Students learn about the concepts of accuracy and approximation as they pertain to robotics, gain insight into experimental accuracy, and learn how and when to estimate values that they measure. Students also explore sources of error stemming from the robot setup and rounding numbers.
Students visualize and interact with concepts already learned, specifically algebraic equations and solving for unknown variables. They construct a balancing seesaw system (LEGO® Balance Scale) made from LEGO MINDSTORMS® parts and digital components to mimic a balancing scale. They are given example algebraic equation problems to analyze, configure onto the balance scale, and evaluate by manipulating LEGO pieces and gram masses that represent terms of an equation such as unknown variables, coefficients and integers. Digital light sensors, built into the LEGO Balance Scale, detect any balance or imbalances displayed on the balancing scale. The LEGO Balance Scale interactively issues a digital indication of balance or imbalance within the system. If unbalanced, students continue using the LEGO Balance Scale until they are confident in their understanding of solving algebraic equations. The goal is for students to become confident in solving algebraic equations by fundamentally understanding the basics of algebra and real-world algebraic applications.
Students learn about gear ratios and power by operating toy mechanical cranes of differing gear ratios. They attempt to pick up objects with various masses to witness how much power must be applied to the system to oppose the force of gravity. They learn about the concept of gear ratio and practice calculating gear ratios on worksheets, discovering that smaller gear ratios are best for picking objects up quickly, and larger gear ratios make it easier to lift heavy objects.
Students learn about and practice converting between fractions, decimals and percentages. Using a LEGO® MINDSTORMS® NXT robot and a touch sensor, each group inputs a fraction of its choosing. Team members convert this same fraction into a decimal, and then a percentage via hand calculations, and double check their work using the NXT robot. Then they observe the robot moving forward and record that distance. Students learn that the distance moved is a fraction of the full distance, based on the fraction that they input, so if they input ½, the robot moves half of the original distance. From this, students work backwards to compute the full distance. Groups then compete in a game in which they are challenged to move the robot as close as possible to a target distance by inputting a fraction into the NXT bot.
Students discover the mathematical constant phi, the golden ratio, through hands-on activities. They measure dimensions of "natural objects"—a star, a nautilus shell and human hand bones—and calculate ratios of the measured values, which are close to phi. Then students learn a basic definition of a mathematical sequence, specifically the Fibonacci sequence. By taking ratios of successive terms of the sequence, they find numbers close to phi. They solve a squares puzzle that creates an approximate Fibonacci spiral. Finally, the instructor demonstrates the rule of the Fibonacci sequence via a LEGO® MINDSTORMS® NXT robot equipped with a pen. The robot (already created as part of the companion activity, The Fibonacci Sequence & Robots) draws a Fibonacci spiral that is similar to the nautilus shape.
Integration of CS and Mystery Science Curriculum to the EL Education Module 2 Unit 1 Lessons on weather and preparing for weather. This Roadmap is largely for teachers with all of the materials in one central location, but can be distributed to students to be able to collaborate around flipgrids, KWL charts and other graphic organizers. Interactive word walls are available through padlet on this map as well.
This resource features CS Integration through final project of creating a weather report with a green screen video where students are responsible for planning, designing, recording and editing a weather report based on their research from the unit. Earlier in the lesson, students will share their findings on an experiment involving warming a frozen playground through the online program of ScratchJr.
This lesson introduces and describes the main types of erosion (i.e., chemical, water, wind, glacier and temperature). Students learn examples of each type of erosion and discuss how erosion changes the surface of the Earth. Students also learn why engineers need to be aware of the different types of erosion in order to protect structures and landmarks from the damaging effects erosion can cause. Figure 1 is an excellent illustration of water erosion.
Using the LEGO® NXT robotics kit, students construct and program robots to illustrate and explore the Fibonacci sequence. Within teams, students are assigned roles: group leader, chassis builder, arm builder, chief programmer, and Fibonacci verifier. By designing a robot that moves based on the Fibonacci sequence of numbers, they can better visualize how quickly the numbers in the sequence grow. To program the robot to move according to these numbers, students break down the sequence into simple algebraic equations so that the computer can understand the Fibonacci sequence.
Students use LEGO® MINDSTORMS® robotics to help conceptualize and understand the force of friction. Specifically, they observe how different surfaces in contact result in different frictional forces. A LEGO robot is constructed to pull a two-wheeled trailer made of LEGO parts. The robot is programmed to pull the trailer 10 feet and trial runs are conducted on smooth and textured surfaces. The speed and motor power of the robot is kept constant in all trials so students observe the effect of friction between various combinations of surfaces and trailer wheels. To apply what they learn, students act as engineers and create the most effective car by designing the most optimal tires for given surface conditions.
Students practice their multiplication skills using robots with wheels built from LEGO® MINDSTORMS® NXT kits. They brainstorm distance travelled by the robots without physically measuring distance and then apply their math skills to correctly calculate the distance and compare their guesses with physical measurements. Through this activity, students estimate parameters other than by physically measuring them, practice multiplication, develop measuring skills, and use their creativity to come up with successful solutions.
This lesson is an extension of Mystery Science Force Olympics Mystery 3. In this extension, students will create a wrecking ball using the Lego WeDo 2.0 kit and program it to knock down a wall. Students will experiment with different variables (like speed, distance and string length) to answer the question: "How can you knock down a wall?" (credit Mystery Science Mystery 3 guiding question). This activity should be done over multiple days (viewing mystery, building the robot and programing and experimenting). Building instructions for the wrecking ball arm are attached as picture steps.
This lesson will allow students to build their own balloon car racer as an introduction to engineering and coding. Each pair or team of students will be able to engineer their balloon car, measure the performance of their cars using yard sticks, and set up a basic algorithm to construct and run their machine.PURPOSEThe goals for this lesson are to: (1) integrate engineering and coding to young students; (2) have students independenty identify the steps (an algorithm) to build and improve their racers; (4) be able to spot "bugs" in their algorithm; (3) integrate measurement and addition operations to determine which car went furthest overall; and (4) teach perserverance by showing students that it is normal to find bugs in algorithms/coding.
Students use a LEGO® ball shooter to demonstrate and analyze the motion of a projectile through use of a line graph. This activity involves using a method of data organization and trend observation with respect to dynamic experimentation with a complex machine. Also, the topic of line data graphing is covered. The main objective is to introduce students graphs in terms of observing and demonstrating their usefulness in scientific and engineering inquiries. During the activity, students point out trends in the data and the overall relationship that can be deduced from plotting data derived from test trials with the ball shooter.
Lego Robotics uses Legos as a fun tool to explore robotics, mechanical systems, electronics, and programming. This seminar is primarily a lab experience which provides students with resources to design, build, and program functional robots constructed from Legos and a few other parts such as motors and sensors.
Working as a team, students discover that the value of pi (3.1415926...) is a constant and applies to all different sized circles. The team builds a basic robot and programs it to travel in a circular motion. A marker attached to the robot chassis draws a circle on the ground as the robot travels the programmed circular path. Students measure the circle's circumference and diameter and calculate pi by dividing the circumference by the diameter. They discover the pi and circumference relationship; the circumference of a circle divided by the diameter is the value of pi.
Students experience data collection, analysis and inquiry in this LEGO® MINDSTORMS® NXT -based activity. They measure the position of an oscillating platform using a ultrasonic sensor and perform statistical analysis to determine the mean, mode, median, percent difference and percent error for the collected data.
Through investigating the nature, sources and level of noise produced in their environment, students are introduced to the concept of noise pollution. They learn about the undesirable and disturbing effects of noise and the resulting consequences on people's health, as well as on the health of the environment. They use a sound level meter that consists of a sound sensor attached to the LEGO® NXT Intelligent Brick to record the noise level emitted by various sources. They are introduced to engineering concepts such as sensors, decibel (dB) measurements, and sound pressure used to measure the noise level. Students are introduced to impairments resulting from noise exposure such as speech interference, hearing loss, sleep disruption and reduced productivity. They identify potential noise pollution sources, and based on recorded data, they classify these sources into levels of annoyance. Students also explore the technologies designed by engineers to protect against the harmful effects of noise pollution.
Students learn first-hand the relationship between force, area and pressure. They use a force sensor built from a LEGO® MINDSTORMS® NXT kit to measure the force required to break through a paper napkin. An interchangeable top at the end of the force sensor enables testing of different-sized areas upon which to apply pressure. Measuring the force, and knowing the area, students compute the pressure. This leads to a concluding discussion on how these concepts are found and used in engineering and nature.
Students use three tracks marked on the floor, one in yards, one in feet and one in inches. As they start and stop a robot specific distances on a "runway," they can easily determine the equivalent measurements in other units by looking at the nearby tracks. With this visual and physical representation of the magnitude of the units of feet, yard and inches, students gain an understanding of what is meant by "unit conversion." They also gain a familiarity with different common units of measurement. They use multiplication and division to verify their physical estimated unit conversions. Students also learn about how common and helpful it is to convert from one unit to another in everyday situations and for engineering purposes. This activity helps students make the abstract concept of unit conversion real so they develop mental models of the magnitude of units instead of applying memorized conversion factors by rote.
Students act as civil engineers developing safe railways as a way to strengthen their understanding of parallel and intersecting lines. Using pieces of yarn to visually represent line segments, students lay down "train tracks" on a carpeted floor, and make guesses as to whether these segments are arranged in parallel or non-parallel fashion. Students then test their tracks by running two LEGO® MINDSTORMS® NXT robots to observe the consequences of their track designs, and make safety improvements. Robots on intersecting courses face imminent collision, while robots on parallel courses travel safely.