In the Pull Toy project, students created a pull toy to exhibit during our Annual Pull Toy Parade. The pull toy needed to be designed so that a gear mechanism attached to the wheels would make another part of the pull toy move (such as a wagging tail, flapping wings, or a nodding head). As a TK-8 school, our 8th-grade students’ target audience was the TK-3rd-grade students. During this project, the students had to learn about many different gear mechanisms.
Essential Question: How do you make a toy for elementary students using gear mechanisms to transfer energy?
- A pull toy designed so that a gear mechanism attached to the wheels would make another part of the pull toy move (such as a wagging tail, flapping wings, or a nodding head).
- A “trading card” with information about the pull toy
- A one-page reflection on the process
Key Academic Skills and Content: The “Design Thinking” process; gear mechanisms including gear train with idler, cam and follower, crank and slider, belt drive, worm and wheel, rack and pinion, bevel, and chain drive; expository writing.
Suggested duration: 6 weeks
Created with the support of the California Department of Education California Career Pathways Trust