The Ten Most Useful Lego Bricks

Description:  In lower elementary science, students will learn that objects are made of pieces which can be disassembled and reassembled into new objects. The pieces that most students are familiar with are Legos. A good way to use this phenomenon is to ask your students the following question: "What are the 10 most useful Lego bricks?" or "What are the 10 most common Lego bricks?" The answer is less important than the idea that object are made of pieces (2-PS1-3) and that properties of different materials are used for different purposes (2-PS1-2).

Web Resource:  Gizmodo - The 10 Most Useful LEGO Bricks

By Alan Chia (Lego Color Bricks) [CC BY-SA 2.0 ], via Wikimedia Commons

The Wonderful Tower of Watts

Description:  Simon Rodia spent 30 years building the The Towers of Watts using material that other people had thrown away. This large object is made of pieces that were once part of other objects and can be used as a phenomenon to start building the foundations of chemistry. The book also can be connected to a literacy and sustainability unit.

Web Resources:  Watts Tower - Wikipedia, The Wonderful Tower of Watts on Amazon


Precious Plastic

Description:  Precious Plastics was created in 2013 by Dave Hakkens. It is a website that shares DIY plans for building machines that can recycle plastic. Plastic is recreated through a non-reversible reaction and if it isn't recycled this valuable plastic is often lost forever when it is dumped in a landfill. These plans have spawned a community of DIY plastic recyclers around the world. Even though most students lack the ability to construct these machines it may lead to simple projects like the Ecobricks project linked below.

Web Resources:  Precious Plastic, Ecobricks - plastic, solved