Extreme Kicking Machine

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In this design challenge activity follow up to "Kicking Machine", learners add a hands-free feature to their Kicking Machine. Learners modify their kicking machine to have it either release the pendulum or rubber band while standing three feet away or have it automatically feed balls into the kicking machine, one after another. They must figure out how to integrate the new feature into the existing structure and use the design process to make sure the modified kicking machine works properly. Educators can use this activity to demonstrate simple machines and kinetic/potential energy.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
30 to 45 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$5 - $10 per student

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 14

Resource Type:

English, Spanish

Materials List (per student)

  • Kicking machine from previous challenge
  • Aluminum foil
  • Corrugated cardboard
  • Paper clips
  • Paper cups, plates, and bowls
  • Ping-Pong balls
  • Popsicle sticks
  • Rubber bands
  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • String
  • Tape (masking or duct)
  • Thin metal wire (optional)
  • Wooden skewers


  • Engineering and Technology
    • Engineering
  • Physical Sciences
    • Energy
      • Potential and Kinetic Energy
      • Energy and Power
      • Work and Machines
    • Motion and Forces
      • Machines
      • Gravity
      • Projectile Motion
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations
  • The Nature of Technology
    • Technology and Society
      • Impacts of Technology
    • The Design Process
      • Invention and Innovation
      • Problem Solving
      • Troubleshooting and Maintenance

Informal Categories

  • Toys


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • read
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Components that are part of this resource:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


Source Collection

  • Design Squad Nation


Funding Source:

  • National Science Foundation, 0810996