LEGO in motion: five of the best STEM-inspired sets

Mechanisms and movement add an extra dimension to play, which is why the LEGO Group is always looking for new ways to bring models to life – including fan-made ideas.

The latest LEGO Ideas contest is seeking inspiration for a brand new gift-with-purchase set based on the principles of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), with builders being asked to integrate moving parts into their submissions.

There have been many exquisite examples of kinetic functions showcased within LEGO sets through the years – we’ve highlighted five of the best from recent times, but there are lots more which could have made the list.

5 – Ideas 21327 Typewriter

This LEGO Ideas project was first seen in 2018, but wasn’t made into reality until last year. This fan-designed set combines vintage style with incredible intricacy and functionality. Although it doesn’t physically type on paper, the mechanisms inside work in the same way as a real typewriter. Sheets of paper can even be fed through the machine for extra authenticity.


4 – Stuntz 60338 Smashing Chimpanzee Stunt Loop

The LEGO Group recently introduced the Stuntz range of fly-wheel powered motorbikes featuring a drag and release mechanism designed to propel riders over obstacles at speed. This 226-piece set takes things to the next level with brand new loop ramp sections. It’s the showpiece of an upcoming wave of sets that will allow fans to create the ultimate stunt show.

3 – Technic 42114 6×6 Volvo Articulated Hauler

Released in August 2020, this gigantic replica of the Volvo A60H Articulated Hauler can be brought to life using the LEGO Technic CONTROL+ system. This mobile app acts as remote control, allowing you to drive, steer and unload the hauler’s bucket.

2 – Mindstorms 51515 Robot Inventor

The LEGO Mindstorms theme first burst onto the scenes in 1998, and the robotics range continues to deliver – most recently with 51515 Robot Inventor which consists of five unique designs that can be digitally coded to carry out commands using the accompanying mobile app.

1 – Creator Expert 10261 Roller Coaster

A must-have addition to any LEGO amusement park, this classic roller coaster features a chain-lift mechanism that can be operated with a crank handle or motorized entirely. With a LEGO motor attached, it’s non-stop thrills and spills for the minifigure passengers as they whizz round at speed, propelled by the power of gravity.

Unfortunately this 2019 set is now retired, but the good news is that a brand new LEGO Roller Coaster is rumoured to be on the way later this year. It is anticipated that this new set may even feature a full loop section which is exciting to hear.

It’s always interesting to see the progressive techniques that the LEGO Group employs when incorporating movement into its products, but LEGO fans are also keen to show-off their STEM skills – through custom adaptations of existing LEGO sets as well as their own original creations. Let’s hope the new LEGO Ideas STEM building contest delivers a worthy addition to the product catalogue.

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