The SPIRIT Project

Educational Robotics

Lesson Building Block Template

Author: Ms. Deirdra Washington 

Grade Level: 8th   Date: August 4, 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)

-Newton's Law (1 and 3)Average Speed

-The Engineering Method

-  The Scientific Method

II.  Standards

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

-This lesson is designed to meet the Omaha Public Schools 8th grade science standard focused on Newton's 3 Laws of Force and Motion

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

     Context:     X Moving TekBot    __ Building a TekBot     X Engineering / Notebook     __ Other      

     Abstract(Give a 1 paragraph abstract of the activity)

This lesson is designed to be inquiry based.  As a whole class, students will observe and record the Tekbot's behavior in several different situations prior to beginning the laboratory experiments.  Suggest ways to decide who drives the TekBots.  Then students will be allowed to explore various testing materials and begin pre-lab designs.  Also, during this phase of exploration students will be asked to record probing questions in their notebooks to be tested during the actual laboratory experiment.  Students will need to incorporate calculations for average speed of the Tekbot in various situations.  During the post laboratory exercises students will be given the formal definition for Newton's Laws.  Then ask the students to compare and apply their individual results to Newton's Laws of Force and Motion.  Finally, allow students to make modifications based on new information and/or understanding.

IV.  Teacher and Student Suggestions/Tips

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

-Allow the students brainstorm ideas that could possibly change the average speed of the Tekbot.

-Allow students to brainstorm and construct obstacle course options

-Provide materials and supplies for the students to explore and construct additional test options

V.  Teacher Questions 

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

-Predict what changes will occur as the variables change

-Calculate the average speed of the Tekbot under different conditions 

VI.  Assessment Ideas

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

-Standard grading for the base lesson, then allow additional points to be given for demonstrating higher level thinking and/or understanding as they change and/or test different variables     

VII.  Other Information

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

VIII. list of materials