10 Fun LEGO Science Activities

LEGO and science are a natural pair. Many LEGO sets over the years have incorporated science and STEM, from this NASA Mars Rover set, to the LEGO Mindstorms robotics series, to the upcoming female scientist sets, which celebrate women in science and aim to encourage young girls’ interest in STEM fields.

But there are many other great ways to use LEGO to explore a variety of scientific topics, including biology, physics, engineering, and more. Here are ten of our favorite LEGO science activities.

1. Science through LEGO engineering

The LEGO Mindstorms series of building sets are a great way to introduce kids to robotics and programming. A project of Tufts University, LEGO Education, and others, LEGO Engineering offers detailed lesson plans for learning about science with Mindstorms. This page includes links to download free lesson plans for studying the science of sound, animals, properties of materials, and simple machines.

LEGO Engineering projects free lesson plans - 10 Fun LEGO Science Activitiesvia LEGO Engineering

2. Build a rocket car

Build a LEGO car that’s powered with a chemical reaction. This simple LEGO science activity uses just LEGO bricks, a film canister, and Alka Seltzer tablets. The link includes building directions, as well as discussion questions to ask, and data to gather and analyze.

Build LEGO rocket-cars powered by Alka Seltzer - 10 Fun LEGO Science Activitiesvia Marshall.edu

3. Engineer a skyscraper

Have you ever wondered why tall skyscrapers don’t fall during earthquakes? Engineers test their designs carefully to be sure they can withstand forces, including the shaking caused by an earthquake. One way to do this is with a shake table, which mimics an earthquake’s shaking. With a few common materials, students can build their own shake tables and use it to test a LEGO tower’s stability. Challenge students to see how high a tower they can build that will pass the shake test.

Build a skyscraper that can withstand an earthquake - 10 Fun LEGO Science Activitiesvia Science Buddies

4. Discover how soil affects the stability of buildings

Like the activity above, this experiment also uses a shake table to simulate an earthquake. However, while the previous experiment focused on a building’s height, this project explores how building on different types of surfaces—clay, gravel, sand, soil—will affect a structure’s stability.

Exploring Where to Build in Earthquake Country: A Study of Liquefaction - 10 Fun LEGO Science Activitiesvia Education.com

5. Build an air-powered LEGO car

Build a car powered by a balloon and experience Newton’s second law of motion in this activity. The link provides detailed directions and information about the science behind the lesson. Kids can experiment with different car shapes and designs and race to see who’s car works best. You could even try a race between your balloon-powered car and the chemical reaction car above. Which is faster?

Build a balloon-powered LEGO car - 10 Fun LEGO Science Activitiesvia Science with Kids

6. Learn how archaeologists work to uncover fossils

This would be a fun activity for a hot summer day. Freeze a LEGO man,  then have kids pretend to be an archaeologist. What’s the best way to excavate the LEGO man? Kids can try different methods, like digging with a toothpick, adding salt to make the ice melt, or using water. Encourage them to think like a scientist as they work to solve the problem.

Lego Science Excavation Experiment - 10 Fun LEGO Science Activitiesvia Lemon Lime Adventures

7. LEGOs make great cargo for this DIY hydrofoil experiment

Using only a sheet of tinfoil, have kids experiment with creating a hydrofoil that can hold a large amount of weight (in this case, a big pile of LEGO bricks!) What shape will float the longest with the most weight? Young kids will have fun exploring the concepts of sinking and floating in this activity.

A physics project for kids using LEGOs - 10 Fun LEGO Science Activitiesvia Kids Activities Blog

8. Build a LEGO plant cell

This creative student was assigned to build a model of a plant cell, and chose to complete the project with LEGOs. He even created a key using a LEGO modeling program, similar to CAD (Computer Aided Design) software that engineers use.


via MakeItSnappy | DIY.org

9. Use LEGO Digital Designer to learn about the engineering design process

LEGO Digital Designer is a free LEGO modeling program, similar to CAD (Computer Aided Design) software that engineers use.  While CAD is often offered as an elective for high school students, there are benefits for younger kids in exploring design as well. You can use LEGO Digital Designer to introduce students to Computer Aided Design, discuss why engineers use it, and the benefits of CAD over hand drawing. Kids can design their own creations, then build them in real life, or use CAD to solve a hypothetical (or real) problem. Challenge kids to think like an engineer and work through the engineering design process. 

USE LEGO Digital Designer to introduce kids to engineering design - 10 Fun LEGO Science Activitiesvia LEGO.com

10. Engineer a LEGO bridge

Can you build a bridge that will support the weight of a book? How about a stack of books? Read up on how bridges work, then challenge students to build a bridge and test it under objects of different weights to see how strong it is. Try different designs to see what works best. This class created a 20 ft bridge that was strong enough for their principal to walk on!

Engineering a LEGO bridge - 10 Fun LEGO Science Activitiesvia Miss Michelle at MPL

For even more LEGO learning be sure to read our posts on 10 Fun LEGO Math Ideas and 20 Fun Ideas for Learning with LEGOs

How do you use LEGOs to learn? Leave a comment with your ideas below!

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