## Dinosaur Tail

Name of Activity Dinosaur Tail Mike Mogenson, Amanda Stockwell dinosaur, tail, wag, Simple Machines, 1 Hour Total, piston, pulley wheel Simple Machines K, 1, 2, 3 1 Hour Total Build a dinosaur tail that wags. To learn about sturdy building and building moving parts. To learn about pistons and translating rotational motion into linear motion. - Simple Machines LEGO kits - Arrange students in pairs. - Distribute LEGO kits. - Build Demo tail. Vocabulary: - Piston - Pulley Wheel Demonstrate to students how to build a moving tail. Let students build their own dino tail. Allow students to be creative when building the tail. Let students experiment with different pulley wheels and pivot positions to create different movements. If time, motorize the dinosaur tail. At the end of the class gather students and discuss the activity: How does the diameter of the pulley wheel change the motion of the tail? How does the distance between beam pivot and piston connection change the motion of the tail? http://sites.tufts.edu/stompactivitydatabase/files/formidable/72_image_1.png http://sites.tufts.edu/stompactivitydatabase/files/formidable/Dinosaur-Tail.doc http://sites.tufts.edu/stompactivitydatabase/files/formidable/dinosaur-tails-activity.doc http://sites.tufts.edu/stompactivitydatabase/files/formidable/dinosaur-tails-activity-1.doc

## Rube Goldberg Machine

Name of Activity Rube Goldberg Machine STOMP Goldberg Machine, engineering design, planning, Simple Machines, Engineering Design Process Simple Machines K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9+ 4 Hours Total 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. - 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. - 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. - Arrange students into groups (or let students arrange themselves into groups). - Set up an easel for painting. 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 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. Tell students that they will be building their own Rube Goldberg machine using LEGOs or non-LEGOs (whatever the teacher chooses or has available). Have students brainstorm an idea for what they want their machine to accomplish. 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. Have student vote to decide on the task that their machine will do. 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. 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. Have students assign one part to each group. Let each group brainstorm their part. When students have filled out their “planning sheets”(attached), allow them to begin building. When all the groups have completed their parts, have the class put the pieces together. When all the pieces are together allow the class to test and redesign any parts that do not work well. 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. - Make a poster advertising either one part or the whole Rube Goldberg machine. - Add additional parts to the machine. http://sites.tufts.edu/stompactivitydatabase/files/formidable/Rube-Goldberg-Planning.doc http://sites.tufts.edu/stompactivitydatabase/files/formidable/RubeGoldberg.doc http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rube_Goldberg–MoreinformationonRubeGoldberg

## Simple Machine Summary

Name of Activity Simple Machine Summary Kelly Clark Simple Machines, pulleys, screws Simple Machines K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 1 Hour Total This lesson is a review of simple machines and their use in the real world. - Introduce pulleys and screws. - Review real world applications of simple machines. - ‘Screws and Pulleys’ Powerpoint - ‘Simple Machines’ Powerpoint - Household materials that consist of simple machines Be sure that there is some way to present the Powerpoint information (projector, TV, overhead, as handouts etc.). Vocabulary: Simple machines Screws Pulleys Review simple machines and any activities where students have used simple machines. Introduce the concept of pulleys and screws as extensions of more basic machines – respectively, the wheel and axle, and the inclined ramp. Show and narrate the ‘Screws and Pulleys’ Powerpoint (attached). Show the ‘Simple Machines’ Powerpoint and have students identify where simple machines are being used on a piece of paper (numbered 1 – 25). The answer to some pictures may be none. Tell students to keep in mind that even if a simple machine is present in an object (such as a screw), it does not classify as a machine if it is not performing its function. If there is time and equipment, let students research household objects that use simple machines and present their findings. http://sites.tufts.edu/stompactivitydatabase/files/formidable/simple1.pdf http://sites.tufts.edu/stompactivitydatabase/files/formidable/simple2.pdf

## Ramp Cars: Wheel and Axle

Name of Activity Ramp Cars: Wheel and Axle Kelly Clark ramp, cars, beams, axles, bushings, wheels, Simple Machines, Potential Energy, Kinetic Energy, friction Simple Machines K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 1 Hour Total Using LEGOs, students will build a car to travel the farthest distance off a ramp. - To learn about wheels and axles. - To introduce potential and kinetic energy. - LEGO Simple Machine kits or homemade kits with lots of beams, axles, bushings and wheels. - Ramp. - Recording sheet. - ‘Ramp Cars’ Worksheet. - Set up a testing ramp. – Mark starting point on ramp to start cars. – Mark the spot at the bottom of the ramp that students will measure distance traveled from. - Make one copy of the ‘Ramp Cars’ worksheet for each student. - Arrange students in pairs. - Distribute materials. This activity explores the concepts of kinetic and potential energy. A car moving down a slope converts potential energy into kinetic energy. Potential energy is the amount of stored energy the car has when it is sitting at the top of the ramp. As the car moves down the ramp it converts potential energy into kinetic energy – the energy of movement of the car. At the bottom of the ramp the car has converted all the potential energy to kinetic energy. The point just at the bottom of the ramp is the point at which the car has its maximum kinetic energy. The car will slow at the bottom of the ramp due to loss of energy to the floor through friction – the force between the car tires and the ground. Vocabulary: Wheel Axle Simple machine Potential energy Kinetic energy Friction Tell student that they the design challenge is to build a car that will travel down a ramp and then travel the farthest horizontal distance from the bottom of the ramp. Tell students about potential energy. The energy that the car has at the top of the ramp before it is released (stored energy). This energy is converted into kinetic energy (the energy of the movement of the car has while moving). Explain that potential energy is highest at the top of the ramp (explain this by telling students that the car has the ‘potential’ to travel the farthest when it is placed here vs. when it is placed lower on the ramp). Potential energy is affected by gravity and the mass of the car. Explain that the kinetic energy is highest when the car is just at the bottom of the ramp because this is when it is moving the fastest, but has no more potential energy from being on the ramp. Explain that the force of friction – the force of the ground on the tires – is what slows the car down when it reaches the bottom of the ramp. Without friction, the car would continue to go forever in the same direction at the same speed. Tell student that they can build their car however they would like using the material provided. They can change the number of wheels, type of wheels, axles, etc. Remind them to think about potential energy, kinetic energy, and the forces of friction Have students build and test their cars. Allow each group three tests and record the farthest trial on the board or on a sheet. Have the students fill out the ‘Ramp Car’ Worksheet. Bring the class together to discuss the activity. Talk about what would be different if the ramp was shallower, steeper, rougher, or smoother. Do a demonstration if possible. Use this demo to discuss inclined planes. Discuss the different designs. Whose car went the farthest? What was different about this design? What did some of the other designs look like and why did they not go as far? Conclude by asking students how they might improve their designs. You can modify this activity to be applicable to older grades by having student graph distance v. time, taking the mass of their cars and predicting how far their car will travel using mathematics. http://sites.tufts.edu/stompactivitydatabase/files/formidable/ramp1.doc http://sites.tufts.edu/stompactivitydatabase/files/formidable/ramp2.pdf http://sites.tufts.edu/stompactivitydatabase/files/formidable/ramp3.pdf

## Simple Pulleys

Name of Activity Simple Pulleys STOMP pulley, effort, load, Simple Machines Simple Machines K, 1, 2, 3 1 Hour Total Students will learn the basic concept of a pulley and how it is used to life weights. - To familiarize students with pulleys. - Introduce a simple machine. - LEGO Simple Machines kits. - Weight. - String. - Photocopy one worksheet per student. - Gather materials. - Arrange students in pairs. - Distribute materials. 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 Have students design a pulley on a lego wall that will lift a load up off the table to the top of the wall. Let student brainstorm what their pulley should look like. The pulley should have a string wound-up to an axle on the base of the pulley structure. The pulley should have a solid base and wall to support the pulley wheel when the weight is being lifted. If possible (depending on age and ability), students should build a container to place the weight in at the top of the wall. If possible, the pulley should be able to rotate to move the weight into the box at the top of the wall. Have students brainstorm by drawing out their design on their activity worksheet. Have students build and test their designs. When everyone is done let students demonstrate their designs. Discuss how pulleys make lifting the object easier. Discuss difficulties and successes students had in this activity. - Make the pulley work by using a motor. http://sites.tufts.edu/stompactivitydatabase/files/formidable/pulley1.pdf

## Levers

Name of Activity Levers Laurie Cormler levers, found materials, Simple Machines Simple Machines 4, 5, 6 1 Hour Total Students will explore the different classes of levers using simple classroom materials. - Familiarize students with levers, a type of simple machine. - Teach students about the usefulness of levers and how they are applied in the real world. - To introduce vocabulary associated with levers. - Lever worksheet. - LEGO Simple Machines kit. - Make enough copies of the worksheet for each student. - LEGO Simple Machines kit. - Arrange students in groups. - Distribute materials. There are three classes of levers: Class 1 levers: - Have the load and effort at the two ends and the fulcrum in the middle. - Examples include: scissors, seesaws, pry bars. Class 2 levers: - Have the effort at one end, the load in the middle and the fulcrum at the other end. - Examples include: nut crackers, bottle openers, doors, and wheel barrows. Class 3 levers: - Have the load at one end, the effort in the middle and the fulcrum at the other end. - Examples include: fishing pole and hockey stick. The WORK on either side of the fulcrum is equal to the distance from the fulcrum times the force applied (weight of the object). For levers to balance the work on one side must equal the work on the other side – Force1 * Distance1 = Force2 * Distance2. Vocabulary: levers first class levers second class levers third class levers simple machines fulcrum – balance point/point that lever move around (center of gravity) effort – force needed to lift load load – object being lifted Explain to the class the concept of levers. Use the powerpoint attached to explain the three classes of levers, fulcrums, effort and load. Explain how levers are useful in our everyday life and give some examples. Pass out the Lever Activity Worksheet Have students construct levers out of materials in their LEGO Simple Machines kits following instructions on the worksheet. Must design the placement of the fulcrum. The fulcrum must be off the surface of the table. Design must be sturdy Fulcrum must rotate freely Use the weighted brick in the kit as the load, place this at one end of the lever. Students will lift the weighted brick by applying effort to the opposite end of the lever. Let students experiment with the placement of the fulcrum, load and effort. Bring the class together and discuss how students were able to lift a load with the least amount of effort. Ask: What conditions made it easiest to lift your load? What building difficulties did you come across? - Students can use their lever to accomplish a specific task, e.g., lift a LEGO person to the top of a wall. - Explore different locations for a fulcrum. - Turn the lever into a catapult. http://sites.tufts.edu/stompactivitydatabase/files/formidable/lev1.doc http://sites.tufts.edu/stompactivitydatabase/files/formidable/lev2.pdf

## Gears

Name of Activity Gears Laurie Cormler gears, axles, Drive Gear, Follower Gear, Gear Ratio, Gear Trains, Simple Machines LEGO Building K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 1 Hour Total Students will learn about gears through hands on exploration with LEGOs and a worksheet. - Familiarize students with gears. - Learn how gears can be useful. 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. - Create homemade LEGO kit. - Make photocopies of worksheets. - Arrange students in pairs. - Distribute materials. 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 Explain gears to the class Talk about how gears are simple machines – a device that helps people do work Talk about how gears connect to each other with interlocking teeth. 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. 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 Explain the difference between gearing up and gearing down and their purpose: 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. 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. 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. Pass out the gears to the students so they can have a close look. Have students count the number of teeth on each sized gear. Have students do the Gear Ratio Worksheet and activity (attached). Explain to students how when one gear is turned clockwise, the other gear turns counterclockwise. Pass out the ‘Gears Worksheet’ (attached). Explain the final challenge of the activity. Show students the “challenge wall” with one gear at the top left. 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. - 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: http://sites.tufts.edu/stompactivitydatabase/files/formidable/gears1.pdf http://sites.tufts.edu/stompactivitydatabase/files/formidable/gears2.pdf http://sites.tufts.edu/stompactivitydatabase/files/formidable/gears3.pdf

## Build a Tower

Name of Activity Build a Tower STOMP Simple Machines, sturdy shapes, structure, beam, brick, plate, axle, bushing, connector peg, sturdy shapes, triangles, bracing Simple Machines K, 1, 2, 3 1 Hour Total - Students will build a tower that is at least 4-6 inches high. The tower must be sturdy enough to hold up a book/stack of books. - Familiarize students with sturdy building using their LEGO Simple Machines kits. - Use sturdy shapes to build a structure. - Build engineering/LEGO vocabulary. - LEGO Simple Machines kit. - Stack of books. - Rulers. - ‘Engineer’s Planning Sheets’. - ‘Engineer’s Final Report’ Worksheet. - Make enough copies of each worksheet for the class. - Collect a book/stack of books to use for testing. - Gather a couple of rulers to test tower height. - Arrange students in pairs. - Distribute materials. 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: Pieces - Beam Brick Plate Connector Peg Friction Peg Axle Bushing Axle Extender Sturdy Shapes Triangles Bracing Review sturdy building from prior activities, especially “Building Strong Shapes”. Talk about overlapping beam/bricks Talk about using pegs to connect pieces and how using two pegs to connect two beams means the beams won’t rotate. Talk about how you can use axles and bushings in a similar way that you can use pegs to attach beams. Make sure to give the students a height requirement – 4 to 6 inches. Use the Engineering Design Process to introduce and teach the lesson Brainstorm: Have students think of ways to build sturdy structures and what a LEGO tower might look like. Choose and Plan: Have students fill out the ‘Engineer’s Planning Sheet’ and circle what each partner will build. Although each person does their own worksheet each pair will need to agree on a plan. Create: Haves students build the towers. If students have trouble help s tudents use their sturdy building techniques. Test: Each tower must pass two tests. Height Test: The tower must be at least 4 inches tall (measure with a ruler). Weight Test: Each tower must hold the weight of a book/stack of books. Redesign: Students must rebuild their designs after failed tests. Talk with students about what can be done differently to pass the test. Share: Have students fill out the ‘Engineer’s Final Report’ Come together as a class to discuss the activity. Let each pair share what they have created. Talk about problems groups had and how they fixed them. - Have students build a tower that will support the students weight/hold more books. - Have students build a taller tower. - Build a structure that can pick up a stack of books. - Using a baseplate for this lesson may be helpful for students. http://sites.tufts.edu/stompactivitydatabase/files/formidable/tower1.png http://sites.tufts.edu/stompactivitydatabase/files/formidable/tower2.jpg http://sites.tufts.edu/stompactivitydatabase/files/formidable/tower3.pdf http://sites.tufts.edu/stompactivitydatabase/files/formidable/tower4.pdf http://sites.tufts.edu/stompactivitydatabase/files/formidable/tower5.pdf

## Build a Sturdy Vehicle

Name of Activity Build a Sturdy Vehicle STOMP sturdy, vehicle, drive, motors, pulleys, Simple Machines, Engineering Design Process, ramp climbing, wheels Simple Machines K, 1, 2, 3 1 Hour Total Students will build a vehicle that is sturdy and able to drive using motors. - Introduce students to building vehicles using prior knowledge of sturdy building, motors and pulleys. - Use the Engineering Design Process to accomplish the task. - Explore pulley combinations that facilitate ramp climbing (extension). - LEGO Simple Machine kits. - Makeshift ramp (board and stack of books, poster board, wooden blocks, etc.). - Extra Batteries. - ‘Engineer’s Planning Sheet’. - ‘Engineer’s Final Report’ Worksheet. - Set up a ramp. - Make enough copies of worksheets for the class. - Arrange students in pairs. - Distribute LEGO Simple Machines kits. Vocabulary: Pieces- Motor Wire Battery pack Wheels Hubs Procedure: Review how to connect the LEGO motor, wire, and battery pack and how to make the motor run backwards and forwards. Review Sturdy Building and pulleys. Talk about how to make the motor attach to the wheels through pulleys. Introduce the design challenge using the Engineering Design Process Identify Problem: Tell students that their LEGO people needs a sturdy vehicles to transport them from place to place (over hills and mountains if doing ramp extension). Research: Think about what students have done before and how it might help with this design challenge. Research what diifferent types of cars look like, how they act, and what there purpose is (three wheels v. four wheels, front-wheel-drive v. rear-wheel drive, Large trucks v. small cars). Talk about different ways to power a car (gas, electric, hybrid, hydrogen etc.) Brainstorm: Talk about how you might make a frame for a vehcile. Talk about attaching the motor to make the wheels move (and that it does not have to be attached to every wheel for the car to move). Discuss how to make the design sturdy. Choose and Plan: Have students fill out the ‘Engineer’s Planning Sheet’. Have each student circle the part they will build. Create: Have students build their cars. Test: Students must pass two tests Drop Test - The vehicle cannot break when dropped from the ankle. Drive Test - The vehicle must move using the motor and battery pack. Redesign: Have students rebuild after failed tests. Have them identify problems their cars may be having. Share:  Have students fill out ‘Engineer’s Final Report’ Come together as a class and let each student show off their design. Talk about difficulties the students encountered and how they solved their problems. - Have students use different sized pulley wheels to make their car drive up a ramp without tipping back or falling off (smallest possible pulley on the motor, largest on the axle with wheels). You will need to add the Ramp Test – the car should drive to the top of the ramp. Students may need to add additional weight to their cars. - Have students construct a cart that their car can pull. Have this cart pull something (books, blocks, LEGO people, LEGO trash/brush/bricks). - ADVANCED: Have students build a car that pulls a car up a ramp. Modifications: - Make rules about where the designs can be tested. - Have a chart for who has completed what tests. http://sites.tufts.edu/stompactivitydatabase/files/formidable/car1.jpg http://sites.tufts.edu/stompactivitydatabase/files/formidable/car2.jpg http://sites.tufts.edu/stompactivitydatabase/files/formidable/car3.pdf

Switch to our mobile site