In this hands-on activity for 5th – 7th graders, you will be

  • designing and making a toy with wheels,
  • testing the toy, and
  • learning about circles.

Some of the design work can be done on TinkerCad. View this activity digitally or download the PDF for printing and offline viewing.

PDF Version

Math in this activity

  • Measurement of length in problem solving
  • The parts of a circle, their definitions, and relationships with each other, including
    • radius
    • diameter
    • circumference
  • 𝜋 (pi) as the mathematical constant that relates the diameter and circumference of a circle

These circle topics meet 7th-grade standards. Measurement of length can be adapted for different middle-grade levels. For younger students, you can skip the More Math about Circles section which explores 𝜋 (pi).

For Grown Ups

This packet includes activities for making and math, for you and your kids to do together or for your kids to do on their own. You don’t have to know the math in advance. Be open to exploration, and ask questions such as “How did you do that?” and “How do you know?”

For Children

Gather the following materials and get ready to make a toy. Along the way you’ll learn a bit of math. If you get stuck on any step, take a breath and try again. It’s okay if you need to restart and use more materials. Good luck and have fun!

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