programming. 2) Distribute the kits and explain the task ( i.e. to build a fan that changes speed when the touch sensor is pressed) 3) Have the students build a fan out of LEGOs in their kits. 4) Let the students try to figure out how to program the fan on their own. If they need help explain to them how the power level of the motor can be changed every time the touch sensor is pressed thus changing the speed of the fan.
Extensions: Program the fan using loops.
Use the activity to talk about air flow.

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