LEGO Planet Rotation Structures

ACTIVITY HEADER

 

 

 

Name of Activity LEGO Planet Rotation Structures
Author STOMP
Keywords LEGO, ROVs, rotation, model, structure, planets, solar system
Subject NXT
Grade Level K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
Time 1 Hour Total
Brief Description Students will assemble a rotating structure onto their pre-made LEGO ROVs.
Lesson Objectives: - To observe a model of planet rotation.
- To experiment with designing.
Materials Needed: Pre-organized LEGO kits
Pre-painted and labeled Styrofoam balls
Pre-made LEGO ROVs
Demonstration model with rotation structure
Preparation and Set Up: - Arrange students in groups of two.
- Distribute materials.
Necessary Background Vocabulary:
- Gears
- Bevel Gears
- Bushings
- Axles
Procedure
  1. Students will work with the same partners as they did in “ROVing Away.”
  2. Review the solar system with the class.
  3. Tell the students that each group will be given a styrofoam planet.
  4. Each group will use a motor and gears, mounted on top of their rove, that will make the planet either revolve around the RCX or rotate around its axis.
  5. The styrofoam planet will be attached by sticking it onto a LEGO axle. That axle will be attached to a series of gears attached to the motor, through gears so that it rotates.
  6. Let students experiment with gears to create a planet that either revolves on it’s axis or revolves around the RCX.
  7. Tell students that they can change the speed of the revolutions by changing the gear structures.
    1. Ask students: what gear arrangement is faster? Which is slower?
    2. Ask students what speed is most appropriate for their planet.
  8. Come together as a class and let each group demonstrate their machine and how they used gears to achieve their goal.
Reference 1 http://sites.tufts.edu/stompactivitydatabase/files/formidable/Lesson-3-Lego-Planet-Rotation-Structures.pdf
Previous Activity (if applicable) Solar System Rotation and Revolution
Umbrella Unit/Curriculum (if applicable) Solar System

Solar System Rotation and Revolution

ACTIVITY HEADER

 

 

 

Name of Activity Solar System Rotation and Revolution
Author STOMP
Keywords model, solar system, rotation, orbits, sun, revolution, motion
Subject Non-LEGO
Grade Level K, 1, 2, 3
Time 2 Hours Total
Brief Description Students will create a working model of the solar system.
Lesson Objectives: To develop an understanding about planets rotating on their axes and their revolution around the sun within orbits.
Materials Needed: Video of the solar system
Large, teacher made diagram of the solar system
Teacher made planet info cards
Picture of the planet.
Name
Distance and order from sun
Planet before and after it
Amount of time for one rotation
Four planet markers for each planet (picture and name of planet
Tape Measures
String
Scissors
Preparation and Set Up: Make large solar system diagram.
Construct planet info cards.
Create planet markers.
Collect materials.
Arrange students into four groups.
Distribute materials to the class.
Necessary Background Use online resources to find information on planets. Tryhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_system as a resource.

Vocabulary:

Rotation
Revolution
Motion
Orbit

Procedure
  1. Show students video on solar system. This video should include information about rotation and revolution.
  2. Talk about the meaning of rotation and revolution.
  3. Ask the students:
    1. How can you demonstrate the motions in the solar system?
  4. Break into groups and tell students that they can use anything in the classroom to aid their demonstration.
  5. Students will be allowed approximately 10 minutes to complete the task.
  6. Have each group present their demonstration.
  7. After the group demonstrations, explain to students that they will recreate a model of the solar system’s motions by using themselves as the sun and planets.
    1. Assign individuals, or small groups of individuals to be a specific planet, or the sun.
    2. Each group will be given a ball of string, four planet marker cards, and a planet info card that tells them the length of string they should cut to replicate their planets orbit.
    3. Bring the class to a large open area.
      1. You could clear the classroom by pushing desks to the side, go outside, use gymnasium or multi-purpose room.
    4. Decide where to place the sun first.
    5. The “Planet” groups will use tape measures to determine how far away from the sun they should stand. Students should place their markers at 4 spots with the same radius from the sun where their orbit will be.
    6. Have students place their strings to mark their orbits.
    7. Each student group will choose one member to stand on their orbit in a straight line from the sun.
    8. Using one student as an example show how the student would revolve around the sun while rotating on their axis.
    9. Have nine the students orbit the sun, each representing a planet.
  8. Have the class come together to discuss the difference between rotation and revolution. Students can write their explanations on a paper using words or diagrams.
Reference 1 http://sites.tufts.edu/stompactivitydatabase/files/formidable/Lesson-2-Solar-System-Rotation-and-Revolution.pdf
Online Reference(s) http://pds.jpl.nasa.gov/planets/welcome.htm-vividimagesofeachplanetusenet.net.nx/nineplanets/overview-basicsoftheplanetsrotationsanddescriptitonsofeachplanet
Umbrella Unit/Curriculum (if applicable) Solar System

Solar System – ROVing Away

ACTIVITY HEADER

 

 

 

Name of Activity Solar System – ROVing Away
Author STOMP
Keywords Solar System, ROV, planet, beam, bricks, plates, axles, Solar Energy, Light Sensor
Subject and Grade Level NXT, K, 1, 2, 3
Time 1 Hour Total
Lesson Objectives: - Program a NXT ROV to travel from Earth to an assigned planet.
- Use this activity to learn about the solar system.
Materials Needed: - One pre-built NXT car for each pair of students.
- ‘Solar System’ that can be laid out on the floor, which shows all nine planets including earth. These can be marked off with tape, construction paper circles, etc.
- ‘ROVing Away’ activity worksheet.
- Planet fact cards set at each planet.
- Postcards from Pluto, by Loreen Leedy.
Preparation and Set Up: - Create ‘Solar System’ and planet facts.
- Lay out ‘Solar System’ and planet facts.
- Distribute NXT cars.
- Distribute activity worksheets.
- Break students into groups of 2.
- The teacher should do some research on each planet so that students can discuss the solar system after the activity. Wikipedia should have sufficient information on the solar system for this activity: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_system.
Procedure
  1. (optional) Read Postcards from Pluto by Loreen Leedy to the class. This will serve as review and set up for the lesson.
  2. Divide students into groups and assign each group a planet (there may be repeats).
  3. Tell students to make an educated guess as to how long they think their trip might take from Earth to their assigned planet. Have students program their car to run for this amount of time and then stop.
  4. Tell students that since the planets are different distances from Earth, the time that each group programs into their NXT should be different.
  5. Tell students to reenter new times until their car stops exactly at the designated planet.
  6. Come together as a class and discuss the difficulties and successes that each group had.
  7. Have each student read their planet fact card to the class to facilitate discussion on the solar system.
Extensions or Modifications: - Use a light sensor to program the car when to stop.
- Program the NXT car to turn around and return to Earth.
- Program the NXT to turn and stop when it is facing the sun. The sun can be represented as a flashlight and the device used to make the NXT stop is the light sensor.
Sample Image 1 http://sites.tufts.edu/stompactivitydatabase/files/formidable/5_image_1.png
Sample Image 2 http://sites.tufts.edu/stompactivitydatabase/files/formidable/Lesson-1-Engineers-Programming-and-Data-Sheet.pdf
Sample Image 3 http://sites.tufts.edu/stompactivitydatabase/files/formidable/Lesson-1-Roving-Away-Worksheet.pdf

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