Brief Description:

Students will build a mini golf course obstacle using LEGO simple machines kits.

Required Background:

  • Students should be familiar with the Lego pieces with which they will be building
  • Recommended Prior Activity: Sturdy Structures: Introduction to Sturdy Shapes

Grades: 4-9+

Time: 2-3 hour

Concepts: sturdy structures, civil engineering, strong shapes, bracing, axle, bushing, peg

Lesson Objectives:

  • To use sturdy building to build an obstacle that can withstand being hit by a ball.
  • To design a moving obstacle.
  • To program the obstacle to move.
  • Use the engineering design process to accomplish the task.


  • Lego Simple Machines kits or NXT kits
  • Extra motors and gears


  1. Have students construct a pathway for the golf ball to travel down.
  2. Have students use a motor to construct an obstacle that the golfer has to pass to get the ball into the hole.
  3. Use sensors to activate or disarm the obstacle.
  4. Place the RCX out of the way of the golf course.
  5. Some ideas for obstacles students can build are:
    1. A claw
    2. A windmill
    3. Revolving doors
    4. Rotating platform
    5. Bat
  6. Program the RCX so that the obstacle reacts as the student wants.
  7. Have all the students put their designs together to complete the golf course.
  8. Test each golf hole with either a miniature ball or a real golf ball.

Extensions and Modifications:

  • Build a putter that will hit the golf ball onto the course.
  • Have a mini-golf competition using the obstacles.
  • ADVANCED: Use trigonometry to find out how to get a hole-in-one for your golf course.



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