Session 7- The Parallel Universe of Levers and Linkage Systems

Session 7- Linking Levers for Lunar Work!

Last week in Lego Engineering, we learned about Levers and how the help make work easier.

The root of Lever is Lev– which comes from Latin and means?

To lighten or make weigh less. Name some other words that use Lev

What Harry Potter Spell is being casted?

Every Lever has an ELF – Effort, Load and Fulcrum. Identify the parts of ELF on this Lever.

We experimented on how to balance a heavy load and found that if you increase the distance from the fulcrum you can balance a heavier load. 

You also can change where the fulcrum is for the arm or you can make a longer arm too.

We built Catapults that use a rubber band to changed potential energy of the rubber band to kinetic.

Identify the ELF of the catapults.

Now to the New Stuff!

We can connect Levers in Parallel to extend the reach of a Lever. 

 See how the Two Blue lines are the same distance apart the whole length of the bean, that’s an example ofParallel.

Para -comes from Greek and Latin roots and means to be beside and

allēlōn means “one another”

Putting those together, we get beside one another!

Parallel means side by side and having the same distance continuously between them.

“Parallel lines never meet”

Think of them as train tracks that can go on forever

Here are some very interesting facts about Parallel lines and how we can use them to figure out angles.

Linking Levers

Many kinds of machines use Levers that are connected to change the motion on movement, this called a linkage system.

For example, look at this Rock Hauler.  It uses 4 beams that are connected to the Levers to help lift rocks.

Identify the Lever and Link arms.


Let’s start our first build with Parallel Levers:

Have everyone find two long technic beams that are the same Length (11, 13 or 15 long)

Then use the 4 non-friction pegs (grey) to connect them to two L beams (Small or Large L)

Move the Levers and see how they effect each other. See how they make the same motion.

Now, in teams, build the a linked Lever, similar to the Rock Hauler. Remember the beams do not have to be the same color…..The pegs should be the color mentioned.

We will continue the rock hauler at the end if time!

Changing Gears

So, one factor that makes work harder on Earth is gravity.  How much Gravity is going to be on Mars or other planets that we might explore?

Now that we know how much gravity we need to work against.  Let’s build a Linkage system!

See in this models how when we push the blue bar in, the system goes up, transforming the motion from horizontal to vertical.

Build a Linkage system!

Parents and helpers can bring up the plans on their phone for each group to build at their own pace.

You will need the grey “non” friction pegs to make this one work!

Take Pictures and Present your creations!

If time, teams can complete the Rock Hauler too!

Leave a Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *