Mechanical Engineering

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Mechanical Engineering experiments:

  • Rube Goldberg – Discuss the five simple systems (ramp, pulley, wheel and axle, lever, screw) and kids can either build or watch as a machine is set off
    • Materials Needed: Assorted objects and art supplies, tape and scissors


  • Renewable Packing Peanuts Lab Activity/Egg Drop – Kids can select the type of packing peanut they want to use to engineer a protective casing around the egg and then the egg will be dropped from a certain height to test if it will break
    • Materials Needed: small cardboard boxes, eggs, tap water, measuring spoons, microwave 
    • Materials Provided: 3x16 oz boxes of cornstarch, baking soda, 10oz glycerol, stirring sticks, paper cups, 3ox not lined with wax, ziploc bags, polystyrene packing peanuts 


  • LEGO Boat – Use aluminum foil and straws to build a boat that will have to float in a container of water and then the students will have to place a LEGO structure to see if they boat can handle the mass and distribute the weight without sinking, 
    • Materials Needed – LEGOs, large container, water, aluminum foil, tape, straws


  • Earthquake Simulation – Students will make a building out of toothpicks and marshmallows and place them in jello as the table shakes to simulate an earthquake and see if the building is structurally sound to withstand it
    • Materials Needed: Jello in aluminum pan, toothpicks, small marshmallows (or Styrofoam balls)