Design Challenges and Suggested Materials
- Design a gripping device at the end of a rope that will automatically lock onto a load when it is lifted, but will automatically release when the load reaches its destination.
- Design a machine to push away the scaling ladders of invaders trying to get inside a castle without exposing the castle dwellers to danger.
- Design a machine that allows a person to make giant wings flap by pedaling with his/her feet.
- Design a machine that pours standard amounts of cereal and milk into a bowl. (The group will need to decide what these amounts should be.)
- Design a machine to trap squirrels who visit a bird feeder and release them safely on the other side of a wall.
- Design a machine to automate the process of squeezing toothpaste onto a toothbrush.
Be Inventive! Suggested Materials for Models:
- Masking tape
- Plastic straws
- Dowels or pencils
- Rubber bands
- Brass fasteners
- Pulleys or spools to make them from
- Pipe cleaners
- Small pieces of wood or craft sticks
- A variety of boxes for supports and containers
Students may find gears, pulleys, and other machine elements in toys such as Legos®, K’NEX®, and Tinker Toys®