So much engineering can happen with cheap popsicle sticks!
This page has all the basic moves you need to get started with popsicle stick activities that teach engineering! The videos below are the most basic moves.
You might also want to see the intermediate and advanced projects! This is a fun rabbit hole to fall into!
TinkerCAD is easy to learn and has powerful tools! I use it to extend this lesson.
Here is how I teach it to my students:
This resource also contains:
Safely Drilling a Popsicle Stick
The video on the right will explain how a 1/8th inch drill bit will make the perfect hole for a standard sized skewer as a pin.
Both skewers and popsicle sticks can be easily cut with a tin snips. Cardboard scissors also work.
The Basic Movements and Configurations
We do extensive brainstorming I before students start this popsicle stick project. If you have a 3d printer available, I recommend having students augment their projects with 3D printed TinkerCAD projects. You can learn how I help students learn how to use TinkerCAD.
Intermediate popsicle stick activities
After students finish their first popsicle stick activity, students can move on to the intermediate popsicle stick activities. These are simple once you have some experience!
Advanced popsicle stick activities
About teaching these popsicle stick activities!
Puzzle Shift Create is all about helping students gain experiences that will help them be more creative, develop a resilient mindset, and engage in their own learning.
General advice for teaching projects in a middle school classroom:
It is difficult to get started doing projects like these. As much as I love fun, fast, and easy projects, I recommend talking to students about how difficult projects become easier and easier as you gain experience. Students are often reluctant to start a second project after their first project was a struggle, so be sure to let them start with a simple first project, have a positive experience, and grow from there. Patience is the key!
These projects are fantastic additions to ‘designer’ projects on this site. Once students realize that their projects can move, the sky is the limit! Be sure to encourage them to take their time and not rush. Students are much more likely to give up or lose interest if they start too fast and do not give their projects the time that they need.
As a teacher, you will get better at teaching these topics as the years go by. Be patient with yourself and model your own learning to your students!