Beginner Engineer: Small Motor Projects

Step 1) Materials you’ll need

  • 3 volt or 6 volt battery holder
  • Hobby motor, single or double output
  • Switch
  • Electrical tape
  • Materials for the body of your project
  • Pencil and paper to brainstorm on 

I have been buying these supplies in bulk so my students can all have access. Teachers can purchase sets for their classrooms and share in the bulk prices. 


Step Two: Spend time brainstorming

This is the most important step – do not skip it! Innovative Arts students use the random idea generator (instructions here) to generate possible ideas. The full course on creativity can be found here.    

Ideas to customize this project – make yours unique

  • Don’t just make a car! The motor can set up sideways, facing down, or vertical. 
  • Wheels do not HAVE to be round
  • The motor can pull on a string 
  •  You can make something move up and down using a motor like this
  • Not all cars have four wheels (that are the same size)


Step Three: Start Assembly


Adjust after your first attempts

As you build, you will probably think of improvements to make or ways to make your project better. You may even decide to start over with a better idea. Most projects need several changes before they are finished!

Useful links for teachers:

This site holds the resources for Innovative Arts class, a class that replaced our technology class in our middle school. Students learn to create as engineers, designers, and more. At the same time, we are learning about our brains/mindsets (‘Puzzle‘), engage technology (‘Shift‘) and the creative process (‘Create‘).

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