Iteration and efficiency

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Efficiency is important in engineering, not only in materials but also time, money and energy. It is important for a young engineer to learn the value of an efficient product. Anyone can build a bridge with as many pieces they desire, but can you do it with fewer and fewer? Challenge: Build a bridge that […]

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How to build and safely use a bridge tester

Bridge

Because I described how my students and I used a bridge tester to prepare for scaling up our walking machine in my TrotBot post, I thought I should describe how to use a bridge tester safely, and how I built mine. Overview There are probably better, or simpler bridge testing methods for LEGO bridges than […]

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Sturdy car: The drop test

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Design and construct a car that remains intact when dropped from ankle to mid-shin height onto the floor. Vary the drop height to make the activity more or less challenging.      Hint: The car doesn’t necessarily have to include the EV3, NXT or RCX brick (and saving the brick from a hard knock might […]

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Strongest shape

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Investigate different shapes in order to determine which shape is strongest. With results from your investigation, design and construct a number of roofs to be placed on a previously built house. Then test the structures by pushing on the top of the roof. Note: The lesson plan attached to this post was designed as part […]

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Sturdy tower

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The idea of this challenge is to build a structure capable of supporting a textbook. The structure must be at least as high as one hand width, although changing the height restriction can make the task more or less challenging. How would you design and construct a tower (approx. 10-15 centimetres high) with LEGO bricks […]

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NXT Constructopedia

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The NXT Constructopedia Beta 2.1 (PDF) is a set of building hints for the NXT Education Base Set (9797). It contains smaller hints and a few larger models. Its aim is to provide users with inspiration to build their own advanced creations. Contents include: Simple shapes and structures Square Reversing trick Cube Arch Beams Triangles Ways […]

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How can we build a sturdy wall?

An example sturdy wall

Students will investigate the properties of sturdy structures by constructing a LEGO wall. The wall must be about 6 bricks high and withstand the “Flick Test”. The Flick Test involves flicking the top of the wall to see if it fails or tips over. Lesson features: Predicting structurally sound building practices. Class discussion of different […]

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