Simple Machines


Today new built Lego simple machines. Ours was a tyre knocking a pole which pushed up a sign and then pushed a ball. It took a while to place all the pieces in the right spots. Finally after a lot of testing and adjusting we lined up the parts to achieve the end result.


Today Our task was to create a working machine using Knex. From the Knex instruction book we chose the paddle boat. We didn’t have to design the boat. We just had to follow the instructions in the book.

We had to look closely at the drawings in the book to make the boat. There were about 4 drawings and we had to look closely at each one. We got the main part of the boat done. This was the hull. We also got the cabin for the captain made.

There were two paddle wheels. One paddle wheel for each side of the boat. We ran out of time to get the paddle wheels made.



Today We had to make pulleys that worked. We were given the parts to make the pulleys. There were cotton reels, string, wire and cups and containers. The pulley had to move marbles up and down. We pulled on the string which made the cotton reel spin on the wire.

The reel was like a car wheel. The wire was like an axle and the string was like the drive shaft makes the wheels on a car go round.

We got all three pulleys to work. All three were different. The first was a basic pulley. The second one had two pulleys. The third one had two pulleys and each pulley had two cotton reels on it. All three pulleys moved marbles in containers.


Session 4

Today the aim was to finish off the simple machines we had made and to join them together. We were able to get our machines finished but we didn’t have time to join them together.

Our machines were a Lego machine that was a tyre that hit a pole which hit another pole that spun around and made a sign knock a ball which rolled down a hill. Our paddle boat and pulleys also worked.



session 1

Today we explored robots and what they are used for. It made me wonder:

Session 2

Today we built lego mindstorms robots. They have a brick base and my group built the basic robot using this base and lego technic pieces and following set instructions.

Session 3

Today in design we drew diagrams of our robots. They showed all the different parts of the robot. We also completed building the robots and checked that they were assembled correctly.

Session 4

Today we drew our robot from  a bird’s eye view. This was a new angle. Our first angle was a side view. We also have front and rear views but we didn’t have to draw them.robotics session 4-1kmr9uj


Session 5

We listed and wrote what we thought were all the robot parts. We had a written list of about 7-10 separate parts, after that we started] programming.  We each made small programs on our computers and them we downloaded the programs on to the robot. We explored the different things that made up a program. My program I wrote made the robot go forward, then turn around and come back to a slightly different spot.

Backwards and Forwards Challenge

Our group was given a challenge, the same challenge that was given to all the groups in the class. The challenge was to see if we make our robot move forwards and backwards. To do this we needed to write a program for the robot to follow.

As a group we experimented on what would work and what wouldn’t then we shared our ideas. We combined the best parts of the group ideas to come up with a program. We then wrote the program and downloaded it to the robot. When we put the program into action we watched the robot to see if it would do the right thing and we filmed it.

Baseball Diamond Challenge

Our challenge was to program our robot so that it would follow a baseball diamond pattern course which we had put together by laying out four rulers in the baseball diamond shape.

Colour Sensor Challenge

Today we were given the task to create a colour sensor and use the colour sensor so that it would stop at different coloured pieces of paper that were placed on a table. Our colour sometimes did this successfully, sometimes it did not. There were different challenges for the colour sensor using the coloured pages.

Touch sensor challenge


Rube Goldberg

‘Session 1

On the 21st of April we designed a Rube Goldberg machine. A Rube Goldberg machine is a complex machine that does a simple task.

My group wanted to create a machine that could put a piece of paper in the re-cycle bin. We found the task tricky because there weren’t enough materials to use. We also thought we didn’t have enough time on the design stage.

Our design could have been improved with more time.


Session 2

Today in design we designed a Rube Goldberg machine. The aim of our Rube Goldberg machine is to turn a page in a book. Our machine users golf balls, string, incline planes, cups, a fan  and a pulley.

Session 3

In this session we finished the design in grey lead pencil on an A3 sheet of paper. We drew the machine as if it was finished. The design was created by the group but each group member did their own drawing of the machine. Each person had slightly different details in their drawing.

We also wrote down the aim of the design. The group agreed upon the main and we all wrote the same thing.


Session 4

In this session first we drew the materials of the machine and finished off the design drawing.  The finished drawing was in fine line ink which we traced over the grey lead then we rubbed out the grey lead. The aim was written in fine line too and we also had headings on each group members sheet.


Session 5

Today we had our designs approved by the teachers. Each group had to have their own design approved. All our designs were approved. The teacher thought we had a good idea and we had photos taken of our design so that a slide show could be made.

We had brought in marbles, a golf ball, plastic cups, string and blocks of wood. These were the materials that we had brought in. I will be bringing in extra materials, a box and toilet rolls. The box will hold everything together and the toilet rolls will be the incline plane.


Session 6

Today in design my group and I built a pulley. We used string, cups and wire to create the pulley which successfully moved the cups from one end to the other along the string. The pulley is a simple machine for moving things from one point to another.

Our group also built a working see saw using Lego pieces. The see saw has an axle as its centrepiece.

Session 7

The group worked on different things. I made a fan, another simple machine, which used cogs and gears to move air around. I used Kenx pieces to build the fan, which was powered by pushing it with your finger. The fan had five blades and stood about 20cms tall.

Session 8

I completed building the fan. I did some experiments using a marble then the page of a book. The marble dropping onto one of the blades turned the fan and moved the marble.

The fan also progressed from being a machine that only moved air to a machine that could turn the pages of a book and close a book. When pages were placed on blades of the fan and the fun was spun, the fan was able to make the pages turn.

Session 9

We pulled the see saw apart. We then set the pulley up with the fan. We made a marble roll down an incline plane or ramp until it landed in the cup which them travelled along the string until it hit a fan blade. The fan then moved and caused the book to close because a page was sitting on a fan blade on the opposite side of the fan to where the cup connected.

Session 10

The aim was to make the pulley and fan combination work more reliably. We did this by adding side barriers which guided the marble as it moved along the ramp. These worked well and kept the marble on the ramp. This meant the marble landed in the cup more predictably and reliably. We decided that the side barriers worked effectively.

We also added a tube that was connected to the cup. This meant a bigger marble could roll down the incline plane and strike a smaller marble. The smaller marble would roll into the tube – which was made from a toilet paper roll – before landing in the cup, turning the fan and closing the page.

Session 11

We had to make our Rube Golberg machine work successfully at least eight out of every ten times. At the start our machine was working about one of every ten times. We were able to improve this so that the machine worked about six times out of ten.  There were people there taking photos and videos of the Rube Golberg machines.

Session 12

Will Xav And Nick-umjsky