Shoe Box Machines

Second grade has spent a majority of this year investigating how simple machines work. For this project students learned how to create their own shoe box automata. This lesson gave many students the opportunity to showcase some of their own individual talents, skills, and interests all while giving depth of knowledge and mastery into how simple machines work.



The Process

We began the investigation by looking into how car works to transfer power from one direction to another. Students previewed videos and looked at how others had completed this task before. We then dived into the guts of how to turn a simple small cardboard show box into a machine of their own design.

So many of the students ended up adding their own flair into their project by giving it a spin all their own. Some added animals, cartoon characters, ballerinas, rockets and sports figures. This project was a huge success for both the class and the students as it all came together perfectly. The students could hardly wait to get to class to get working on their machines.


Resources for this lesson:
Cardboard Automata Instructions
Machine Design Instructions
Video 1, Video 2, Video 3