Experiments in Engineering: Visionary Vehicles*


Tween builders will use LEGO construction components in this hands-on engineering class. Each week, students will build a different project from the LEGO Education 9686 curriculum which will introduce concepts in simple machines, complex machines, mechanical engineering, or structural engineering. Using the engineering design process, students will build a basic mechanism, test it, gather data, and then modify their design to improve performance. Students will learn to take measurements such as distance traveled, use a stopwatch, record and graph their findings on paper. This approach introduces applied physics concepts in a subtle way, encouraging observation of physical phenomena such as forces and relationships without being bogged down by equations. Students will work with ordinary LEGO bricks, beams, and plates along with specialized components such as gears, toothed elements, wheels and axles, pulleys, and motors.

Second semester projects focus on motorized vehicles with more iterations of testing, modifying, and retesting a powered car, a dragsters, a space walker, and the complete design-build of a lifter that can hoist more than 50 grams higher than 20 cm.

There is a $20.00 supply fee due payable to the instructor on the first day for a lab notebook.

Topics in this series include Advanced Apparatus (Semester 1) and Visionary Vehicles (Semester 2). There is a $50.00 supply and equipment fee due payable to the instructor on the first day of class.

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Please contact us if you would like to know if spaces are still available.