Lego Physics Quiz

Staff

4 Min Quiz

Image: refer to hsw

About This Quiz

Some of the world's most innovative engineers credit Legos for sparking their interest in physics and experimentation. Lego blocks may remind you of childhood, but the lessons they teach can last a lifetime. Channel your inner Lego geek with this quiz.

Which Lego project would be best for demonstrating friction?

To get an idea of an object's friction, a Lego car test would be the best answer. With the ability to move its wheel positions and alter the incline of road surfaces, you can get a better idea of how friction slows or speeds up the car.

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After constructing a Lego bridge between two cardboard boxes, you test the weight limits by placing books on top of one spot. To your disappointment, the structure falls through with little weight. Which physics principle may contribute to the bridge's instability?

Adding weight to a small area (or building a bridge without the ability to disseminate weight) increases pressure and leaves vulnerable spots on the structure -- bad news for Lego minifigures passing through on their daily commute.

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Which Lego creation would most likely help you grasp the idea of kinetics, or how objects move?

Neither a jumble of Lego minifigures nor a static skyscraper will provide an easy lesson on kinetics. But exploring kinetics with a Lego car and handmade ramp will do the trick, as you can measure how different inclines affect the distance your car rolls and even its stored energy.

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Lego products frequent which group's physics class?

Lego bricks and robots can be found at the elementary and high school level. Some college courses use Lego models for engineering experiments, too.

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Where does the Lego MINDSTORMS line of robotics products get its namesake?

Inspired by Seymour Papert's book "Mindstorms: Children, Computers and Powerful Ideas," the product line took the author's mission to heart in offering hands-on ways to learn math and science concepts.

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Which physics-defying art piece can be replicated using Lego elements?

There may be personal versions of all of the above, but Escher's "Relativity," which depicts flights of stairs without gravity, defies physics the most -- making its Lego version all the more fascinating.

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Which physics concept can be easily learned through using a Lego pulley wheel and pulley bands?

With a pulley system in place, you can see how the tensions of the band affect the amount of force you have to apply to an object to achieve a goal. For instance, if you want to lift another Lego structure, you'll find pulleys make it easier to do while exerting less effort.

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What is FIRST Lego League?

The group consists of teams from around the world that compete in Lego robotics competitions.

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True or false: The Lego company works with teachers to develop some of its products.

There's plenty of knowledge to share, and Lego agrees. By collaborating with education experts, the company produces many series fit for the classroom -- especially when it comes to teaching kids physics.

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Which Lego project succeeds in teaching kids about structural engineering?

Sorry Millennium Falcon fans, but the largest physics lesson in structural engineering rests in a truss bridge project.

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Your Lego robot has more mass than your friend's bot. Why does it take more force to move yours from a stationary position?

For starters, you know that yours has more mass. Basic physics shows that mass is linked to inertia, or the resistance an object has to being moved (or stopped being moved, for that matter). Usually, more mass means more inertia.

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Which brand of Lego products help youngsters grasp physics concepts intuitively? (Hint: They're bigger.)

Lego Duplo encourages building among young children, but the pieces are considerably larger, probably to reduce choking hazards.

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What do Lego ultrasonic sensors help measure?

No yawning here. These ultrasonic sensors help students learn about simple harmonic motion, or what to expect from a springy contraption.

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How well do you know your beloved blocks? What are the dimensions of a basic Lego brick?

The most basic Lego product is an 8- by 8- by 9-millimeter Lego brick.

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Which Lego series includes a 32-bit microprocessor block that can be reprogrammed for each robot you dream up?

Though DUPLO entertains a younger crowd and Star Wars remains a classic, the MINDSTORMS NXT products can be reprogrammed to do a variety of tasks, teaching you loads of physics along the way.

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Based on its appearance, which Lego piece is more likely to bend with weight added to it?

Because of their thinness, plates may bear the brunt of weight on a given structure or project. But if you incorporate physics concepts into your plan, you can construct buildings and bridges that more evenly dissipate weight.

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Which Lego competition boasted a celestial impact on science and technology?

The Lego company's influence isn't limited to Earth's atmosphere. One robotics competition tasked teams to design their projects around a lunar mission.

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How many Lego bricks would you need to build a column that reaches the moon?

It may be hard to fathom, but it would take 40 billion bricks stacked vertically to get to the moon!

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What's torque, and how does it relate to Lego projects?

Despite its robot-sounding name, torque acts as a classic physics concept that details the amount of force needed to move an object on a axis. Torque matters a lot if you make use of Lego axes or computer commands. Ice cream lovers, don't despair: some teachers really did program robots to make sundaes.

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Which of the following is NOT a Lego piece typically used in building sturdy structures?

According to a Lego engineering activity, you'll find plenty of use for beams and bricks. Wheels? Not so much.

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