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Build a spinner that rotates on a  vertical or standing axle, like a Carousel or Big Swing ride. Then attach seats, fan blades, passengers & more! Project guide contains step-by-step instructions for building a spinner with suggestions for add-ons. This project is included in the Wheel & Axle Bundle.


Engineering with Paper project kits teach dozens of approaches to folding, cutting and taping paper for use in unlimited projects. 


No printer? No problem! You can follow all instructions on-screen with regular copy paper. 

If printing, we recommend printing your packet without scaling. Pages are sized to 8.5" x 11".



-Projects pages with step-by-step instructions 

-Student worksheet


Additional Supplies Needed:

Paper, scissors, tape, markers or colored pencils or crayons (optional)


This project meets the NGSS standards:


Analyze a major global challenge to specify qualitative and quantitative criteria and constraints for solutions that account for societal needs and wants.


Design, build, and refine a device that works within given constraints to convert one form of energy into another form of energy. Emphasis is on both qualitative and quantitative evaluations of devices. Examples of devices could include Rube Goldberg devices, wind turbines, solar cells, solar ovens, and generators. Examples of constraints could include use of renewable energy forms and efficiency. Assessment for quantitative evaluations is limited to total output for a given input. Assessment is limited to devices constructed with materials provided to students.


Conduct an investigation and evaluate the experimental design to provide evidence that fields exist between objects exerting forces on each other even though the objects are not in contact. Examples of this phenomenon could include the interactions of magnets, electrically-charged strips of tape, and electrically-charged pith balls. Examples of investigations could include first-hand experiences or simulations. Assessment is limited to electric and magnetic fields, and limited to qualitative evidence for the existence of fields.


Analyze data from tests to determine similarities and differences among several design solutions to identify the best characteristics of each that can be combined into a new solution to better meet the criteria for success.


Generate and compare multiple possible solutions to a problem based on how well each is likely to meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.


Define the criteria and constraints of a design problem with sufficient precision to ensure a successful solution, taking into account relevant scientific principles and potential impacts on people and the natural environment that may limit possible solutions.


Plan an investigation to provide evidence that the change in an object’s motion depends on the sum of the forces on the object and the mass of the object. Emphasis is on balanced (Newton’s First Law) and unbalanced forces in a system, qualitative comparisons of forces, mass and changes in motion (Newton’s Second Law), frame of reference, and specification of units. Assessment is limited to forces and changes in motion in one-dimension in an inertial reference frame, and to change in one variable at a time. Assessment does not include the use of trigonometry.


Define a simple design problem reflecting a need or a want that includes specified criteria for success and constraints on materials, time, or cost.


Develop a model to describe that when the arrangement of objects interacting at a distance changes, different amounts of potential energy are stored in the system. Emphasis is on relative amounts of potential energy, not on calculations of potential energy. Examples of objects within systems interacting at varying distances could include: the Earth and either a roller coaster cart at varying positions on a hill or objects at varying heights on shelves, changing the direction/orientation of a magnet, and a balloon with static electrical charge being brought closer to a classmate’s hair. Examples of models could include representations, diagrams, pictures, and written descriptions of systems. Assessment is limited to two objects and electric, magnetic, and gravitational interactions.


Make observations and/or measurements of an object’s motion to provide evidence that a pattern can be used to predict future motion. Examples of motion with a predictable pattern could include a child swinging in a swing, a ball rolling back and forth in a bowl, and two children on a see-saw. Assessment does not include technical terms such as period and frequency.


Develop a model to generate data for iterative testing and modification of a proposed object, tool, or process such that an optimal design can be achieved.


Construct and present arguments using evidence to support the claim that gravitational interactions are attractive and depend on the masses of interacting objects. Examples of evidence for arguments could include data generated from simulations or digital tools; and charts displaying mass, strength of interaction, distance from the Sun, and orbital periods of objects within the solar system. Assessment does not include Newton’s Law of Gravitation or Kepler’s Laws.


Evaluate a solution to a complex real-world problem based on prioritized criteria and trade-offs that account for a range of constraints, including cost, safety, reliability, and aesthetics, as well as possible social, cultural, and environmental impacts.


Plan and carry out fair tests in which variables are controlled and failure points are considered to identify aspects of a model or prototype that can be improved.


Design a solution to a complex real-world problem by breaking it down into smaller, more manageable problems that can be solved through engineering.


Make a claim about the merit of a design solution that reduces the impacts of a weather-related hazard. Examples of design solutions to weather-related hazards could include barriers to prevent flooding, wind resistant roofs, and lighting rods.


Evaluate competing design solutions using a systematic process to determine how well they meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.

Vertical Axle Spinner - Wheel & Axle

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