Age range: 11-14 | 14-16
Duration: 30-59 mins
  • D&T
  • Physics

Tool holder testing

Build and test a robot arm

Students compete to make the strongest electromagnetic tool holder for a surgeons robotic arm.

A practical activity where students work in teams to build their own electromagnet and use this to make an ‘arm’ with an electromagnetic gripper at one end. 

They are given some basic parts to start and a budget - a sum of ‘money’ or tokens with which to buy the other parts. Once their arm and gripper are complete they have 30 seconds to move as many paper clips from one pile to another as possible. The team moving the most paper clips in the allotted time is the winner. 

This activity makes students consider the factors involved in electromagnet strength and design.

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