|Name of Activity||Relay Race|
|Keywords||vehicles, steep ramp, relay, team, course, cars, gears, weight, weight distribution, friction, power, accuracy, wheel, axle, speed|
|Grade Level||4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9+|
|Time||2 Hours Total|
|Brief Description||Students will build two types of vehicles, one that is good for going fast on a flat surface and one that is good for climbing a steep ramp. Students will work together to create a relay team of 2 cars that must complete a course with a flat area and a steep ramp.|
|Lesson Objectives:||To learn about gearing and how it can help with climbing ramps.
To learn complex programming that includes Bluetooth for communication between NXTs.
|Materials Needed:||Poster board, cardboard, wood or foam core for a ramp sloped about approx. 30 degrees from the horizontal.
NXTs or RCXs
Assorted building materials.
Computer running ROBOLAB or MINDSTORMS
|Preparation and Set Up:||Setup the relay course.
Set up a flat track that is five feet long with a start and finish and set up the ramp.
Collect necessary materials.
Arrange students into groups of 4.
Distribute the necessary materials.
|Necessary Background||One of the important things about robots is their ability to communicate to each other. Robots are often limited in their capabilities because it is too difficult to construct multi-tasking robots. For this reason, many different specialized robots are constructed, and then these robots are programmed to communicate to each other. For example, a certain Mars rover may specialize in searching for rock, while another may specialize in drilling rock. These two rovers can work together by sending signals to each other, in the same way we communicate, yet simpler. The following activity incorporates specialized robots that can communicate to each other to complete different sections of a single task: a relay race with different terrain.
Mechanical advantage of gears
Weight distribution of vehicle