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help with a project

Postby rboettcherjr » Wed Jul 11, 2012 4:49 pm

Hey guys!

I need some help with a project I'm working through. I teach elementary school and for the upcoming year I'll be teaching 3rd grade. A big part of our science unit is electricity and simple machines. I use legos in my classroom for creative play and writing activities, but i wanted to cross it over into other areas to help my teaching.

I'm looking for a few sets or instruction ideas for things to build with my kids. I know of Lego education, but I don't have the thousands to shell out for their robotics systems (currently working on a grant for that). I do know of some old Vikings sets (like the catapult and dual ballista set) that I'll get because they have great mechanics, and I have a train set to help with some of the electricity things. I'm curious if anyone has thoughts to share?

I really appreciate the help guys!
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Re: help with a project

Postby AK_Brickster » Wed Jul 11, 2012 8:53 pm

A brick separator is a simple machine all by itself, isn't it? ;)
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Re: help with a project

Postby andhe » Thu Jul 12, 2012 1:07 pm

How about the Great Ball Contraptions? (think they call them GBC's). Basically a glorified marble run. But using either simple motors, or hand cranking stuff you could teach motion, friction, other -tions I'm sure.
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Re: help with a project

Postby Bruce N H » Fri Jul 13, 2012 4:58 pm

Hey,

Not directly on point, but you might want to check out my blog SciBricks for LEGO science ideas.

More on point, back in the 90's LEGO had several Dacta mechanics sets on things like gears, pulleys, levers etc:

Image

I found a couple of these at a thrift store once and they have some simple contraptions to teach kids about the basics of mechanics. A quick look on Bricklink shows that you could pick up these relatively reasonably. Even better, just get the teachers guide, and then get some loose technic beams and gears etc - I'm sure you could get more bang for your buck that way. If it's for this fall you'll have plenty of time to get something put together.

Bruce
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Re: help with a project

Postby rboettcherjr » Mon Jul 16, 2012 5:08 pm

Bruce N H wrote:Hey,

Not directly on point, but you might want to check out my blog SciBricks for LEGO science ideas.

More on point, back in the 90's LEGO had several Dacta mechanics sets on things like gears, pulleys, levers etc:

Image

I found a couple of these at a thrift store once and they have some simple contraptions to teach kids about the basics of mechanics. A quick look on Bricklink shows that you could pick up these relatively reasonably. Even better, just get the teachers guide, and then get some loose technic beams and gears etc - I'm sure you could get more bang for your buck that way. If it's for this fall you'll have plenty of time to get something put together.

Bruce


Hey Bruce-

Great blog! Your stuff might be a bit over a 3rd grader's head, but it is good to pull bits from. The dacta sets look good too. Thanks for the help!
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Re: help with a project

Postby Bluesecrets » Mon Jul 16, 2012 8:52 pm

~ Brickshelf~Flickr~

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Re: help with a project

Postby Frank_Lloyd_Knight » Tue Jul 31, 2012 4:20 pm

If you haven't already done so, I would suggest reading up on Mark Tilden and the "BEAM" robotics community -- there was a great article about his approach to robotics in the February 2000 Smithsonian magazine. Then just start hoarding any and all technic pieces you can beg, borrow, or steal. An internet search for the words "lego education grants" also brought up a few interesting articles. Good luck.
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