Design, build and program a robotic system that follows a path and communicates its position at least twice along the way.
Engage (30 Min.)
Explore (30 Min.)
Explain (60 Min.)
Elaborate (60 Min.)
Rovers that have been developed for any scientific mission have a common functionality. They are all able to collect some kind of information and send it back to a scientific base. Over the years, various communication systems have been invented to suit different constraints and needs.
Encourage an active brainstorming process.
Ask your pupils to think about these questions:
- What is a robotic explorer and where are they used?
- What type of motorised mechanism can be used to control a robot's movements?
- How can a robot collect data along a path?
- How can a robot communicate with a scientific base?
Encourage your pupils to document their initial ideas and to explain why they chose the solution that they will use for their first prototype. Ask them to describe how they will evaluate their ideas throughout the project. That way, when they are reviewing and revising, they will have specific information that they can use to evaluate their solution and decide whether or not it was effective.
To incorporate the development of language arts, have your pupils:
- Use their written work, sketches and/or photos to summarise their design process and create a final report
- Create a video demonstrating their design process starting with their initial ideas and ending with their completed project
- Create a presentation about their program
- Create a presentation that connects their project with real-world applications of similar systems and describes new inventions that could be made based on what they have created
Allow your pupils the opportunity to build some of the examples from the links below. Encourage them to explore how these systems work and brainstorm how these systems could inspire a solution to the Design Brief.
Teacher Observation Checklist
Create a scale that suits your needs, for example:
- Partially accomplished
- Fully accomplished
Use the following success criteria to evaluate your pupils' progress:
- The pupils are able to identify the key elements of a problem.
- The pupils are autonomous in developing a working and creative solution.
- The pupils are able to communicate their ideas clearly.
Once your pupils have collected some performance data, allow them a bit of time to reflect on their solutions. Help them by asking questions, like:
- Is your solution meeting the Design Brief criteria?
- Can your robot’s movement(s) be more accurate?
- What are some ways in which others have solved this problem?
Ask your pupils to brainstorm and document two ways in which they could improve their solutions.
Encourage a peer-review process in which each group is responsible for evaluating their own as well as others’ projects. This review process can help the pupils to develop skills in giving constructive feedback as well as sharpen their analytical skills and their ability to use objective data in order to support an argument.
The pupils who enjoyed this lesson might be interested in exploring these career pathways:
- Business and Finance (Entrepreneurship)
- Manufacturing and Engineering (Pre-Engineering)
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