Challenge your students to create an object out of building blocks that will slide down a zip line! This is a great STEM challenge for intermediate/middle-level students to begin thinking about the engineering process, and to create scale drawings of their creations. I have used this challenge with my 6th grade engineering students, and it was one of their favorite challenges we completed during the quarter.
The activity includes:
- a lesson plan with a list of possible objectives, required materials, prep work, and insight about the flow of the activity.
- a 9-page student workbook/packet that walks them through each step of the engineering design process. The workbook also includes custom graph paper to help your students complete their scale drawings. The grid is sized to be the same as Lego bricks (or comparable bricks).
Need to purchase building blocks? Here are some recommendations:
- Legos: The original building blocks (and the best in my opinion). The Creative Brick Boxes will work the best, and you can purchase them at different price points. Click here to see Amazon's Lego page. Creative Brick Boxes do come with many specialty pieces, and if you're only buying Legos for this activity, you may want to consider options 2 and 3.
- Lighting Building Blocks: These are essentially generic Legos (they are compatible). For $20 you get 1,000 pieces, although half are the 1x1 bricks:( These are the building blocks I use with my students. Click here to see them on Amazon.
- Play Platoon Building Blocks: These are off-brand Legos (they are compatible). I haven't used these, but they get good reviews on Amazon. $40 for 1100 bricks. Click here to see them on Amazon.