Amusement Park Ride





Name of Activity Amusement Park Ride
Author STOMP
Keywords amusement park, ride, NXT, prototype, mechanical engineer, engineering design process, safety, constraints, build, program
Subject and Grade Level NXT, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
Time 2 Hours Total
Lesson Objectives: - To apply building and programming techniques to a design challenge.
Materials Needed: - NXT LEGO Kits.
- Computers running NXT-G MINDSTORMS software. Be sure correct firmware is downloaded onto NXTs.
- Assortment of extra LEGO pieces, people, motors, and sensors.
- Extra Pieces Request Sheet (optional).
- Engineer’s Planning Sheet and Final Design Sheet (attached, or make your own).
- Engineering Design Process visual (attached, or make your own).
- Art supplies for students to decorate and extend on their LEGO design.
- Poster and art supplies for students to make an advertisement of their ride (optional).
Preparation and Set Up: - Collect necessary materials.
- Photocopy worksheets.
- Arrange students into groups of 2.
- Decide how you will distribute extra pieces.
- Write design requirements on the board.
  1. Tell students that in this challenge they will be building an amusement park ride of their choice.
  2. Talk about how the engineering design process will be used in todays activity.
  3. Tell students the requirements for their rides. Adjust the requirements to be age appropriate. For example:
    1. Your ride must use a least ________motor(s).
    2. Your ride must use at least ________sensor(s).
    3. Your program must include  ______________.
  4. Allow the class to brainstorm different ride ideas and come up with different ideas for rides.
  5. Allow each student pair to build the ride of their choice, you may also decide as a class who will build what ride.
  6. Have students plan out their design on an engineering planning sheet (use attached or create your own). Be sure that students include the design requirements in their designs.
  7. Distribute materials and have students start building their ride.
  8. When the students have completed the building of their design allow them to program their NXTs.
    1. Choose the appropriate software either NXT MINDSTORMS software.
    2. Attached is a sample of the program in the NXT MINDSTORMS software.
  9. When all the students have completed their rides, allow each group to fill out a Final Design Sheet and then share their design with the class.
  10. Optional: You may want to put the park together and share with other teachers, classrooms, parents.
  11. Optional: Students can create an advertisement for their amusement park rides, or write a story about it.
Extensions or Modifications: - Have students create more complex rides with more sensors and motors.
- Have students design and create an advertisement for their ride to attract customers to the amusement park.
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Line Follower






Name of Activity Line Follower
Author STOMP
Keywords car, light sensor, line, follow, loops, loop, ports
Subject and Grade Level NXTs, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9+
Time 1 Hour Total
Lesson Objectives: - To learn to program using light sensors
- To learn to program using loops
- To practice building with an NXT kit
Materials Needed: - NXT Kit
- Solid colored floor or mat
- Tape that contrasts floor or mat
- Planning and Final Design Worksheets
- Computers running MINDSTORMS NXT-G Software
Preparation and Set Up: - Set up a line for students car to follow
- Set up computers running NXT software
- Photocopy worksheets
- Arrange students in groups of two
- Distribute necessary materials
  1. Have students plan out their design and program on paper before distributing materials. Help students think about the program by asking the following questions: How can the light sensor help you detect the line? What should happen when the car senses the line? What about when the light sensor detects the floor again? What is a loop? How will a loop be helpful in your program?
  2. Have students build cars using NXT-G kits, or provide a pre-built car to each group.
    1. The light sensor should be pointed at the ground.
    2. Make sure the car can easily turn by attaching a skid plate or attaching a swivel wheel to the front of the car.
    3. Attach the light sensor to the front of the car.
  3. Have students program their cars.
    1. The car should follow a line using a light sensor.
    2. Program one motor to turn until the light sensor detects the line.
    3. Use the “Wait for” block to use the light sensor data.
    4. When the light sensor detects the line, have the first motor stop and the other motor turn until the light sensor detects the floor, at which point the second motor will stop.
    5. Insert a loop around the program so that the car continually follows the line.
  4. Allow students to test their design on a tapeline on the floor.
  5. Tell students that they may redesign their car as this is an important step in the Engineering Design Process.
  6. When students have completed their cars have them fill out their final design sheets.
  7. Gather students together as a class and let each group share their car. Discuss the activity as a class.
Extensions or Modifications: - Create a theme for the project such as “rounding the bases” so that the students cars have to do more than just follow a line.
- Have a challenge at the end of the line. For example, at the end of the line there is a box that the NXT car must pick up. Students must design a robotic arm to lift the box.
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