Education Standards

3rd: Max's Sleigh Build (Forces in Motion)

3rd:  Max's Sleigh Build (Forces in Motion)


Design and build a sleigh using a WeDo kit, K’nex or similar, that will pull a specific measured weight.

Instructor directions

Engineering design process

Grade Level: 3rd - Max’s Sleigh Build (Forces in Motion)


Driving Question / ScenarioCan you engineer a better sleigh for Max the dog from The Grinch?
Project SummaryDesign and build a sleigh using a WeDo kit, K’nex or similar, that will pull a specific measured weight.
Estimated TimeMinimum 1 - 60 minute period
Materials / ResourcesWeDo kit, K’nex build kit, Sphero robot or replacement (Keva planks for equal weights)
Standards3.P.1 Understand motion and factors that affect motion.
Project Outline
  • What does a sleigh need to be successful?
  • What pieces and motors do you need to make your sleigh?
  • How much force will be needed to move your sleigh a meter?
  • How much weight can I move using a sleigh and Sphero design?
  • What is the relationship between force and speed?
  • How will speed vary?
  • Decide what elements of a sleigh make it a successful tool.
  • Test different lego sleigh designs and discuss with your group.
  • Envision how a working sleigh is designed and be thinking about a design.
  • Sketch out your sleigh design and label how you want it to work (don’t forget to include the motor!!)
  • Gather materials needed for your sleigh
  • Build your sleigh with your group
  • After testing your sleigh, did it work as you imagined it would?
  • Are there any changes that would make your design better?
  • If you have time today, begin redesigning and retesting your sleigh.
  • Also rebuild and/or redesign your wall if necessary.
Closure / Student ReflectionsSeriously? They had a great time!
Possible Modifications / ExtensionsMeasure distance, speed, mass, elapsed time,
Tags (Subject, robot used, literature)Forces in motion, Sphero, science, math, winter, Christmas,


Sample Pictures / Video

Creative Commons