Lesson #2: Research

Duration: 60 minutes


  1. Complete research from previous lesson

Big Questions

  1. What problem are we trying to solve?
  2. What constitutes a verifiable research source?
  3. What information do we need in order to help us come up with a solution?


Setup Guide or Diagram

  • Preload videos and hook up laptop/desktop to projector
  • Teacher to write big questions on board for class to review

Sequence of Activities

Activity 1: Hook
Duration: 5 minutes

  • Review project objective: “The objective of this project is for students to work in teams to investigate trash collection in urban centers and to imagine, design, and build a robotic solution. Students should first aim to create a robot that gathers trash and places it on one side of the playing field.”
  • Review the Engineering Design Cycle and expectations for the day
  • Draw student attention to brainstorm phase
  • Remind students of their roles (Time Manager, Building Manager, Programming Manager, Documentation Manager)

Materials/Video Guides: Engineering Design Cycle 

Activity 2: Community Building Activity
Duration: 10 minutes
Student: In Groups

  • Gather and develop a group name
  • Brainstorm using chart paper and markers
  • Share name with class

Materials/Video Guides: Chart paper and markers

Activity 3: Continue research (if needed)
Duration: ~40 minutes (as needed)

  • Steers students to pre-determined online databases or curated research resources
  • Circulate and guide

Student: In Groups

  • Conduct research to answer group research questions

Materials/Video Guides: SI Innovation Journal, Optional: Research Resources

Activity 4: Exit Ticket
Duration: 5 minutes

  • Community Circle- each student shares answer to following question in 1-2 sentences:
    • What is one interesting thing you learned from your research?

Student: Listen to classmates and share their idea


  • Research questions
    • Teacher can provide students with research questions for greater prompting
    • Teacher can ask students to provide their own research questions (through the questionstorming period)
  • Research Resources
    • Teachers can provide students with articles and links to resources or provide no links and ask students to conduct research using the school’s research databases or pre vetted search engines
    • Teacher can print articles for students for those who find it easier to read a hardcopy
  • Citations

Extension Activities

Community Building Activity

  • If time, groups can design a team flag (teacher can put them up around the classroom)


  • Students continue research outside of the classroom
  • Students research the history of robotics and create a timeline
    • Digital tools for timeline creation include: