Build of the Week: littleBits and LEGOs Crane

*Build of the Week is a regularly occurring segment on Renovated Learning where I’ll share some of the awesome stuff my students have been making over the past week.* 

A functional crane created by a 7th grader
A functional crane created by a 7th grader

My kids amaze me every week with the stuff they come up with in our Makerspace.  I’ve converted our video storage room into the Maker Room, and I made our littleBits and other supplies available to my kids there.  For now, I’m restricting access to this area to kids who are in one of our STEAM clubs and are familiar with the tools, but I plan on creating an orientation system to open it up to more students later on.

One tool in the Maker Room is our LEGO Dacta sets.  These are basically the same as the LEGO Technic system I was familiar with as a kid, and they focus on creating simple machines.  One of my students had seen a design for a crane made out of LEGOs before, so he decided to build one.  I’m not quite sure if he used a pattern or not, but either way, he wasn’t satisfied with just building a crane – he wanted to make it fully functional.  So he gathered a littleBits DC motor, some wires, and a power supply, and within a few minutes he created a littleBits powered crane.  It’s pretty cool.

What have your students been building lately?

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