Cranking Bird

Source Institutions

Add to list Go to activity
In this activity, learners build a mini crank machine to make a bird "fly." This engineering activity introduces learners to automata, rotational motion, cranks and cams. [Activity is publicly available through a web crawler capture on]

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
1 to 2 hours

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per student

Age Range:
Ages 6 - 11

Resource Types:
Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan


Materials List (per student)

  • 1 folder or thick paper
  • 2 pipe cleaners
  • 1 thick wire or clothes hanger
  • 1 small sturdy box (cardboard or plastic)
  • 1 gluestick, 5/16"
  • wire cutter
  • needle nose pliers
  • utility knife
  • nail
  • scissors
  • hot glue gun
  • ruler


  • Engineering and Technology
    • Engineering
      • Mechanical Engineering
  • Physical Sciences
    • Energy
      • Work and Machines
    • Motion and Forces
      • Machines
      • Rotation Motion
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations
  • The Nature of Technology
    • The Design Process
      • Invention and Innovation
      • Problem Solving
      • Troubleshooting and Maintenance

Informal Categories

  • Animals
  • Arts and Crafts
  • Toys


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Links STEM to other topics of interest such as arts and humanities
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Components that are part of this resource:

Includes alignment to state and/or national standards:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


  • Fresno Community Science Workshop


  • All rights reserved, Fresno Community Science Workshop, 2012

Related Video