The Engineering Design Challenge:
Help! Rapunzel is stuck in the castle and doesn’t have a way to get out. Modifying the crane build, help her get out of the castle safely.
Build a device that will help Rapunzel:
- Get down from a tower (3 stacked LEGO kits)
- Remain in the device without falling out
- LEGO WeDo/Resource Kits
- Rapunzel book
- LEGO design planning sheet
- Rapunzel (small LEGO person-use LEGO pieces for this)
Students will go through the entire process of modifying a crane for Rapunzel to safely escape the castle from planning a solution, to building a solution, testing a solution, and reporting about a solution. They will also practice working with partners.
This lesson can be integrated with literacy, through the story of Rapunzel, or another fairytale. Writing can be integrated throughout the lesson as students plan, describe, improve and modify their design. At the end of this lesson, students can creatively write a new ending to the original story of Rapunzel describing how she escaped the castle using their build.
The objective of this activity is to work with a partner to design, test and revise a structure that can safely remove Rapunzel from her castle. Once you have finished reading the book to students, pose the challenge to students that they will be modifying their crane build to retrieve Rapunzel from the castle. Let them know that for this challenge, their crane must need to reach the top of the tower and Rapunzel must stay in their build until safely back on the ground. Once you have given students the challenge, let them plan their design using the attached planning sheet. Make sure that students are discussing what would work when they are building their structure and why they are using the design they have chosen. Students should be given ample time to build, and encouraged to test whenever they like, so that they may redesign and test again. After everyone has successfully completed a crane, have the students share with the class, or through writing.