Simple & Powered Machines Set

Make a Security Gadget

Invent a Security Gadget that can protect your belongings by warning you!

45-90 min.
Years 7-9 or Key Stage 3

1. Introduction/Discussion

Hand out the Student Worksheets and allow the pupils to interpret the activity for themselves, or read the Maker “Connect” text aloud to set the scene.

2. Defining the Problem

As the pupils look at the ‘Connect’ images and questions, facilitate a discussion to steer them towards a problem or a new design opportunity. Once they have decided upon a problem to solve, ensure that they record this in some way. They can use the worksheet to help structure their project documentation or use their own preferred method to record their design journey.

3. Brainstorm

The pupils should initially work independently, spending three minutes to generate as many ideas as they can to solve the problem. They can use the bricks from the LEGO® set during the brainstorming process or sketch out their ideas in the space provided on the worksheet.

It is important for the pupils to spend time tinkering with the LEGO® bricks in order to generate ideas. The goal of tinkering is to explore as many solutions as possible. You can use the tinkering examples that are provided at the end of this material for inspiration or as a means for getting started.

The pupils can now take turns sharing their ideas within their groups. Once all of the ideas have been shared, each group should select the best idea(s) to make. Be prepared to help facilitate this process, ensuring that the pupils choose an idea that is possible to make. Encourage diversity, not all groups have to make the same thing.

Tinkering Examples

Some pupils may need a little inspiration and scaffolding to help them to get started. The pupils can remix an existing model or invent a new design.
Note: You are advised not to share these images with your pupils.



4. Define the Design Criteria

The pupils should record up to three design criteria on their worksheets. They will refer to this again as they review and revise their solutions.

5. Go Make

Now the pupils will make one of their group’s ideas using the LEGO® MINDSTORMS® Education EV3 Core Set and other materials as needed.

Reinforce the idea that the pupils do not have to come up with the whole solution from the start.

During the making process, remind the pupils to test and analyse their ideas as they go, making improvements where necessary. If you would like the pupils to submit their documentation at the end of the lesson, ensure that they use sketches and photos of their models to record their design journey during the making stage of the lesson.

6. Review and Revise Your Solution

The pupils will test and evaluate their designs against the design criteria that theyrecorded before they started making their solutions. They can record notes on their Student Worksheets.

7. Communicate Your Solution

Allow time for each pupil or group of pupils to present their solution to the class. A good way to do this is to set out a table that is large enough to display all of the models. If you are short of time, pair off the groups and have them present to each other.

8. Assessment

The pupils will use the Student Worksheet assessment rubric to evaluate their design work according to the learning goals. Each rubric includes four levels: Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum. The intention of the rubric is to help the pupils to reflect on what they have done well in relation to the learning goals and what they could have done better. Each rubric can be linked to engineering-related learning goals.

9. Tidy Up

Ensure that you leave approximately 10-15 minutes at the end of the lesson to break down the models and sort them back into the LEGO® boxes.

Teacher Support

After completing this lesson, the pupils will have:
• Used and understood the design process
• Defined a clear design need
• Developed their ability to iterate and improve design solutions
• Developed their problem-solving and communication skills

LEGO® MINDSTORMS Education EV3 Core Set
LEGO® MINDSTORMS Education EV3 Lab or EV3 Programming

Some additional materials could be:
Rubber bands
Pipe cleaners
Thin cardboard
Construction paper
Thin wire
Thin plastic sheets
Recycled materials

Pupil Material

Student Worksheet

Download to view and share the student worksheet.

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