Machines with a Purpose
In this lesson children will design machines or vehicles to solve problems,and build a model to demonstrate how tools help people
to solve problems and accomplish tasks
Tell children about a group of construction workers who are trying to build a brand-new tunnel to connect two cities located on opposite sides of a mountain.
Hold up a couple of LEGO® DUPLO® figures.
- Ask the children to identify types of vehicles and machines that might help the workers with their tasks (e.g., a drilling machine to carve into the mountain or a cement truck to mix the
asphalt for the new road).
Ask the children to build a machine or vehicle to help the workers build the tunnel.
Explain that they may use the building cards for inspiration, or design their own machine or vehicle.
Help the children as needed to attach some of the more difficult parts.
Once the children have finished building, ask each child to share their machine or vehicle with
the group, describing its features and demonstrating how it would help with the tunnel project.
Facilitate a discussion about the children’s models by asking them to describe the part of the project their machine or vehicle helped with.
Tell the children that machines often have to work together or in a sequence (e.g., one machine makes the tunnel, another clears away debris).
Ask the children to demonstrate how each of their models helps on the tunnel project.
Explain that sometimes machines need to be multi-functional, meaning they can perform multiple tasks (e.g., a digger can dig up the soil and pat it down with the back of its scooper).
Tell the children that it is even possible to invent imaginative multi-functional machines like one that flies and scoops!
Ask the children to build a machine that performs two functions, tell them that they can choose whichever functions they would like.
Once the children have finished building, ask each child to share their new invention with the group.
Did you notice?
Observing the following skills can help you monitor whether the children are developing the necessary competencies:
- Science - Using strategy and planning to solve problems
- Engineering - Building physical models and illustrating how they function
- Engineering - Understanding and demonstrating how tools or machines help people to solve problems and accomplish tasks