Invention, Innovation, Inquiry

Technological Systems

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In this unit, students will explore simple machines and linkage mechanisms. After seeing what these can accomplish, students will be challenged to design a toy that uses both to create movement. Since everyone thinks of toys and games as fun, this is an ideal medium for learning. As students turn their ideas into models, learning occurs. Students will design, build, test and make improvements to their designs.

Learning Goals

Students will:

  • Explain mechanical linkage function and movement.
  • Explain how the Engineering Design Process is used when creating mechanical devices.
  • Recognize that simple machines can be used with linkage mechanisms to create a mechanical system.


All units contain teacher background information, handouts, transparency masters, and a student packet.

Each unit is designed to integrate mathematics and science with technology and take 8 to 10 days.


Acknowledgment and Disclaimer
"This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0095922.""Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation."