At Wednesday’s LEGO WeDo Robotics workshop, our fourth- and fifth-graders made tops and machines to make them spin using gears. We began the class by learning a little about how gears work. As the kids were experimenting with their spinners, they explored how the size of the gears in their machines changed the speed of the spinning top.
After we made our spinners and tops, we watched a video of an astronaut working with the very same spinner on the International Space Station. We discussed how our tops are affected by gravity and friction, so they behaved differently here on earth than hers did in microgravity.
You can check out the video yourself on YouTube. It’s pretty long, so we only watched from about 1:45 to 5:00.
It's a pretty crowded room, but we managed to fit everyone on tables this week.
Getting started building the spinner.
Our first completed spinner and top of the day!
Testing out a programming idea.
Discussing programming ideas with friends.
Spinning the top in the air! (It didn't work the same here as it did in space.)
How long will this top spin?