Push Pull Painter

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In this activity, learners create painting machines that can paint moving forwards and backwards. Learners construct the machines out of LEGOs, motors, a programmable PICO Cricket, and a cardboard triangular base that can hold markers or paint brushes. Learners can create beautiful art with their machines!

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
30 to 45 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per student

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 18

Resource Type:


Materials List (per student)

  • Cricket or RCX
  • LEGO parts, 2 LEGO motors, motor cables
  • Cardboard
  • Tape
  • Hot melt glue (optional)
  • Art materials: markers or tempera paint and brushes
  • Paper


  • Engineering and Technology
    • Computing
    • Engineering
      • Electrical Engineering
      • Mechanical Engineering
    • Technology
      • Information and Communication
  • Physical Sciences
    • Electricity and Magnetism
      • Electric Motors
      • Electric Circuits
    • Motion and Forces
      • Machines
  • The Nature of Technology
    • The Design Process
      • Invention and Innovation

Informal Categories

  • Arts and Crafts
  • Electronics
  • Toys
  • Transportation


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • use mouse
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

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


This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access



Funding Source:

  • National Science Foundation, 0087813