The SPIRIT Project

Educational Robotics

Lesson Building Block Template

Author: Jeff York ____________

Grade Level: _5__  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) metric/standard measurement, unit conversion, calculations with decimal numbers, data collection/representation/analysis

II.  Standards: (Standards for Technological Literacy)

Lesson activities can be modified to support all OPS Math standards, especially 5-01, 5-02, 5-03, 5-04, 5-05, and 5-07.

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

This activity uses a moving TekBot.  Create an obstacle course, using masking tape for the boundaries.  Include small ramps, speed bumps (taped-down pencils or markers work well), and a variety of angled turns.  Drive TekBot through course in a timed environment, and have each student team calculate the average time required to complete the course.  Record all data, either in notebooks or on the board/overhead, and create a bar graph to represent each run through the course.  Measure the perimeter of the course, then find the TekBot's speed in feet/second, cm/second; convert to miles/hr and km/hr.   Later, challenge students to design their own course of a specific perimeter and/or area, using metric units.  Create scale drawings on graph paper; construct actual courses as time and space permit.

IV.  Teacher and Student Suggestions/Tips

Prior to teaching this lesson, it will be necessary to provide students opportunities to gain skill in driving and steering the TekBot.  Each of the previously suggested measurement activities can also be done during this preliminary phase.  It would be useful to have other seatwork or center activities available during these lessons, to maximize student engagement when they are waiting for their team's turn with the TekBot.

V.  Teacher Questions 

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

What is the average speed of the TekBot through the course?  What is the range of the data?  Identify the median and mode of the data.  Design a course that has the same perimeter and obstacles as the one you used, yet would likely lead to a faster speed.  Given the perimeter and obstacles used, how could you change the course to make it more challenging?

VI.  Assessment Ideas

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

VII.  Other Information

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

VIII. A materials list