City Buildings

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Name of Activity City Buildings
Author Laura Fradin
Keywords civil engineering, non-NXT, non-lego, 5th grade, aguayo
Subject Non-LEGO
Grade Level 5
Time 1 Hour Total
Brief Description Students will construct buildings that belong in a city using a variety of different materials.
Lesson Objectives: -reinforce the engineering design process
-understand what civil engineers do
Materials Needed: -tape
-glue
-paper
-popsicle sticks
-cardboard
-egg cartons
-legos (if a younger group of kids)
-any other materials that might challenge kids to build a structure
Preparation and Set Up: -arrange students in pairs
-brainstorm various types of buildings needed in a city
-show students examples of non-traditional architecture and encourage them to think outside the box of normal rectangular structures.
Procedure
  1. As a class,  brainstorm building/places in a city that a civil engineer may have to design and build. Examples include: hospital, school, museum, police department, apartment building, houses, playgrounds/parks, airport, cafe/restaurants, church, bank, bridge, bookstore, etc.
  2. Arrange students in pairs and allow each group to chose ONE of the buildings/structures they want to build.
  3. Groups will first PLAN AND DRAW what they want their building to look like and what it will be made out of. Have students show their STOMP teacher the design before getting materials.
  4. Let students build. If they finish early, have them decorate it.
  5. Present.
Extensions: To make the challenge more difficult, limit students to only using one material to build.
Umbrella Unit/Curriculum (if applicable) Intro to Engineering-Let’s Build a City!

Spaghetti Towers

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Name of Activity Spaghetti Towers
Author Laura Fradin, Jake Hellman
Keywords spaghetti, towers, introduction, engineering, 5th grade, aguayo, marshmallows, tape
Subject Non-LEGO
Grade Level 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Time 1 Hour Total
Brief Description Students build the tallest tower possible out of spaghetti, tape, and place a marshmallow at the top of their tower.
Lesson Objectives: -Intro to Engineering
-Understand what constraints are
-Triangles are stronger than squares
-Failure is okay
Materials Needed: -spaghetti (10 pieces for every group)
-tape (1 ft for every group)
-marshmallows (1 per group)
-measuring tape
Preparation and Set Up: -arrange students in pairs
-collect necessary materials
Necessary Background Start the Class with an Intro to Engineering. What is engineering? What does an engineer do? Once students have a basic understanding of what engineering is, tell them we are going to do an engineering challenge!
Procedure 1) Explain the activity. They will have 15 minutes to build the tallest tower out of 10 pieces of spaghetti and 12 inches of tape. The marshmallow must balance at the top of the tower.  The time limit and the limited amount of materials given are known as constraints. (No you can’t eat the marshmallows. We will be measuring from to the top of the marshmallow so don’t use it as  a base) 2) Split students into pairs and let them work for 15 minutes. Wander the classroom and talk about different designs. See if any groups need help. 3) When time runs out, have everyone take a look at the various tower designs. Which ones are the tallest? What did you have trouble with in this challenge? What do you think you needed to make a better tower? How did you make yours stand up? Did the weight of the marshmallow make any towers collapse? 4) Explain the difference in stability between triangle and square/rectangle structures. 5) Engineers have to work with constraints all the time. Failure is just a part of the Engineering Design Process.
Reference 2 http://sites.tufts.edu/stompactivitydatabase/files/formidable/SpaghettiTowersOutline.pdf

Silly Walks

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Name of Activity Silly Walks
Author Laura Fradin, Jake Hellman
Keywords NXT, robotics, brick programming, 5th grade, aguayo, wheels, programming. JQS
Subject NXTs
Grade Level 5
Time 1 Hour Total
Brief Description Build and Program a robot that uses something other than wheels to move.
Lesson Objectives: -Understand brick programming
-practice building with NXT kits/pieces
-using non-traditional ways to make the robot move (NO CARS!)
Materials Needed: -NXT kits
-projector (to demonstrate on brick programming and show example video)
Preparation and Set Up: Show kids a video that has examples of Silly (https://nxt.dreschallenges.com/?p=2145)
Procedure 1) Show kids how to attach the motors to the brick. Explain that the motors must be attached tot eh brick in order for the whole thing to move. 2) Demonstrate how to program the robot to go forward (turn it on, NXT program, forward, empty, forward, empty, stop/loop). Make sure each student does this and that their motors work. Explain that it is the ORANGE part of the motor that moves to make sure that things are attached to that. 3) Hand out kits. 4) Allow students to build and test as they build. Help students as needed. 5) Present at the end of class
Extensions: -use more or less motors
-make the robot walk in a way that mimics a real animal
Reference 1 http://sites.tufts.edu/stompactivitydatabase/files/formidable/SillyWalksOutline.pdf

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

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