Simple Machine Shoebox Rover

Simple Machines form the foundation of all engineering and complex NASA missions still employ their use! Learners build crucial engineering skills with our Shoebox Rover project. This exciting activity features all six simple machines - lever, wedge, screw, pulley, inclined plane and wheels & axles - which are also combined to create more complex, kinetic systems. Students are inspired by real NASA missions while gaining critical mechanical skills, design-thinking principles and physical science concepts. Shoebox Rover also incorporates geometry, measurement and storytelling. Designed with all learners in mind, the activity needs only basic materials and is scalable for all ages - an excellent, 8-10 session project for after school programs, summer camps, in-class investigation and to explore at home!


Introductory Materials:

Templates (Print PDFs on colored cardstock):

Learner Videos:

Inspiration Decks:

Maker Videos: