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Name of Activity Mystery Sensor Challenge
Author Eleanor Richard, Sam Heilborn
Keywords Lego, Robotics, Mindstorm, Programming, Challenge, Introduction, Sensors, Sensor Introduction, EV3, NXT
Subject Mindstorm Programming
Grade Level 4,5,6,7,8,9
Time 30-60 minutes
Brief Description
Lesson Objectives: Familiarize students with the Mindstorm blocks.Have students understand the importance of the order and specific aspects of programming blocks, such as speed, duration, degree.Introduce student to the concepts of “What If” blocks and “Loops.”
Materials Needed:
  • NXT or EV3 Robots
  • Touch, Sound, and/or Ultrasonic Sensors
Preparation and Set Up: Crete 4-6 challenging and excited Mindstorm programs with non-desribitive names. These programs can include Some examples are shown belowScreen Shot 2015-03-30 at 4.49.37 PM
Screen Shot 2015-03-30 at 4.49.50 PMScreen Shot 2015-03-30 at 4.49.44 PM?
Necessary Background Teacher must understand Mindstorm, and students should have some familiarity with EV3 or NXT, but do not (and should not) have a lot of experience programming.
Online Reference(s)
Umbrella Unit/Curriculum (if applicable)


(journal for observations? or posters for drawing?)

-giving time to play with materials before activity starts (exploration)

-defend observations to each other

-can we make the time shorter?

-breaks in the middle to talk about things as a class

- ask who will leave so they can be paired together, or just partnering generally (email)

-check in with teacher during exploration time?

-carrot-and-stick thing for balloons etc


September 23- Introduction and spaghetti towers activity

September 30- failure analysis (of structures that we have pre-built), straw structures- towers, bridges, strength, etc., building animals out of straws

October 7- lego vehicles, ramp (no motors), play around with ramp size/slope and wheel size  etc, maybe with balloons/rubber bands for propulsion

October 21- introduce motors an gears, maybe an activity with vehicles and speed, maybe something new

October 28- dinosaur tail activity (using simple machines and pulleys for something other than wheels)

November 4- design and construction of an imaginary animal based on qualities picked from a hat

November 11- obstacle course with robot animals, trial run 1

November 18- redesign of robot animals

November 25- redesign of robot animals

December 2- obstacle course run 2

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