Simple Machines: Levers

Created with funds from Gates Foundation/NGLC Wave II Grant mechanism. This was created in conjunction with SMALLab Learning LLC ( and is one in a series of lever games. Here we offer a short interactive game on third class levers.

The Red Rover Come Over game

The Rover game allows two students to work together. One player is the driver of the Roving Rock Picker (it drives like a tank, with the Kinect as input sensor); the other player is the rock crusher. The crusher must hold his/her arms in the correct position to simulate where force would be applied to either crush or crack a rock sample. Wrist position maps to piston position on the rover and the fulcrum is conceived as the center of the chest. Thus, this game is highly gesturally congruent for both players.(read

more here

Classes can be divided into teams. Our pilot studies found the game to be extremely motivating and students love tracking which team acquires the most “successful missions”.This is a third class lever game that reinforces the concept of Work = Force x Distance and explores a common misconception about where the force should be applied in a lever system similar to a pair of tongs. It is made more complex by randomizing the goal of either gently cracking a rock or crushing it.

Mars Rover
Coming Spring 2014
Teacher guide PDF