Whether you're a parent searching for a fun science activity you can do with your kids, a teacher making a lesson plan, or a kid looking for a science project idea, you can find something to do with Legos. Legos can make a great science project!
This page is dedicated to simple Lego science projects, most of which don't require any special kits; that said, many Lego science projects that teach programming or robotics require a special Mindstorm kit.
Solar System Model
This is a great science project that doesn't require any Mindstorm programming. Simply build each planet and the sun with appropriate colored bricks, and paint bricks in any color you don't have. Build each one to scale so that kids can see the size difference between the sun and the different planets.
Lego Earthquake Science Project
Can you build a city that will withstand an earthquake? This project teaches concepts of structural stability, earthquake engineering, and some basic physics.
Basically, you try to build as tall a building as possible that can withstand an earthquake, simulated by shaking the Lego platform back and forth. Create specific challenges, like a 30-story building, with each row of bricks being a floor. Hypothesize what kind of buildings can withstand a 'quake.
Lego Stress Test
The question this one asks is simple: ”How many times can I stick and unstick two Lego bricks before they wear out?” Scientist Phillipe Cantin found the answer after building a machine to test it: it took 10 days, or 37,112 assembling and disassembling actions.
You can use Legos to model molecular structures as a way to visualize chemistry lessons. This lesson was developed by educators at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the models themselves can be found here (opens a PDF).
Lego Plant Cell Model
There are all kinds of models you can make with Legos. The photo above is a plant cell, but you can have your students or children recreate anything. Have them figure out how to represent each part of the cell using bricks, and be able to do so accurately. Great for the kinetic learners to learn the different parts of the cell.
Similarly, you can also have students build models of body parts or different types of plants. For example, see the kidney made of Legos below.
Lego Kidney Model
Chemical Reaction Powered Cars
Measure the distance Lego cars can travel on various chemical reactions. It looks complicated, but it's pretty simple. Here's how it's done:
- Build a simple car out of Legos.
- Using tape or a rubber band, strap a film canister to the top of the car, so that the top (the side with the lid) is facing the back.
- Put an Alka Seltzer tablet into the canister.
- Fill the canister with a small amount of water and quickly place the lid back on.
- Put the car down and wait for the gas from the Alka-Seltzer-and-water reaction to pop off the lid of the canister and propel the car forward.
- Experiment with different amount of water and Alka-Seltzer, or try different types of containers.
Please share your links!
What Lego science projects have you done? - Always looking to feature more great Lego science project ideas!
SimplySherlock on April 21, 2014:
Lego's are fantastic tools for building up creativity and imagination. Some of these are very nicely done, although there are alternatives to some that do not consist of legos that are more cost effective and create better visuals. For example, the chemical compounds can be created out of toothpicks or any sort of stick and styrofoam balls. Etc. Afterwards they are now hangable and colorable (through dye or however).
Either way I guess this is a 'lego' site but alternatives might be cool to address. Either way always a plus to see legos used in positive and constructive ways.
Tom Fattes from Naperville, IL on March 18, 2014:
These lego science projects are awesome. I love the idea of using legos to help kids learn about science. I shared this on my I Love Legos Too social media pages.
cleansweeping on February 16, 2014:
Love the ideas! I will need to use these in my classroom!
travelerme on December 21, 2013:
I havn't but I thinki will in a while. I like demonstrating physics to people who would listen.
jhon0o0 on November 04, 2013:
i like the solar system model cause i love legos
pickyshopper on April 02, 2013:
none, yet...never heard of making a lego science project! Awesome ideas!!
OUTFOXprevention1 on March 11, 2013:
Legos are amazing! Thanks for sharing.
JackNorbridge on December 19, 2012:
My lego projects are just helping my boys build their cars and watching them crash test them on our trampoline. All in a days work of being a father.
Shannon from Florida on October 05, 2012:
Great ideas! We have used Lego bricks for history and social studies projects but haven't used them yet in science. Fun ideas!