Otisville Elementary Assistant Principal Julia Downey’s January enrichment program, “LEGO Simple Machines” engaged students in investigating and understanding the operation of simple and compound machines found in everyday life using basic LEGO machine parts such as levers, axles, gears and pulleys.
LEGO comes from the Danish phrase “leg godt” which means “play well.” But, there’s also a STEM component to working with LEGO in additional to having fun with the brightly colored pieces.
“Students build different constructions for each machine and do different experiments to learn about it,” she said. “They explore mechanical principles as they learn collaboration and problem-solving skills.”
For example, students needed to find out if the position of the fulcrum on the lever makes a difference with the amount of work required to lift the weight; does the weight of a vehicle affect its speed; and the uses for the different kinds of axles.
“This is a great STEM program,” Mrs. Downey added. “Plus, the kids are always excited to use LEGO.”