Engineering Activities and Lessons
By Andy Darnley
Engineering uses math and science to solve problems in our world. Engineering is required to create a technologically advanced world and the people who do that are called engineers. An engineers job is to take a look at how things work and find new uses for inventions and scientific discoveries. Engineering requires an interest in wanting to know how and why things work and using that interest to come up with practical applications for that curiosity.
Anybody can start learning about engineering at any age! You don’t have to spend years studying math and science to get started, there are plenty of games and activities on the Internet to jump start your creativity and interest in the topic at any age! You’ve probably learned a little bit about some of the simple machines in school or have seen engineering at work in your life around you because many machines can be broken down into smaller and more manageable parts. Those bite size parts make it easier to understand and they can be put together to form something bigger and more complex.
Most engineering activities start with simple machines. Simple machines are basic mechanical devices that apply a force in order to work. Those simple machines have none (or very few) moving parts, but they still make up most complex machines. Simple machines include things like levers, wheel and axles, pulleys, inclined planes, wedges, and screws.
There are plenty of other activities outside of simple machines too. Things like motors, gears, and hydraulics can also be used to help create more complicated projects. Those may seem like they are much harder to understand than the simple machines, but they can easily be broken down into easy to see parts that are fun to learn about and build up. The process involves deciding what you want to create and them designing something that will help you achieve your goals.
The best way to learn about these different topics in engineering is by trying hands on activities for yourself. Reading about these topics can be fun, but the best way to figure out how it all works is by trying different things at home or at school. It might be hard to get started, but once you practice and put what you’ve learned into action, it can be so rewarding!
- Hydraulic Battle Activities
- How Hydraulic Machines Work
- Hydraulic Arm Challenge
- Jack It Up! Lift a Load Using Hydraulics
- Sparked Innovations – Hydraulics Curriculum and Activities
- Traditional Hydraulic Elevator
- Pulleys – Simple Machines for Kids
- Simple Machine Challenge
- Everyday Learning: What is a Pulley?
- Simple Machines Explorations: Pulleys
- Gadget Anatomy Activity
Motors and Gears
- Gears: Simple and Powered Machines
- Gear Games for Preschoolers
- How Gears Work and Which Machines Have Them
- Learn About Gears
- Using Mouse Trap Game to Explore Force and Energy
- Mechanical Engineering Science Projects
- Mechanical Engineering for Kids
Other Engineering Activities
- Simple Machines Activities
- BrainPop Simple Machines Game
- Engineering Games and Puzzles
- Force and Motion Experiments and Activities
- Design Squad Engineering Activities
- Simple Machines Game
- NASA Simple Machine Activities