Simple Pulleys





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:
  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

Introduction to Engineering





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

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