Thirteen Ed Online
Lesson Plans
Our Favorite Toys
Overview Procedures for Teachers Organizers for Students

This lesson introduces students to concepts related to mechanical control systems. Through the theme of mechanical toys, students explore the concept of control systems, and use the Internet to research related concepts. Students conduct a hands-on class activity in which they take apart a mechanical toy and analyze the input, control, and output of the device. Then, they create a multimedia presentation to explain how the control system of the toy works.

Grade Level:


Subject Matter:

Technology Education and Science

Curricular Uses:

Control Systems, Mechanical Controls, Motion and Force

Learning Objectives

Students will be able to:

  • Use the Internet as an aid in research.
  • Give an operational definition of a control system.
  • Analyze the elements of a control system in terms of input, control, and output.
  • Describe the four basic types of motion: linear, reciprocating, oscillating, and rotary.

Use of Internet:

Students use the Internet as a tool for research. They visit several Web sites to gain background information about toys and control systems, that they use in an analysis activity.

This lesson was developed by Dave Janosz, wNetSchool Master Teacher, and was funded by the Louis Calder Foundation.