Smart Domino Tricks

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In this activity, you take regular dominoes, and turn them into conductive switches that can turn on a LEGO RCX block or Pico Cricket (micro controller). LEGO RCX block or Pico Cricket is required. This activity was taken directly from the Studio 3D website, which goes into more depth on how to program the RCX block to react to the conductive domino switches. This activity can be done with a small group of learners, ten to fifteen, and made into a workshop that can easily last three hours.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Learning Time:
2 to 4 hours

Estimated Materials Cost:
Over $20 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 8 - adult

Resource Type:


Materials List (per group of students)

  • Dominoes
  • Alligator Clip Sensors, (directions in link provided)
  • LEGO RCX or a Pico Cricket
  • Copper foil or conductive aluminum insulation tape
  • Metal balls or marbles
  • Micro controller motors and cables
  • Tape and Glue
  • Scissors
  • Various do-dads like cardboard, or bottle caps, or, toilet paper tubes.


  • Engineering and Technology
    • Computing
      • Computer Science
  • Physical Sciences
    • Electricity and Magnetism
      • Electric Circuits

Informal Categories

  • Arts and Crafts
  • Computers
  • Electronics
  • Games


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • read
  • use keyboard
  • use mouse
  • 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


Funding Source:

  • National Science Foundation, 0087813