Introduction  

What do folding chairs, scissors, window hinges and puppets have in common? They all use linkages! Linkages are a group of parts connected by hinges that allow each part to rotate and move. Some linkages, like scissors, are simple, while others can be more complex, like the mechanical characters in amusement parks. This activity is an open-ended exploration of linkages and the types of motion they can create. 

Design Challenge

Design a whimsical creature using cardboard linkages. 

 

Try to create surprising movements (think flapping wings, dancing robots, 

and chomping sharks). 

Linkages

Subject

Design Thinking

Ages

8+

Time

20+ minutes

Key Concepts

Engineering design, motion, structure, simple machines (levers)

Want a challenge?

JUMP IN!

Identify household objects that rotate around a pivot point.

Want a challenge?

REWARDING & FLEXIBLE

Design a whimsical creature using cardboard linkages.

Want a challenge?

DESIGN CHALLENGES AHEAD!

Experiment with different fasteners or lever lengths.

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