Force and motion


9. Pegboard Models for MechAnimations


Students make elaborate pegboard mechanisms that can become the models of the mechanisms that will animate MechAnimations. As they plan their MechAnimations, they also create the stories the MechAnimations will illustrate .


  • Pegboard bases, strips and fasteners for making mechanisms
  • MechAnimation for demonstration
  • Post-Its
  • Science notebooks


Introduce MechAnimations: Demonstrate a MechAnimation with several outputs. Students identify the input and outputs. They brainstorm how they might make this MechAnimation. (See the video Introducing MechAnimations)

  1. Design mechanisms for MechAnimations:
    Show how to design a pegboard mechanism, starting with a rough sketch of the MechAnimation you wish to make. Here is a video and description.

  2. Make mechanisms for MechAnimations:
    Students spend the rest of the period designing and making mechanisms that will be the models for the mechanisms in their MechAnimations. Here is a video on making the pegboard model for a MechAnimation with 5 outputs. As they do this, they record their work in their science notebooks and make notes on the stories they want their MechAnimations to tell.

  3. Solve design problems: Often students can’t figure out how to make outputs move in particular ways. These videos provide some design solutions.


Sometimes mechanisms won’t work the way students want them to work. Here are common problems students encounter.