Lesson #4-6: Build, Test, and Improve

Duration: 60 minutes

Objectives

  1. Create and build the solution
    1. Students should first aim to create a robot that gathers trash and places it on one side of the playing field
    2. Use various sensors, motors, and programming to accomplish this
  2. Extensions: 
    1. Collects trash and places it into a bin
    2. Sorts the trash by color and places them in their appropriate bins
  3. Test, evaluate, improve, and test again

Big Questions

  1. How do sensors help robots make decisions?
  2. How do design decisions influence function and performance?
  3. What role does failure play in helping us reach our goals?
  4. What is programming?
  5. How does programming influence your robot design?
  6. How does your robot design influence your programming?

Materials/Resources

Setup Guide or Diagram

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

Sequence of Activities

Activity 1: Hook
Duration: 5 minutes
Teacher:

  • 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."
  • Share agenda and design cycle
  • Draw student attention to build/test/modify phases
  • Show a video or article from the hook document (to inspire design thinking)
  • Remind students of their roles (Time Manager, Building Manager, Programming Manager, Documentation Manager)

Materials/Video Guides: Hooks, Engineering Design Cycle


Activity 2: Create and build the solution/Test, evaluate, improve, and test again
Duration: 45 minutes
Teacher:

  • Show Video 3
  • Show Video 4 once students have a robot with motors attached
  • Circulate and ask questions
  • Observe tests and ask questions to students to help guide improvements

Student: In Groups

  • Build and program robot
  • Conduct regular tests with the robot
  • "Recorder" records 5 tests in SI Innovation Journal (other group members can record in their journal if they want)
  • Modify, improve, and retest

Materials/Video Guides: Video 3 - Designing and Building a Robot, Video 4 - Programming Your Robot, SI Innovation Journal, Teacher Questions to Use for Circulation, LEGO Mindstorms NXT imageEV3RSTORM* image


Activity 3: Clean up
Duration: 5 minutes
Teacher: 

  • Remind "time manager" about clean up and time

Student: Independently

  • Put away pieces, tidy work space, and store away robotics kits

Activity 4: Exit ticket 
Duration: 5 minutes
Teacher:

  • Pick question(s) and 1 activity from Exit Ticket Ideas (questions + acticity = exit ticket)
    • If students are answering a question in SI Innovation Journal, collect the journal
    • If using an online tool, teacher can project so class can see responses realtime

Student: Individually

  • Complete activity

Materials/Video Guides: Exit Ticket Ideas


Extension Activities

  • Two other extensions for advanced robotics students include a robot that:
    • Collects trash and places it into a bin
    • Sorts the trash by color and places them in their appropriate bins
  • Robotics pieces
    • Students can design their own pieces and print using a 3D printer

Tips for Teachers

  • Number kits and assign one to each group
  • Use labled bins to store projects between classes
  • Make sure to use a room with ample work space for students
  • Ensure all student roles are being completed - discuss with students about the importance of their roles in successful group work
  • Teacher to print out some of the circulation questions to make anecdotal notes on while they observe students
  • Two other extensions for advanced robotics students include building a robot that:
    • Collects trash and places it into a bin - teacher tip: students should build a robotic arm to pick up trash
    • Sorts the trash by color and places them in their appropriate bins - teacher tip: students should build a robotic arm that has a color sensors attached to differentiate between colors