Who remembers our famous Zip-line Racing activity? Well we've brought it back with an Easter twist! Join us as we compete to see who can safely transport some precious cargo (a raw egg) down the Zipline.
This S.T.E.A.M activity explores the relationship between angles, tension, and gravity! It’s geared to an older audience, but you can always enlist older siblings to team up with your younger babes to help them participate as well!
As your munchkins build and experiment with their LEGO® zip-lines utilize their experiences to discuss questions that stimulate critical thinking and problem solving, highlight lessons learned, and work together to make adjustments as needed to their zip-line contraptions to create one that balances speed but doesn't end in a broken egg!
- LEGO® bulk pieces.
- Parachute cord, string, shoe lace, etc.
- An egg
- Some kind of towel or drop cloth to keep the mess contained if you're not out doors ;)
- Stop Watch
- Scrap paper and a pen or pencil
- A wild imagination!
- Grab all your supplies and choose a designated area to learn & play!
- Signal the kiddos to join you and you're ready to start- it's that easy!
After explaining your objective (Safely transporting your egg from Point A to Point B), set a bin of LEGO® pieces out along with the other materials mentioned and let your kiddos get to work! Play alongside them and facilitate conversations about their building. For example:
- Why they have chosen the pieces they have
- What kind of structure they are designing and why
- How they think those things will influence their eggs speed, impact, etc.
Once their builds are finished, test runs begin!!! Set up the cord or string and tie one end to Point A and one end to Point B. Place your drop cloth (a.k.a mess catcher) beneath your zipline and let their creations soar! Record how long it takes each kiddos creation to make their route and add comments regarding the safety of completeness of their passenger ;)
Consider using some of the questions listed below to spark conversation and critical thinking when evaluating the test runs then make adjustments and try again! Most of all, have fun!!! Our "Consider this" section also discusses ways to extend this activity or adapt it to different learning levels!
- Completing a K.W.L "Know, Want to Know, and Learn" chart prior to beginning your activity about gravity, weight, or velocity. For a younger audience simplify this by having them write down their guesses to how their LEGO® design with affect the impact of their eggs safe arrival.
- Discussing and defining new and applicable terms as appropriate for their learning level! Examples of terms you may want to cover:
- The scientific method
- Using any of the following questions to test hypotheses', record observations, and improve your designs:
- What allows your egg to travel faster down the zip line?
- Is a steep slope for our zipline better for speed?
- What happens to your egg when he/she gets to the end?
- What changes can you make to your zip-line design to ensure the safety of the egg from beginning till end?
- What changes can you make to your build to balance the need for speed and a safe impact when transferring your egg?
For those who would like to avoid the mess all together consider hard-boiling your eggs prior to beginning this activity! Keep in mind it will make it harder to see just how much damage is done upon impact each time your babe trial runs their LEGO® traveling contraption, but the cracked shell will eventually spill the beans! Speaking from personal experience, we happen to really like the effect of a smashing raw egg! It adds a little more excitement to our experiment! But either way, your kids will be thanking you for involving LEGO® play in their learning!
We can't wait to see everything that you do with this activity! Share your experiences on social media, tag us, and use the hashtag #LEGOsteamwithBAM so we can see all the fun that you had!
And see, even your little ones can enjoy participating!