Jitterbugs


Source Institutions

Source Institutions

Add to list Go to activity
Activity link broken? See if it's at the internet archive

In this activity, learners construct bug models that "jitter" all over the table with just a battery, motor, and counterweight. Use this hands-on activity to facilitate inquiry and invention as well as demonstrate how circuits and motors work to power machines.

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:
Activity

Language:
English

Materials List (per student)


  • 4 paperclips for the legs
  • 1/2 of a hot-glue stick
  • Electric motor (3 volts DC or less, with wires attached if you can find them)
  • 1 AA battery
  • Block of insulation foam (yellow or pink)
  • A finger-length strip of thin foam or fabric
  • Masking tape or colored tape
  • Craft materials to decorate your jitterbug: feathers, googly-eyes, popsicle sticks, pipe cleaners, glitter

Subjects


  • Engineering and Technology
    • Engineering
      • Electrical Engineering
      • Mechanical Engineering
  • Physical Sciences
    • Electricity and Magnetism
      • Electric Motors
      • Electric Circuits
    • Motion and Forces
      • Machines
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • About Inquiry
  • The Nature of Technology
    • The Design Process
      • Invention and Innovation
      • Problem Solving
      • Troubleshooting and Maintenance

Informal Categories


  • Animals
  • Arts and Crafts
  • Electronics

Audience


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities

Other


This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access

By:

Rights:

Funding Source:

  • National Science Foundation, 0087813