Wedo Cars

ACTIVITY HEADER

 

 

 

Name of Activity Wedo Cars
Author Emily Lai, Emily Naito
Keywords Wedo, Car, LEGO, Robotics
Subject LEGO Building
Grade Level K, 1, 2
Time 2 Hours Total
Brief Description Part 1: Students create their own cars using the pieces in the Wedo kit.
Part 2: Students follow a set of pictoral instructions to construct a car using the Wedo kit pieces.
Lesson Objectives: - Introduce students to building vehicles using unfamiliar Wedo pieces
Materials Needed: Wedo kits
Pictoral instruction handouts (Part 2)
Preparation and Set Up: - Arrange students in pairs
- Print out enough copies of the handouts for each pair of students
Necessary Background Familiarity with the wheels/axles/other unique Wedo kit pieces
Procedure Part 1: – Show students which parts in the wedo kits will be used as wheels – Show students how to attach the wheels to axles and then to the body of the car – Distribute Wedo kits to pairs of students – Build the cars Part 2: – Have students disassemble cars from part 1 – Distribute handouts to pairs; explain what order the pictures go in – Build cars according to instructions
Online Reference(s) https://plus.google.com/photos/111228734087626356470/albums/5655917938991481009?banner=pwa
Umbrella Unit/Curriculum (if applicable) Robotics in Motion

Intro to Scratch

ACTIVITY HEADER

 

 

 

Name of Activity Intro to Scratch
Author STOMP
Keywords Scratch, Programming, User Input
Subject Non-LEGO
Grade Level 4, 5, 6
Time 2 Hours Total
Brief Description Students learn basic programming concepts with Scratch, including giving a sprite instructions and having a sprite respond to user input.
Lesson Objectives: - Students are introduced to the Scratch block interface
- Students learn basic motion blocks, including glide, move __ steps, and change x or y
- In the second half of the lesson students get the sprite to move using user input instead of basic instructions
Materials Needed: Computers, preferably one for each student.
Preparation and Set Up: None
Necessary Background None
Procedure If students have never seen programming before, it may be a good idea to start with human robot to get them used to the idea. Another good intro game is to set up the floor space as an xy plane with positive and negative axes. Then do a “simon says” type game where you tell the students coordinate pairs and have them go to the approximate location on the floor. This can be a good way to get them used to the idea of the Cartesian plane if they’ve never seen it before. Show the students an example of a sprite moving to the four corners, and write on the board the blocks they’ll need. Then let the students explore the program a little with this goal in mind until they figure out a way to do it (there are multiple right ways). In the second hour have them move the sprite again, this time using key presses or mouse clicks. Key presses are the easiest, using the when ___ key pressed block under the events section.
Extensions: Challenge the students by asking them to try moving the sprite two or three different ways.

Same End, Two Ways of Getting There

ACTIVITY HEADER

Name of Activity Same End, Two Ways of Getting There.
Author Matt’s mini group
Keywords NXT, Ultrasonic sensor, light sensor, understanding how they work
Subject NXTs
Grade Level 4, 5
Time 2 Hours Total
Brief Description Understanding how sensors really work and use different sensors to accomplish the same goal.
Lesson Objectives: To understand how the ultrasonic sensor works. Use two sensors to accomplish same goal.
Materials Needed: Already built NXT car, bouncy ball to demonstrate ultrasonic sensor, flashlight maybe to demonstrate how the light sensor senses both reflected and ambient light and the difference between the two.
Preparation and Set Up: Already built car and a thorough understanding of how the sensors truly work.
Necessary Background Understand how the sensors are able to accurately sense whatever it is they sense.
Procedure In order to understand how untrasonic sensors work, children can throw a bouncy ball against a wall from different distances and see how it takes longer to come back to them when they are farther and less time when they are closer.  In order to understand how the light sensor works, they should pull up the real time reading of the light sensor on the brick and hold it up to different lightings and see how the reading changes and test how it is different when sensing reflection as opposed to ambient light and use these readings to set the threshold to put in the program.  A flashlight can also be held up to a piece of paper at different distances and see how the intensity changes.  The challenge will then be to have a car go back and forth between two walls using the ultrasonic sensor on one side and the light sensor on the other side.
Extensions: Use a different sensor as well to accomplish the same goal if a group is far ahead.
Previous Activity (if applicable) Basic programming knowledge and basic sensor usage.
Umbrella Unit/Curriculum (if applicable) NXT

NXT Elevator

ACTIVITY HEADER

 

 

 

Name of Activity NXT Elevator
Author STOMP
Keywords Simple Machines, Civil Engineering, NXT
Subject NXTs
Grade Level 4, 5
Time 2 Hours Total
Brief Description Students construct an NXT-based elevator to move a platform from one level to another and back. When completed the elevator should use a motor and a sensor to control it.
Lesson Objectives: - Learn what makes a structure sturdy
- Learn how to use pulleys and gears
- Practice basic programming
Materials Needed: - NXT kits
- extra Legos (mostly beams)
Preparation and Set Up: Make sure NXTs and Legos are available in the classroom.
Necessary Background None
Procedure - Introduce the activity with a story depending on the context. Go over the engineering design process, emphasizing that they should plan and sketch their design first – Sign off on designs before they can start building – Give students the rest of the first hour to build their designs. – At beginning of second hour, make sure all groups have finished building and start with programming the elevator. They should all use at least one sensor and one motor to control the elevator. (Students should have some prior experience with programming) – Test all of the elevators as a class

Detective- Mechanical Engineering

ACTIVITY HEADER

 

Name of Activity Detective-Mechanical Engineering
Author Kirsten Jorgensen and Hannah Garflied
Keywords rube goldberg, mechanical, simple machines, gears, inclined planes, pulley, lever, wedgem screw
Subject Simple Machines
Grade Level 4, 5
Time 1 Hour Total, 2 Hours Total
Brief Description Lesson 3 of Detective Engineer: Intro to Different Types of Engineering unit – mechanical engineering.
Lesson Objectives: -understand what mechanical engineers do and design-become familiar with the different types of simple machines

-create a rube goldberg device

Materials Needed: LEGO Simple Machines KitExtra Lego Pieces

a few NXT touch sensors

Preparation and Set Up: Arrange students in pairs with 1 simple machine kit per group
Procedure Continuation on the “Detective” Story line that we are following in this unit. Give the next part of the crime. We sent some of the shrapnel  they filtered from the last week and determined that the bomb that exploded in the museum of science was a bomb that was triggered by a button next to the bomb. There were no finger prints on the trigger. Discuss how this is possible? eventually get to Rube goldberb device because they wouldn’t be blown up if they were a distance away and triggered the bomb. What kind of engineer could build this? First we have an open discussion on mechanical engineers-what they do and why this field is different from other types of engineering–moving parts, robotics etc. What is a rube goldberg device? How do they work. Open discussion about what a simple machine is, why we use them, why they’re helpful, what the different kinds are and what their specific uses are (write on board for reference later). Project: Create a rube goldberg device with 2 different simple machines that can trigger a button (NXT touch sensor) from across the desk — has to be far enough away so they don’t blow up Give students 10-15 minutes to develop an idea and have a plan before they start. Hand out simple machines kits  after it is confirmed that they have a relatively good idea of what they are going to build and assist students as needed (how to work a gear box and how to make the certain simple machines because a lot of them have never seen how gears work) Ended up using a second week for this project so they could finish. Had pairs present their projects to the class. Had them talk about their idea and which simple machines they used.
Extensions: If they finish early, try to have them implement a 3rd simple machine. (only 1 group finished early)
Umbrella Unit/Curriculum (if applicable) Detective Engineer: Intro to Different Types of Engineering

Electromagnetism Superheros

ACTIVITY HEADER

 

 

 

Name of Activity Electromagnetism Superheros
Author STOMP
Keywords electricity, magnetism, final, project, non-lego
Subject Non-LEGO
Grade Level 4
Time 2 Hours Total
Brief Description Students will have two weeks to design and build something to help a superhero rescue all of the paper clips in the city of Boston from an evil supervillain hiding in a cave.
Lesson Objectives: -Incorporate both electricity and magnetism in a final project.
-Encourage students to design while thinking about a client and what he/she will need to accomplish.
Encourage students to be creative and reaffirm that there is no one correct answer.
Materials Needed: For the first week, some materials should be replied. You may then allow students to request certain materials (within reason) if they feel it would help their design for the next and final week.

First Week Materials:
-Batteries
-Wire
-Lightbulbs (both LED and standard small lightbulbs)
-Playdough
-Nails
-Paperclips, for testing
-Assorted materials such as paper, felt, tape, popsicle sticks, etc.

Preparation and Set Up: -Collect supplies.
-Prepare a model of the supervillain in its cave (can be accomplished by a bunch of paperclips within a dark box)
-May consider bringing large pieces of paper in for students to draw their designs.
-Divide students into groups of 2-3.
Necessary Background Students should now have an excellent background on both electricity and magnetism. They should realize that a combination of electricity and magnetism will be needed to successfully complete this activity.
Procedure
  1. Divide students into groups of 2 or 3.
  2. Describe to them the problem that they will have to solve: a supervillain has taken over all of the paperclips in Boston and is now hiding out in a cave! If you were to design someone to help the superhero save the city, what would you design?
  3. Distribute large pieces of paper and encourage students to brainstorm for quite a while. Think about what problems they need to solve and how they will design for a specific person.
  4. Allow students to build a little with the provided materials in week 1 and request materials for week 2.
  5. In week 2, have students complete their designs and demonstrate to the class if they have time.
Umbrella Unit/Curriculum (if applicable) Electricity & Magnetism

Squishy Circuits

ACTIVITY HEADER

 

 

 

Name of Activity Squishy Circuits
Author STOMP
Keywords squishy, circuit, electricity, LED, playdough, non-lego
Subject Non-LEGO
Grade Level 4
Time 2 Hours Total
Brief Description Squishy circuits allows for students to make a simplified circuit using Playdough as wires.
Lesson Objectives: Students will be introduced to the concept of circuits and attempt to make their own circuit using a power source, conductive wires, and lightbulbs.
Materials Needed: -Playdough
-9V Batteries
-LED Lightbulbs
Preparation and Set Up: -Pack supplies. Ensure that there are extras of everything, in case a battery has died or some of the LEDs are not functioning properly.
-Arrange students in pairs.
-Distribute materials.
Necessary Background Students should be introduced to the concept of circuits as well as the necessary components to each circuit. What are some common circuits that we use every day? It may be helpful also to explain to them the properties of Playdough that would make it useful in a circuit.
Procedure
  1. Arrange students in pairs.
  2. Distribute materials.
  3. Allow students to spend some time trying to get the LEDs to light up themselves, offering guidance only when deemed necessary.
  4. If students are still stumped, it may be time to give hints to them as to why their circuit is not working. The most common issue is that the Playdough wires will be touching. Some groups may not even make two separate wires.
  5. Ensure students understand why their circuit is or is not working by the end of the activity (1-2 weeks, as you see fit).
Online Reference(s) https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1T-p5pOAGi-hcP1cxoq0BkhJe0pQJLhXQcywRkfWAWCQ/edit?usp=sharing
Umbrella Unit/Curriculum (if applicable) Electricity & Magnetism

Rube Goldberg Machines

ACTIVITY HEADER

 

 

 

Name of Activity Rube Goldberg Machine
Author STOMP
Keywords cause and effect, LEGO nxt programming, mental math, hands on, few instructions, final project
Subject NXTs, Non-LEGO
Grade Level 5
Time 2 Hours Total
Brief Description The Rube Goldberg machines are a great way to engage children in team work, cause and effect relationships, and resourceful thinking. The objective is to have some end target / object/ or goal that is a result of a series of domino-like chain reactions.
Lesson Objectives: We are going to split the class in half (6 people in 2 groups). Each group will have the opportunity to build any type of cause and effect machine with the end goal of making a paper airplane fly. They are only allowed to use all the resources we provide (or any related objects in class). One rule we are incorporating to finish off our LEGO NXT programming unit, is that the students have to include some sort of LEGO robot movement in their Rube GoldbergMachine. The objective to have both groups make the airplane fly with 2 original and unique engineering designs.
Materials Needed: Materials we are providing – LEGO nxt robots and computers to program, marbles, cups, dominos, string, balloons, books, rulers, balls.
Preparation and Set Up: 10 minutes (if robots are already built)
Necessary Background None
Procedure 1. Need to make an airplane fly with a cause and effectRube Goldberg machine 2. Programming and robotics included – research Rube Goldberg machines and concepts 3. Kids solutions will vary 4. 2 groups will have the opportunity to redesign their projects on the last day of class Dec. 6th if needed 5. Prototypes will be designed and tested with materials provided 6. Testing the solutions at the end 7. Have the students draw out their designs and materials used in the prototype 8. Redesign (2nd lesson) Why did it work? Why did it not work?
Extensions: none
Modifications: none
Reference 1 http://sites.tufts.edu/stompactivitydatabase/files/formidable/Rube-Goldberg.docx
Online Reference(s) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HzDe9tNlCP4
Previous Activity (if applicable) n/a
Umbrella Unit/Curriculum (if applicable) LEGO NXT programming/ Computer Programming Introduction

Say Hello!

ACTIVITY HEADER

 

 

 

Name of Activity Say Hello!
Author Laura Fradin, Jake Hellman
Keywords NXT, programming, mindstorms, robotics, aguayo, 5th grade, sensors
Subject NXTs
Grade Level 5
Time 2 Hours Total
Brief Description Students build and program robots that “interact” with the outside world using a sensor.
Lesson Objectives: -Practice building with NXT kits
-Learn how sensors work and where they should be placed in order to work
-Basic Mindstorm Programming
Materials Needed: -NXT kits
-laptops
Preparation and Set Up: Jake and I made two example robots with two example programs to give them an idea of how sensors work and a very basic program would be done.
(The easy example programs, “Say Hello” and “Touch Sensor”, are attached and on the outline)
Procedure 1) Introduce the Challenge The Challenge: Build a robot (or modify your robot from last week) that “says hello” to you. This means that it acknowledges your existence it some way. This can be it actually saying hello as in our example program, or can merely have it react (back up, turn, make a noise, display a picture, etc.) to a certain stimulus (light, sound, etc). 2) Split students into smaller groups. Run the example program. Have the students tell you what the robot did. Then go through and go step by step to make the program they just witnessed. 3) Have students plan what they want to do (what sensors they will use, what the robot will do after the sensor is activated, etc) 4) Hand out NXT kits. Allow students to build for one class period. 5) The second class period/hour should be spent programming, testing, and re-programming. 6) Allow students to present
Extensions: -use more than one sensor (create a longer code)
Reference 1 http://sites.tufts.edu/stompactivitydatabase/files/formidable/SayHelloOutlinePartI.pdf

Wheel and Axle Lesson

ACTIVITY HEADER

 

 

 

Name of Activity Wheel and Axle Lesson
Author STOMP
Keywords Simple Machines, Wheel and Axle, NXT
Subject NXTs, Simple Machines
Grade Level 5, 6, 7, 8
Time 2 Hours Total
Brief Description Students work in groups to build a vehicle using NXT kits that includes a wheel and axle and has to be able to hold a ball. To discourage everyone from using a basic car design, their designs cannot have exactly four wheels. Once their design is complete (including motors and the NXT brick), each group learns how to use on brick programming to make their vehicle move the ball across their workspace.
Lesson Objectives: Improved understanding of the wheel and axle as a simple machine. Students gain skill building with NXT kits and using on brick programming.
Materials Needed: -NXT kits (1 per group)
-extra Legos
Preparation and Set Up: Consider bringing extra Legos for groups to build with, prepare to talk about the project in terms of the Engineering Design Process and simple machines.
Necessary Background None
Procedure
  1. Introduce the project by talking about the importance of the wheel and axle as a simple machine.
  2. Tell them the objective: to make a vehicle that can’t have exactly four wheels, includes the NXT brick and motors, and is capable of carrying the NXT ball across their workspace.
  3. Explain the project in terms of the Engineering Design Process, discuss which steps would be best to focus on for this project.
    • We drew the entire Engineering Design Process on the board and went over each step, asking them how they though the steps fit into this activity. At the end of the discussion we decided that the most important steps for this activity would probably be developing/ sketching solutions, prototyping, and communicating with other group members.
  4. Separate students into groups of 3-5.
    •  Most teachers already have some method of grouping students, or know which students shouldn’t be in a group together.
  5.  Give them the rest of the first hour to sketch a design and then build it.
    • Make sure each group includes motors and the NXT brick into their design.
  6.  If the lesson is taking place over two, one-hour blocks leave 5-10 minutes at the end of the first block for cleanup.
  7. Once a group has their vehicle fully assembled, show them how to make it move using on brick programming.
    • Make sure each member of the group gets a chance to try programming, and show them how to do things like change direction, turn, and loop through a set of instructions.
  8. If any of the groups finish early, show them how to add sensors and change the on brick program to respond to sensor input.
  9. Leave 15 minutes for each group to demonstrate their finished vehicle and clean up.
Umbrella Unit/Curriculum (if applicable) Simple Machines

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