Using LEGOs to Learn About Pulleys

Similar to learning about levers with LEGOs we also talked about pulleys using LEGOs.  For the pulleys we used wheels without the rubber tire part on them.

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The setup was similar to what I did with levers.  We discussed the definition and parts of a pulley.  I then had them create the pulleys.  Sadly I didn’t get as many pictures because I was busy helping/holding the pulley creations.

I am surprised just how well the whole LEGO simple machine lessons have gone over and how much the boys have retained from these two lessons.  I figured it would be a hit, but it has exceeded my expectations.


Using LEGOs to Build Levers

We love some LEGOs around here.  They are played with every day.  Thus when it was time to talk about levers as part of simple machines for science, I knew we had to use LEGOs. 

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I started the lesson by giving the boys the definition of levers and talking about the three parts of a lever.  I was surprised how easily they understood the difference between the effort and the load and how they act on the lever.  Next, I introduced each type of lever and drew an example for them on a whiteboard.  I then asked the them to create an example of the lever out of LEGOs.

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Thing 1 was able to create each lever, a much better lever than I did, in less time.

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After each type of lever was built I had the boys draw an example on a simple worksheet I created to further reinforce the concept.  At this time we also talked about real life example of each type of lever.  Thing 1 blew me away with the examples he came up with there were some I didn’t even think about.  For example, he realized that the act of him throwing a ball in a windmill fashion was similar to a third class lever.

How have you used LEGOs in your school?