Frankenstein’s Robot

ACTIVITY HEADER

Name of Activity Frankenstein’s Robot
Author Charlie and Laura +Devyn and Alli’s Minigroup
Keywords Frankenscience, Introduction to NXT, sensors, instructions
Subject NXTs
Grade Level 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
Time 4+ Hours Total
Brief Description Providing students “Frank” the NXT brick, and walking them through the process of making Frank functional. This activity is an intro to NXT, so instructions are there to guide students as they become comfortable with new parts. Parts should be entirely interchangeable between robots.
Lesson Objectives: Personification of sensors
Confidence in using individual sensors and motors
Ability to combine a number of simple parts to create a more complex system
Materials Needed: NXT kits
Procedure Frank the robot is broken down into several steps of building and programming. The goal is for the kids to build a fully functional robot with advanced behavior without the children feeling overwhelmed by the complexity of the project.

Frank is introduced to the children as just an NXT brick. we comment on how Frank wants to be more mobile and introduce the deigns for the legs of frank the robot

Building Instructions [Frank the robot[moters+frame]]

distribute the PDF of the instructions to the kids, and the instructions should be intuitive enough for the kids to follow along. an NXT mindstorms program should also be developed that the kids can follow along as it’s programmed ( highly recommended to code and debug before giving to the kids)

once the kids have built frank up to the point of the instructions finish at, then the kids should bring out the laptops and start programming the motors. these small steps will show the kids that programming and building are not actually two separate tasks, but opposite sides of the same coin. this also allows for multiple iterations of the engineering design process.

once the kids have finished with the motors and basic frame then the other PDF’s should be distributed.

 

 

LEGO Sailboats

ACTIVITY HEADER

 

 

 

Name of Activity LEGO Sailboats
Author Adam Glaser and Jordyn Wolfand
Keywords LEGOs, wind, wind power, vehicle, sail, sailboat, boat
Subject Non-LEGO, LEGO Building
Grade Level K, 1, 2, 3
Time 1 Hour Total
Brief Description Students will use LEGOs and other materials to build a wind-powered vehicle.
Lesson Objectives: To learn about wind power and building.
Materials Needed: LEGOs to build simple cars
Straws
Plastic bags
Tape
Fan
Preparation and Set Up: Make kits for each group with enough LEGOs to build a car, straws and plastic bags.
Arrange student into pairs.
Necessary Background Vocabulary:
Wind
Wind Power
Procedure
  1. Introduce wind power to the students.
    1. Talk about the places we find wind power.
    2. Talk about why and when wind power is useful.
      1. e.g. on the open water vs. on the highway.
  2. Tell students that they should build a car that will drive when a fan is blowing wind on it.
  3. Pass out the building kits and allow students to build their designs.
  4. Have students test their designs using a fan to simulate wind.
  5. Have students try different sized sails, wheels etc. to see what works the best.
  6. At the end of class let each student demonstrate their fan. Have a class discussion about the different designs. Ask:
    1. Which combinations worked best and why?
    2. Which combinations did not work well? why?
    3. What are some pros and cons of wind power?
    4. What are some of the forces that were affecting the cars? What types of wheels were best? Were lighter or heavier cars better? (you can talk about friction, aerodynamics, force, etc.)
Reference 1 http://sites.tufts.edu/stompactivitydatabase/files/formidable/Lego-Sailboats-Outline.doc

Rat Race

ACTIVITY HEADER

 

 

 

Name of Activity Rat Race
Author STOMP
Keywords NXT, 1 Hour Total, vehicle, car, obstacle, obstacle course, contrasting colors, sound, sound sensor, constraints
Subject NXTs
Grade Level 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9+
Time 1 Hour Total
Brief Description Students will program their NXT vehicles through an obstacle course. The instructor
should be creative in making an obstacle course. The obstacle course can include a
contrasting colored floor, narrow passages that force students to design a compact car,
sounds that require students to use sound sensor, and walls that cars need to avoid.
Lesson Objectives: To learn about programming in NXT.
Materials Needed: NXT kits.
Computers running LEGO MINDSTORMS.
Obstacle course, be creative in inventing a fun obstacle course for students to program and design their car to get through.
Preparation and Set Up: Set up an obstacle course, it can be very simple to complex depending of the level and experience of the students.
Necessary Background Vocabulary:
Constraints.
Procedure
  1. Introduce the activity and show the students the pre-built obstacle course so that they know what their car has to do.
  2. Have students build their cars using touch and light sensors. Remind students that their car must somehow break through the rope barrier at the end of the course.
  3. When students have finished building, have them program their cars to travel through the course.
    1. The cars must start at the start line.
    2. When the cars hit the black line, their cars should turn right.
    3. When the cars hit the wall, the cars should turn left.
    4. At the finish line, the cars must break through the tape.
  4. When students have finished programming allow them to test their cars, reprogram/rebuild if necessary and retest their cars.
Reference 1 http://sites.tufts.edu/stompactivitydatabase/files/formidable/ratrace.doc

Transportation Design

ACTIVITY HEADER

 

 

 

Name of Activity Transportation Design
Author STOMP
Keywords Transportation, vehicle, client, Engineering Design Process, LEGO Building
Subject Simple Machines
Grade Level K, 1, 2, 3
Time 4 Hours Total
Brief Description Students will act as real engineers to design a vehicle for a client that answers a specific client problem. Students will use the Engineering Design Process to solve the challenge.
Lesson Objectives: - Learn how to build for client specifications.
- Use the Engineering Design Process to achieve the goal.
- Connect LEGO building to real engineering.
Materials Needed: - LEGO Simple Machines kits for each student pair.
- ‘Client Design Bags’ – in attached file.
- ‘Transportation Design Book’ – in attached file.
Preparation and Set Up: - Make a copy of the ‘Transportation Design Book’ for each students.
- Collect materials for each client problem specified on the ‘Client Problems’ sheet to make up a ‘Client Design Bag’ for each student pair.

- Arrange students in pairs.
Necessary Background
The engineering design process is an eight step process that engineers use to design:

Step 1. Identify the need/problem

Step 2. Research the need/problem

Step 3. Develop possible solutions

Step 4. Select the best possible solution

Step 5. Construct a prototype

Step 6. Test and evaluate the solution(s)

Step 7. Communicate the solution(s)

Step 8. Redesign

Vocabulary:

Axle
Axle Extender
Beam
Brick
Bushing
Connector Peg
Friction Peg
Hub
Motor
Plate
Pulley Wheel
Pulley Bands
Tire
Client

Procedure Use the Engineering Design Process to explain and teach this lesson:

  1. Identify Problem: Have students identify the specific problem that their client has asked them to solve. Have students think about the props they are given for their problem and how these props change their design from a normal car to a vehicle with a certain purpose.
  2. Research: Have students look at pictures of vehicles that has solved a problem similar to the problem each group was given (See attached research).
  3. Brainstorm: Have students talk with their partners about ways to solve their client’s problem along with how they will work together as a team to solve the problem.
  4. Choose and Plan: Have student pairs agree on what and how to build their vehicles. Have students fill out the first few pages of the ‘Transportation Invention Book’. Each students planned design should look like their partners.
  5. Create: Have students build their design.
  6. Test: Each group will have to pass 4 tests the first two are given, the second two are invented by the group:
    1. Shake Test: The invention cannot break when shaken.
    2. Drive Test: - The vehicle must drive using the motor and battery pack.
    3. Group Invented Test - Should test some constraint of the clients problem.
    4. Group Invented Test  – Should test some constraint of the clients problem.
  7. Redesign: Have students redesign after failed tests. Tell students that this is normal and happens to all engineers. Help students look for solutions.
  8. Share: Students should complete their ‘Transportation Invention Book’.

This entire challenge will take between 2 – 4 class periods depending on the age level of the students and how efficiently the class works. The following is a 4-day breakdown of the activities: Day 1:

  • Introduce the challenge to the students by handing out one ‘Client Design Bag’ to each group.
  • Explain that each group has a different design problem with props to design a solution for (Props are the materials listed at the end of each client design card.
  • Tell students that they can take the props from the bag and design a solution for their client’s problem.
  • Have students fill out the planning section of their ‘Transportation Invention Book’.
  • Students should talk to their partners during this process to design the same vehicle.

Day 2:

  • Review the goals for the transportation design project.
  • Have students begin building their designs when they are finished with the design phase.
  • Take pictures of the students working, and of each groups project, to print out and let them put in their ‘Transportation Invention Books’.
  • At the end of this class bring the students together and talk about problems s tudents are having and ways that students have solved problems.

Day 3:

  • Have students continue building and testing their designs.
  • Continue to take pictures.

Day 4:

  • Finish up. Make sure that each group completes their ‘Transportation Invention Books’.
  • Let each group give a short presentation on their design.
    • Each group should present their client’s problem.
    • Each group should talk about ideas that they had to solve the problem.
    • Each group should share the tests that they put their vehicle through.
    • Each group should share their final project and Transportation Invention Book.
Extensions or Modifications: Extensions:
- Change vehicles to drive over a different terrain.
- Change vehicles to drive up a steep incline.
- Create specific extensions that relate to individual client problems.
- Have students create and advertisement for their design.
- Have students create an engineering design company and make their own business cards.

Modifications:
- It may be helpful for students to have a checklist attached to their Transportation Invention Book that helps them keep track of what they have done or have not done.
- You may want to wrap up with a class discussion. Ask the students:
– What building technique made your invention sturdy?
– What difficulties did you encounter?
– Describe what it was like to build your invention to size?
– What was the best part of this activity?

Reference 1 http://sites.tufts.edu/stompactivitydatabase/files/formidable/t1.pdf
Reference 2 http://sites.tufts.edu/stompactivitydatabase/files/formidable/t3.doc

Build a Sturdy Vehicle

ACTIVITY HEADER

 

 

 

Name of Activity Build a Sturdy Vehicle
Author STOMP
Keywords sturdy, vehicle, drive, motors, pulleys, Simple Machines, Engineering Design Process, ramp climbing, wheels
Subject Simple Machines
Grade Level K, 1, 2, 3
Time 1 Hour Total
Brief Description Students will build a vehicle that is sturdy and able to drive using motors.
Lesson Objectives: - Introduce students to building vehicles using prior knowledge of sturdy building, motors and pulleys.
- Use the Engineering Design Process to accomplish the task.
- Explore pulley combinations that facilitate ramp climbing (extension).
Materials Needed: - LEGO Simple Machine kits.
- Makeshift ramp (board and stack of books, poster board, wooden blocks, etc.).
- Extra Batteries.
- ‘Engineer’s Planning Sheet’.

- ‘Engineer’s Final Report’ Worksheet.
Preparation and Set Up: - Set up a ramp.
- Make enough copies of worksheets for the class.

- Arrange students in pairs.

- Distribute LEGO Simple Machines kits.

Necessary Background Vocabulary:
Pieces-
Motor
Wire
Battery pack
Wheels
Hubs
Procedure Procedure:

  1. Review how to connect the LEGO motor, wire, and battery pack and how to make the motor run backwards and forwards.
  2. Review Sturdy Building and pulleys. Talk about how to make the motor attach to the wheels through pulleys.
  3. Introduce the design challenge using the Engineering Design Process
    1. Identify Problem: Tell students that their LEGO people needs a sturdy vehicles to transport them from place to place (over hills and mountains if doing ramp extension).
    2. Research: Think about what students have done before and how it might help with this design challenge. Research what diifferent types of cars look like, how they act, and what there purpose is (three wheels v. four wheels, front-wheel-drive v. rear-wheel drive, Large trucks v. small cars). Talk about different ways to power a car (gas, electric, hybrid, hydrogen etc.)
    3. Brainstorm: Talk about how you might make a frame for a vehcile. Talk about attaching the motor to make the wheels move (and that it does not have to be attached to every wheel for the car to move). Discuss how to make the design sturdy.
    4. Choose and Plan: Have students fill out the ‘Engineer’s Planning Sheet’. Have each student circle the part they will build.
    5. Create: Have students build their cars.
    6. Test: Students must pass two tests
      1. Drop Test - The vehicle cannot break when dropped from the ankle.
      2. Drive Test - The vehicle must move using the motor and battery pack.
    7. Redesign: Have students rebuild after failed tests. Have them identify problems their cars may be having.
    8. Share: 
      1. Have students fill out ‘Engineer’s Final Report’
      2. Come together as a class and let each student show off their design.
      3. Talk about difficulties the students encountered and how they solved their problems.
Extensions or Modifications: - Have students use different sized pulley wheels to make their car drive up a ramp
without tipping back or falling off (smallest possible pulley on the motor, largest on
the axle with wheels). You will need to add the Ramp Test – the car should drive
to the top of the ramp. Students may need to add additional weight to their cars.

- Have students construct a cart that their car can pull. Have this cart pull something
(books, blocks, LEGO people, LEGO trash/brush/bricks).

- ADVANCED: Have students build a car that pulls a car up a ramp.

Modifications:
- Make rules about where the designs can be tested.
- Have a chart for who has completed what tests.

Reference 1 http://sites.tufts.edu/stompactivitydatabase/files/formidable/car1.jpg
Reference 2 http://sites.tufts.edu/stompactivitydatabase/files/formidable/car2.jpg
Reference 3 http://sites.tufts.edu/stompactivitydatabase/files/formidable/car3.pdf

Snow! Snow! Snow!

ACTIVITY HEADER

 

 

 

Name of Activity Snow! Snow! Snow!
Author STOMP
Keywords vehicle, snow, Simple Machines, prototype, Engineering Design Process, constraints
Subject Simple Machines
Grade Level K, 1, 2, 3
Time 2 Hours Total
Brief Description Students will be asked to design a vehicle that will clear three different types of “snow” from a path with a motorized simple machines car.
Lesson Objectives: - To engage students in an open-ended engineering design challenge that utilizes their motorized vehicles and allows students to make a connection with the real world.
Materials Needed: - Tape to mark the ‘road’.
- Packing peanuts (light snow).
- Extra white LEGO bricks (medium snow).
- Wet paper towel or small stones (wet/heavy snow).
- LEGO Simple Machines kits.
- ‘Engineer’s Planning Worksheet’.
- ‘Engineer’s Final Report’ Worksheet’.
- Pictures of different snowplow designs.
For Extensions:
- Ruler.
- Blank paper for advertisement.
Preparation and Set Up: - Obtain three different types of snow.
- Set up three ‘roads’ with tape, one as a test site for each type of snow (light, medium, wet/heavy).
- Print out enough worksheets for the class.
- Print out photos of different snowplow designs/methods for removing snow (shovels, snowblowers, plows).
- Arrange students in pairs.
- Distribute LEGO Simple Machines kits.
Necessary Background the engineering design process is an eight step process that engineers use to design:

Step 1. Identify the need/problem

Step 2. Research the need/problem

Step 3. Develop possible solutions

Step 4. Select the best possible solution

Step 5. Construct a prototype

Step 6. Test and evaluate the solution(s)

Step 7. Communicate the solution(s)

Step 8. Redesign

Vocabulary:
All pieces in LEGO Simple Machines kits
Prototype
Engineering design process
Constraints

Procedure Author: STOMP Time: 1 – 2 one-hour class periods Description: Students will be asked to design a vehicle that will clear three different types of “snow” from a path with a motorized simple machines car. Grade Level:

  • K-3

Lesson Objectives: To engage students in an open-ended engineering design challenge that utilizes their motorized vehicles and allows students to make a connection with the real world. Materials Needed:

  • Tape to mark “road”
  • Packing Peanuts (light snow)
  • Extra white LEGO bricks (medium snow)
  • Wet Paper towel or small stones (wet/heavy snow)
  • LEGO Simple Machines kits
  • ‘Engineer’s Planning Worksheet’
  • ‘Engineer’s Final Report’ Worksheet
  • Pictures of different snowplow designs.

For Extensions

  • Ruler
  • Blank paper for advertisement.

Preparation and Setup:

  • Obtain three different types of snow.
  • Set up three “roads” with tape, one as a test site for each type of snow (light, medium, wet/heavy).
  • Print out enough worksheets for the class.
  • Print out photos of different snowplow designs/methods for removing snow (shovels, snowblowers, plows).
  • Arrange students in pairs
  • Distribute LEGO Simple Machines kits

Teacher Background: the engineering design process is an eight step process that engineers use to design: Step 1. Identify the need/problem Step 2. Research the need/problem Step 3. Develop possible solutions Step 4. Select the best possible solution Step 5. Construct a prototype Step 6. Test and evaluate the solution(s) Step 7. Communicate the solution(s) Step 8. Redesign Vocabulary:

  • All pieces in LEGO Simple Machines kits
  • Prototype
  • Engineering design process
  • Constraints

Procedure: Talk about this lesson using the Engineering Design Process

  1. Identify Problem: Pose this design challenge as the problem: The town’s people need a vehicle that can drive around and clear the roads of snow so that cars can drive on them.
  2. Research:  Think about vehicles that clear the road of snow and different types of plows (show photographs).
  3. Brainstorm: Talk about how you might build some of the ideas in research out of LEGO materials.
  4. Choose and Plan: Have students fill out the ‘Engineer’s Planning Sheet’ and have each partner circle what they will build.
  5. Create:Have students build their design and help students solve design challenges.
  6. Test: Explain the tests that the students must pass:
    1. Pick-Up Test: The design must stay together when it is picked up
    2. Snow Tests:
      1. Light Snow: The vehicle must be able to clear a path in the cotton balls
      2. Medium Snow: The vehicle must be able to clear a path in the LEGO bricks
      3. Heavy Snow: The vehicle must be able to clear a path in the wet paper towels.
  7. Redesign: Have students rebuild vehicles until they have passed all the tests and can clear every type of snow.
  8. Share: Have students fill out the ‘Final Report’ worksheet. Come together as a class.
    1. Compare different designs (straight plows, V-plows, width of plows, proximity to the ground, number of pieces).
    2. Talk about difficulties in building and the solutions students came up with.
Extensions or Modifications: - Few students may actually complete this lesson, so have those who do help other students.
- Students can create an advertisement for their snow plow, writing/drawing why it is a good design.
- Students can use this as a counting and categorizing exercise:
– How many beams did you use?
– How many plates?
– What are the measurements of your car?

Modifications:
- Record what students have passed what tests with a chart.
- If student’s plows are too low to the ground have the students raise the plows.

Reference 1 http://sites.tufts.edu/stompactivitydatabase/files/formidable/Snow1.pdf
Reference 2 http://sites.tufts.edu/stompactivitydatabase/files/formidable/Snow2.pdf

Build a Sturdy Vehicle

ACTIVITY HEADER

Name of Activity

Build a Sturdy Vehicle

Author

STOMP

Subject and Grade Level

1, 2, 3, K, Simple Machines

Time

2 Hours Total

Lesson Objectives:

- Introduce students to building vehicles using prior knowledge of sturdy building, motors, and pulleys.
- Use the engineering design process to accomplish the task.
- Explore the pulley combinations that facilitate ramp climbing (extension).

Materials Needed:

- LEGO Simple Machine Kits.
- Makeshift ramp (board and stack of books, poster board, wooden blocks, etc.)
- Extra Batteries
- ‘Engineer’s Planning Sheet’
- ‘Engineer’s Final Report’ Worksheet

Preparation and Set Up:

- Set up a ramp (if you choose to do this part of the activity).
- Make enough copies of the worksheets for the class.
- Arrange students in pairs.
- Distribute LEGO Simple Machine Kits.

Vocabulary:

motor, wire, battery pack, wheels, hubs

Procedure

  1. Review how to connect the LEGO motor, wire, and battery pack and how to make the motor run backwards and forwards.
  2. Review Sturdy Building and pulleys. Talk about how to make the motor attach to the wheels through pulleys.
  3. Introduce the design challenge using the Engineering Design Process
    1. Identify Problem: Tell students that their LEGO people needs a sturdy vehicles to transport them from place to place (over hills and mountains if doing ramp extension).
    2. Research: Think about what students have done before and how it might help with this design challenge. Research what diifferent types of cars look like, how they act, and what there purpose is (three wheels v. four wheels, front-wheel-drive v. rear-wheel drive, Large trucks v. small cars). Talk about different ways to power a car (gas, electric, hybrid, hydrogen etc.)
    3. Brainstorm: Talk about how you might make a frame for a vehcile. Talk about attaching the motor to make the wheels move (and that it does not have to be attached to every wheel for the car to move). Discuss how to make the design sturdy.
    4. Choose and Plan: Have students fill out the ‘Engineer’s Planning Sheet’. Have each student circle the part they will build.
    5. Create: Have students build their cars.
    6. Test: Students must pass two tests
      1. Drop Test - The vehicle cannot break when dropped from the ankle.
      2. Drive Test - The vehicle must move using the motor and battery pack.
    7. Redesign: Have students rebuild after failed tests. Have them identify problems their cars may be having.
    8. Share: 
      1. Have students fill out ‘Engineer’s Final Report’
      2. Come together as a class and let each student show off their design.
      3. Talk about difficulties the students encountered and how they solved their problems.

Extensions or Modifications:

- Have students use different sized pulley wheels to make their car drive up a ramp
without tipping back or falling off (smallest possible pulley on the motor, largest on
the axle with wheels). You will need to add the Ramp Test – the car should drive
to the top of the ramp. Students may need to add additional weight to their cars.
- Have students construct a cart that their car can pull. Have this cart pull something
(books, blocks, LEGO people, LEGO trash/brush/bricks).
- ADVANCED: Have students build a car that pulls a car up a ramp.
- Make rules about where the designs can be tested.
- Have a chart for who has completed what tests.

Sample Images

http://sites.tufts.edu/stompactivitydatabase/files/formidable/15_image_2.jpg

 

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