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Curiosity Machine: Challenges


found in: science; 3-5; 6-8

Curiosity Machine is a collection of science and technology activities in robotics, biomechanics, materials science, and more. Curiosity Machine’s About  provides a video introduction and specific information about free challenges and individual and district membership levels for access to its 80 + design projects. Six of the challenges are Free Challenges.  Units include brief videos that show one approach to meet the challenge. Users must register for free for access to the free challenges.

For example, Build a Robotic Face offers two mini-units, grades 3-5 and 6-8, that have students use simple machines to create facial expressions. Each mini-unit guide takes students through design process: drawing, build, test, redesign A list of suggested materials is provided.. Students upload designs and document steps with words, drawings, and video for each step along the way and receive feedback. At the end, students reflect on the process and consider how they could improve their designs.

Other design challenges include Build a No Wire Circuit (grades 3-5 and 6-8) that uses no wires but at least three different conductors; Construct a Crane (grades 3-5 and 6-8) that uses simple machines and mechanical advantage to move heavy objects; Build a Robotic Arm (can be modified for grade level) that can move a marble, a straw, and a washer from a table into a cup without using hands; Engineer an Air-Powered Spinning Machine (grades 3-5 and 6-8) inspired by a Boeing spacecraft; and Build a Mighty Machine (grades 3-5 and 6-8) that can jump up, sideways, or flip over.

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