We just completed our final session of this month’s LEGO WeDo Robotics workshop with kids in grades 4-5. This was a jam-packed session!
Remember the spinning tops that some of us made last week? This week, we watched a video of an astronaut using the exact same LEGO machine on the International Space Station. We discussed how gravity and friction affected our spinning tops, and we saw how those factors affected it (or didn’t!) in microgravity.
If you’re interested, the video’s available to view on YouTube. It’s a little long, so we only watched the beginning of it together.
Then we talked about levers, how the placement of the fulcrum affects effort and resistance, and how cams work to move things. Kids created a drumming monkey that utilized levers and cams. We also made sure to leave time for the kids to try other projects or their own ideas if they wanted.
Check out some photos!
This monkey is playing the drums! We explored how the placement of the cams and the fulcrum of the levers affected the rhythm of the drumbeat.
It turns out that the monkey head is just decoration and doesn’t make a difference in the machine’s function. When pressed for time, one student came up with a quicker solution.
Watch out! This alligator chomps when it detects motion in its mouth!
One student came up with his own idea for a machine and created his own program to make it move. No instructions needed, just creativity and ingenuity! We even got a video of this one!