Things That Go Bump





Name of Activity

Things That Go Bump




design, construct, NXT, car, bump, wall, damage, touch sensors



Grade Level

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


1 Hour Total

Brief Description

In this activity, students will design and construct an NXT car that will stop when it

bumps into a wall to prevent damage to the car.

Lesson Objectives:

– To learn to program with touch sensors.

– To create a safety device for an NXT car.

Materials Needed:

– NXT Car.

– Assortment of LEGO pieces.

– Computer running NXT software.

Preparation and Set Up:

Set up computers running NXT software.

Arrange students in groups of two.

Distribute necessary material to students.

Necessary Background




  1. Have students draw out the design for the bumper that they will attach to the front of their car
  2. Have students build an NXT car.
  3. Have students attach a bumper to their car attached to the touch sensor so that the car can respond when it drives into a wall.
  4. Wire the motors to the outputs and the sensors to the inputs of the NXT.
  5. Program the NXT vehicle:
    1. If using NXT MINDSTORMS software, program the car to stop when it hits a wall.
    2. Once students have program their car to stop when the touch sensor is pressed, have students program their car to back up and turn after the car hits a wall, before driving forward again. This program requires a loop.

Reference 1

Reference 2

Reference 3

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