Time Travel Adventure
Grade 4

STEM Focus: Simple Machines

SEL Focus: Neuroplasticity and Creative Confidence

STEM Objectives

At the end of this module, students will be able to:

Incorporate knowledge of simple machines into their creations including:

    1. Using momentum and ramps to make gravity work for you
    2. Redirecting force with pulleys and levers
    3. Designing wheels and axles to create smooth motion
    4. Combining simple machines to create a more complex machine

SEL Objectives

At the end of this module, students will be able to:

Use their knowledge of nueroplasticity to strengthen their pre-frontal cortex by:

    1. Recognizing that our reactions to problems stem from relying on either our amygdala or our prefrontal cortex
    2. Recognizing that our habits are determined by synaptic pathways of neurons
    3. Recognizing that our habits can be changed; new synaptic pathways are formed when we make deliberate choices to change our thoughts and behaviors
Girls Showing Cardboard Creation

6 Builders

20-30 pieces of Each Per Student for All 10 Lessons

  • Colored Construction Paper
  • Jumbo Craft Sticks
  • 3 oz. Dixie Cups
  • Bendy Straws
  • Cereal Boxes and/or Paper Towel Rolls (Collect from Parents)
  • Heavy Duty Foil (Arms-Length Pieces)

2 Tools

1 Per 2-3 Students for All 10 Lessons

  • Safety Scissors
  • .94 Inch Masking Tape

2 Special Materials

1 Per Student

  • Ping Pong Balls

1 Roll Per 10 Students

  • Cotton Twine

Important: You do not need to give each child their own set of materials. Make materials available and allow students to choose their builders. The video will share any constraints about the max amount of any one material they can use.

If running the class online, parents do not need to provide all materials up front. They can add as they go. 3-5 pieces of every material per student for each challenge is sufficient. To help students stay organized and ensure they have enough materials, ask them for a picture of their materials area.

Quick and Easy!

Set up takes less than 5 minutes. All you need to do is:


    1. Lay Out Our Standard Set of Materials:
      • Children use the same materials across all 10 lessons. So you never need to assemble special material kits!
      • Simply lay out our standard set of materials before each lesson and replenish items as needed.

    2. Set Up Testing Stations (If Needed):
      • A few lessons require additional set up, such as creating a square with blue tape to use as a target area.
      • We include all of those special instructions in the Set Up and Tips for each module.


Print this document and keep it handy to take a quick look before every lesson.

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