Light Symphony

ACTIVITY HEADER

 

 

 

Name of Activity Light Symphony
Author STOMP
Keywords light sensor, NXT, tone, ambient light, loops, math blocks, sound, inputs, outputs, Engineering Design Process
Subject NXTs
Grade Level 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9+
Time 1 Hour Total
Brief Description In this activity, students will wire a light sensor to their NXT bricks. Light sensor data
will be collected and used in a program that plays a tone based on the ambient light
in the room.
Lesson Objectives: - To learn to program using the light sensor, loops, math blocks, and sound.
Materials Needed: - NXT brick.
- Light sensor.
- Computers running MINDSTORMS NXT software.
Preparation and Set Up: Set up computers with MINDSTORMS NXT Software.
Arrange students into groups of two.
Distribute necessary materials.
Necessary Background Vocabulary:
inputs
sensors
outputs
engineering design process
Procedure
  1. Have students wire a light sensor to their NXT brick. They may or may not want to attach the light sensor to the brick.
  2. Have students program their NXT bricks
    1. The program should collect light sensor data
    2. The program should take this data and multiply it by a number (It may be good to start with about 10, but students can use trial and error until they find a multiple that creates the music box that they want)
    3. This new number should determine the tone of the note that the NXT brick plays.
    4. Students should add a wait for time block so that their note will play for that amount of before the program loops and the brick plays a new note.
  3. To test this program either have students turn their light sensors towards and away from a light source to produce different tones, or change the light levels in the room.
  4. Students may have to modify their program and change the multiple in their math block, or change the amount of time between notes. Allow students to test and retest multiple times.
Extensions: Get students to match the pitch of another NXT brick.
Modifications: - This same activity could be done using the proximity sensor attached to a car.
- Students could program their NXT brick to play a tone depending on how close their car was to an object. This could be related to a safety device that would warn you if your car was going to bump into a wall.
Reference 1 http://sites.tufts.edu/stompactivitydatabase/files/formidable/62_image_1.jpg
Reference 2 http://sites.tufts.edu/stompactivitydatabase/files/formidable/62_image_2.png
Reference 3 http://sites.tufts.edu/stompactivitydatabase/files/formidable/light_symphony.doc

Light at the Beginning of the Tunnel

ACTIVITY HEADER

 

 

 

Name of Activity Light at the Beginning of the Tunnel
Author STOMP
Keywords NXT, car, light sensor, tunnel, drive, reverse, ambient light
Subject NXTs
Grade Level 4, 5, 6
Time 1 Hour Total
Brief Description In this activity, students will build or be provided with a pre-built NXT car with a light
sensor attached. Students will program their NXT car to drive into a tunnel and then
reverse out of the tunnel when the ambient light gets too dark. The car will stop when
the ambient light increases and the car is out of the tunnel.
Lesson Objectives: - To program light sensors according to the ambient light in the surrounding environment.
Materials Needed: - NXT Car.
- Light sensor.
- Tunnel.
- Computer running LEGO NXT software.
Preparation and Set Up: Set up computers running LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT Software.
Build a tunnel that is large enough for an NXT car to drive into.
Arrange students in pairs.
Distribute necessary materials.
Necessary Background This activity can be introduced as designing a safety feature for your car so that it does not drive into an unsafe, dark area.
Procedure
  1. Have students build or provide a pre-built NXT car with a light sensor attached to the front of the car.
  2. Use MINDSTORMS NXT to program the NXT car.
    1. Check the ambient light value inside and outside the tunnel. To do this:
      1. Turn on the NXT and place it where you want to take your reading.
      2. Use the key pad to scroll over until you find the “View” option.
      3. Select the “View” option using the orange center button.
      4. Scroll over until you find “ambient light”and select “ambient light” using the orange center button.
      5. Scroll over to select the port that the light sensor is wired to. A percentage value should appear on your screen.
    2. Program your car to drive until it read a darker value a little bit above the reading that you got in the tunnel.
    3. Program your car to drive backwards until it reads a light value that is a little less than the ambient light value in the room.
    4. Test the cars. If the car does not respond as you wish, try changing the value that the light sensor is searching for.
Extensions or Modifications: Have students program their car to stay in the tunnel, this can be related to an animal who cannot leave its home in broad daylight without being eaten.
Reference 1 http://sites.tufts.edu/stompactivitydatabase/files/formidable/61_image_2.jpg
Reference 2 http://sites.tufts.edu/stompactivitydatabase/files/formidable/61_image_3.png
Reference 3 http://sites.tufts.edu/stompactivitydatabase/files/formidable/Light_Tunnel.doc

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