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Pendulum Game
Lab 1 - Engineering the Pendulum

Teacher Portal


Launch the Engage Section

ACTS is what the teacher will do and ASKS is how the teacher will facilitate.

  1. Demonstrate to students how a swing operates back and forth with motion and force.
  2. Demonstrate how the swinging motion is also found in the tool called a pendulum by showing the pre-build Pendulum.
  3. Write down ideas for what to use a pendulum for in the classroom on a whiteboard or a piece of poster paper.
  4. Show students the Pre-Built Pendulum and illustrate vocabulary words such as pin, connectors and standoff as a way to talk about the VEX pieces in the kit.
  1. Have you been on a swing? How does that make you feel? How does it stop? How does it use motion and force?
  2. What do you think this swinging motion could be used for in an invention? Today we are going to engineer one and see what we can discover.
  3. What types of materials do you think we need to create a pendulum?
  4. We are going to use the VEX GO Kit to create a pendulum.

Getting the Students Ready to Build

Today, your team will get to investigate how the pendulum works using the iterative process of failing, and trying again, until you find a solution - but first you need to build the pendulum using directions. Let’s get building, VEX makers!

Facilitate the Build

  1. InstructInstruct students to join their team, and have them complete the Robotics Roles & Routines sheet. Use the Suggested Role Responsibilities slide in the Lab Image Slideshow as a guide for students to complete this sheet.
  2. DistributeDistribute Build Instructions to each team. Journalists should gather the materials on the checklist.

    Pendulum Build
    Pendulum Build


  3. FacilitateFacilitate building process.
    • Builders can begin building. If there are multiple builders, they should alternate steps to complete the build.
    • Journalists should assist with build instructions as needed.
  4. OfferOffer suggestions and note positive team building and problem solving strategies as teams build together.
A VEX GO character

Teacher Troubleshooting

Facilitation Strategies

  • Instruct students to “Ask three before me.” Students should ask three other students any questions relating to the build before coming to the teacher to ask a question.
  • Offer in the moment observation as teams work well, and invite them to share teamwork strategies with the class.