Rat Race





Name of Activity

Rat Race




NXT, 1 Hour Total, vehicle, car, obstacle, obstacle course, contrasting colors, sound, sound sensor, constraints



Grade Level

4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9+


1 Hour Total

Brief Description

Students will program their NXT vehicles through an obstacle course. The instructor

should be creative in making an obstacle course. The obstacle course can include a

contrasting colored floor, narrow passages that force students to design a compact car,

sounds that require students to use sound sensor, and walls that cars need to avoid.

Lesson Objectives:

To learn about programming in NXT.

Materials Needed:

NXT kits.

Computers running LEGO MINDSTORMS.

Obstacle course, be creative in inventing a fun obstacle course for students to program and design their car to get through.

Preparation and Set Up:

Set up an obstacle course, it can be very simple to complex depending of the level and experience of the students.

Necessary Background




  1. Introduce the activity and show the students the pre-built obstacle course so that they know what their car has to do.
  2. Have students build their cars using touch and light sensors. Remind students that their car must somehow break through the rope barrier at the end of the course.
  3. When students have finished building, have them program their cars to travel through the course.
    1. The cars must start at the start line.
    2. When the cars hit the black line, their cars should turn right.
    3. When the cars hit the wall, the cars should turn left.
    4. At the finish line, the cars must break through the tape.

  • When students have finished programming allow them to test their cars, reprogram/rebuild if necessary and retest their cars.
  • Reference 1


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