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Diving Board Automata

Source Institutions

    Community Science Workshop Network

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Diving Board Automata

In this activity, learners build a mini crank-machine to create an animated character or scene. This engineering activity introduces learners to automata, rotational motion, and cranks and cams.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
30 to 45 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$5 - $10 per student

Age Range:
Ages 6 - 14

Resource Types:
Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan


Materials List (per student)

  • 1 clear plastic bottle or cup
  • 1 bottle cap or other sturdy circle
  • foam core or cardboard
  • 2 bamboo skewers
  • 2 straws
  • 12" sturdy wire
  • decorations to create an animated scene
  • screwdriver or nail
  • hot glue gun
  • scissors


  • 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

  • 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


  • Oakland Discovery Centers


  • All Rights Reserved, Oakland Discovery Centers, ©2012