MechAnimations III


Students now know how the location of pivots determines how much, and in which direction, the outputs will move, and how much force it will take to move the outputs. This knowledge is the basis for redesigning their MechAnimations. Trying to balance distance and force requirements provides an example of tradeoffs.  Students may also have elaborated the story the MechAnimation is to tell.  This too is a basis for redesigning the MechAnimation.


  • Pegboard bases, strips and fasteners for modeling the mechanism of a MechAnimation
  • Cardstock – 100 sheets
  • Corrugated cardboard:  50 sheets (8 ½ x 11") and 200 strips (1” x 11”)
  • Paper fasteners – 3 boxes of 100 each
  • Markers, Post-Its& craft supplies for decorating MechAnimations
  • Science notebooks


1.      Review the lessons learned about distance and force. Students use their Science Notebooks to recall these three major conclusions:

2.      Designing and redesigning.  Students modify and develop their MechAnimations and MechAnimation stories for presentation.


1.      By Lesson 11 students know how to make mechanisms move the way they want them to move. Most students have developed story ideas to go with their mechanisms. Let other students help those who are stuck with either mechanical problems or who lack story ideas.

2.      A student may have a pegboard mechanism that is very complicated and needs redesign before it is rendered in cardboard. The first step in redesign is to analyze what the student has. Here is a video about analyzing one such mechanism.

3.      Students encounter problems in making a cardboard MechAnimation from the pegboard model. Here are videos that address common problems and questions.

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