The SPIRIT Project

Educational Robotics

Lesson Building Block Template

Author: Yvette McCulley ____________

Grade Level: _7-8__  Date: __Aug 1, 2006__

Directions: 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)

Students will be able to create a researchable question using the TekBot as a major focus for the question. An example would be – "Will the surface texture of a ramp impact the TekBot's ability to climb the incline?"

 Students will be familiarized with science processes. Students will be able to write an experiment using the TekBot. The students will then "run" the experiment, collect the data, analyze the data and make recommendations for further study.

II.  Standards: (Standards for Technological Literacy)

Omaha Public  School Science 01 (Examine problems using scientific inquiry) and Omaha Public School Science 02 (Integrate unifying concepts and processes in science experiences)

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

   Context:     X__ Moving TekBot    __ Building a TekBot     __

Engineering / Notebook     __ Other     

     Abstract:  All 7th and 8th grade students are expected to participate in the School-wide Annual Science Fair occurring in the months of September through December. In September, teachers will go to each science classroom and expose students to the possible International Categories. Students will then select the category where they would like to work. In the past, the students have not had an easy time developing questions in the areas

of mathematics, engineering and computers. We are planning to introduce the TekBot and the Scribbler as" vehicles" to be used in these three categories. We are hopeful that this technology will be used to create inquiry questions that lend themselves to investigation for the Science Fair.The Science Fair categories that will lend themselves to the use of the already assembled TekBot include: Engineering, Computer Science, Physics, and Mathematics.

IV.  Teacher and Student Suggestions/Tips

- Make sure the TekBot is fully charged prior to arrival in the classrooms.

- Demonstrate the following "possibilities" for TekBot movement...moving in different directions, moving on different surfaces, moving on inclines, moving with sensor applications ( This will be done in "all team level meetings" on September 5th.)

- Facilitate a discussion of "I wonder what would happen if..."starters that could be used as Science Fair questions.

V.  Teacher Questions 

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

Would this question be a research paper or an investigation? Only select questions that have the investigation component for further work in preparing for the Science Fair.

VI.  Assessment Ideas

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

1.      Science Fair Log (Engineering Notebook Format)

2.      Science Fair Project Board (22 – 45 minute lessons)

3.      Science Fair Judging Criteria

4.      CRTs for Science Standards in OPS ...01 and 02

VII.  Other Information

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

We have 8 TekBots for student use. We also have Robotix kits that can be used. We hope to get the Lego robots for next year.  

VIII. A materials list