Kids can experiment with physics and mechanical engineering at home or in the classroom by making a fun cardboard scissor lift.
Explore Mechanical Science
Simple devices and machines can be used to help solve everyday problems. A scissor lift is a device that can fold up compactly but can extend to a great length. This kind of device uses a system of mechanical linkages and can stretch out or contract with an accordion-like motion.
In the Build a Cardboard Scissor Lift family science activity, students can experiment with mechanical linkages by building their own scissor lift using cardboard strips and push pins.
After building a simple cardboard scissor lift, students are challenged to investigate how far this kind of lift can stretch and remain stable. What kinds of design changes might help improve the stability of a scissor lift?
Students interested in building and experimenting with mechanical devices and simple machines may also enjoy the following science and engineering projects and activities:
- Balancing the Load: The See-Saw as a Simple Machine
- Give It a Lift with a Lever
- Give Yourself a Lift: Lightening the Load with Pulleys
- Jack It Up! Lift a Load Using Hydraulics
- Slinking Slinkies
- There's a Machine in My Toy Box!
- Which Simple Machines Do I Use the Most?