The SPIRIT Project

Educational Robotics

Lesson Building Block Template

Author: ____Lea Bruner_____________

Grade Level: __8_  Date: __1 Aug, 2006_

Directions: Definition of a Lesson Building Block:  This is a "Lesson Building Block" from the SPIRIT educational robotics institute.  A 'lesson building block' is in essence an educational activity that might be later turned into a more formal classroom lesson by a creative teacher.  The SPIRIT Institute is striving to put a variety of "lesson building blocks" up on the web for the potential use of teachers as they try to prepare more formal educational lessons using the TekBot robotics platform. 

I.  Concepts  (Give a list of one or more concepts that might be taught using this activity)

Lea Bruner Students will explore differences between front wheel drive and rear wheel drive up an incline with the TekBot. They will also be using angle measure and working in teams.

II.  Standards

      (Give a list of one or two local, state or national standards that appear to apply)

            NCTM Algebra & Geometry Standards

-Understand patterns, relations, and functions;

-Represent, analyze, and generalize a variety of patterns with tables, graphs, words, and, when possible, symbolic rules.

-Relate and compare different forms of representation for a relationship.

   Identify functions as linear or nonlinear and contrast their properties from tables, graphs, or equations.

þ  Analyze change in various contexts;

   Use graphs to analyze the nature of changes in quantities in linear relationships.

þ  Apply appropriate techniques, tools, and formulas to determine measurements;

   Select and apply techniques and tools to accurately find length, area, volume, and angle measures to appropriate levels of precision.

þ  Formulate questions that can be addressed with data and collect, organize, and display relevant data to answer them;

   Formulate questions, design studies, and collect data about a characteristic shared by two populations or different characteristics within one population.

þ  Develop and evaluate inferences and predictions that are based on data;

   Use observations about differences between two or more samples to make conjectures about the populations from which the samples were taken.

III.  Learning Activity Context (Describe the overall context for the learning activity)

     Context:     X__ Moving TekBot    __ Building a TekBot     _X_ Engineering / Notebook     __ Other           

Context: Moving TekBot & Engineering/Notebook


            Students will give the TekBot a one foot lead to go up a ramp. Students will record the time it takes the TekBot to reach the top of the ramp using front wheel drive (FWD) first. Then using the same setting on the ramp, record the time the TekBot takes using rear wheel drive (RWD). The ramp will be set using at least three different degrees of elevation. Suggested angle measures would be 10, 15, 20, and 24; measured with a protractor. The data will be record into a chart (or spreadsheet program) to create graphs and more clearly examine relationships.

IV.  Teacher and Student Suggestions/Tips

     (Provide some general tips or suggestions for trying the activity)

After following the outlined activity, I would like students to come up with some different modifications that might help the TekBot climb higher inclines. After brainstorming together I want each group to try one of their ideas and see what degree of an incline they can get the TekBot to conquer.

If students have not already built a Tekbot of their own to use, one will be provided for the testing.

V.  Teacher Questions 

      (Give a list of questions that teachers might ask students during the activity)

One interesting topic I am hoping to discuss is: Why is the TekBot able to climb higher degrees of elevation when using rear wheel drive? What are the disadvantages and advantages to RWD and FWD? This may become a short research assignment. Also what modifications worked to allow the TekBot to climb higher than it did all on its own?

VI.  Assessment Ideas

     (Give an idea or two about how the lesson activity might be assessed)

Currently, I think a rubric would be the best assessment for this activity. I plan to have each student fill out their own worksheet to turn in, but I would also like to able to assess their ability to work in their group.

VII.  Other Information

     (Give any other information that might be useful or a visual or two)

            Materials Include: Worksheet (attached; pages 3-4), ramp (I used a 1X24 piece of MDF; usually a little width helps in case the TekBot doesn't go perfectly straight), 2X4's to build up the ramp angle, protractor, & stopwatch.