Simple & Powered Machines Set

The Bat

Apply knowledge and skills related to levers, gears, cams, cranks, timing actions, and fair testing.

45-90 min.
Grades 6-8

The Problem

(3-5 Minutes)

Jack, Jill and Zog are at school performing their own play called Ghost of the Bat Cave. Zog doesn’t want to be the bat; he would much rather be a ghost or a dangerous dragon.

Can you help Jack and Jill design a bat for their play?


Design Brief

(3-5 Minutes)

Design and make a motorized bat that:
• can flap its wings
• has eyes
• is easy to hold

  1. Make a sketch of the idea you designed and made.
  2. Label the three most important parts, explaining how they work.
  3. Suggest three improvements.

Suggested Model Solution

(20-25 minutes)

Note: You are advised not to share this image with students.


Fair testing and Fun

(15-20 Minutes)

How wide is the bat’s wingspan?
Measure with a ruler. The wider, the better.

How many times per 15 seconds does the bat flap its wings?
The more flaps per 15 seconds, the better.

Can the bat flap at different intervals?
Have the children show how this is done if possible?

Need Help

Look at:

The Walker


Extra Challenges

(25-30 Minutes)

Add another movement to the bat – it could be eye or ear movement.

Decorate the bat to make it look as realistic as possible.

Teacher Support

Students will be able to apply the knowledge and skills of:
Levers and gears
Cams, cranks and timing actions
Applying principles of fair testing and product reliability

9686 Simple & Powered Machines Set (two students per set recommended)
A ruler
Stopwatch or timer
Decorative materials: wool, foil, card, paper, etc.
Sticky tape

Crosscutting Concepts

Science and Engineering Practices
Asking questions and Defining Problems
Developing and using models
Planning and carrying out investigations
Analyzing and interpreting data
Using mathematics, Informational and Computer
Technology, and computational thinking
Constructing explanations and designing solutions
Engaging in argument from evidence
Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information

Common Core Mathematics Standards
7.RP.A / 6.NS.B / 6.EE.C / 7.EE.B / 8.EE.B / 8.F.B / 6.SP.A

Common Core English Language Arts
SL 6.1 / 6.2 / 7.1 / 7.4 / 8.1
RST 6-8.3 / 6-8.4 / 6-8.7
WHST 6-8.1 / 6-8.7 / 6-8.8 / 6-8.9

Student Material

Student Worksheet

Download to view and share the student worksheet.

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