Engineering FUNdamentals with LEGO

Explorations in Green Engineering with Journeys to LEGO® Outer Space

Apply real-world concepts in physics, mechanical and structural engineering, and architecture, while exploring the endless creative possibilities of the LEGO® building system. Design and build LEGO machines powered by alternative energy sources, race solar cars, build a wind-powered electrical generation facility, and invent a machine powered by stored elastic strain energy. Learn about sustainability and understand the human world while also exploring the Red Planet with our own Mars Rover. Designed by engineers, the curriculum challenges students to reach the next level of engineering comprehension all while having fun building with LEGO®.

Conceptual Overview:

1st, 2nd, 3rd Class Levers

Motors, batteries, leads

Compound gear trains


Crown gears / bevel gears

Pneumatics and pumps

Beam bridges

Rack and pinion steering

Belt drive transmissions

Rack gears

Cams and clutch gears

Skid steering

Connected systems

Steering mechanisms

Eccentric motion


Gear drives, torque, speed

Timing Mechanisms

Load & stress testing

Worm gear drives

Moment of inertia

Friction and Gravity



Age group: 8 to 12

Group size: 24

Dates: Mondays, September 8 – November 10, 2014

Time: 9:30am – 12:30pm

Costs: $300 for ten sessions of three hours


Joey Zielazinski recently returned from the Republic of Azerbaijan, where he served with his wife in the Peace Corps for two years, teaching English. Originally from Oklahoma, he is now a proud Durham resident, and loves rock’n’roll, comedy, and hot dogs.

Paul Deans was born and raised in the Triangle, graduating with an engineering degree from NCSU. In his spare time, you might find him eating spicy food, playing Settlers of Catan, or enjoying the outdoors.