« DataTools Activity Plan Discussion
« DataTools Activity Plan Discussion

Sean's second activity  

Students will use Robolab (a programmable lego kit) to build and program a “mars lander” and will have to analyze and follow the path that both the spirit and opportunity did. Students will download images of both the landers traverses into Image J and analyze "unit" distances to key features. They will use this information to program their vehicles to navigate through a scaled down classroom version of Mars (using bottles, 2x4’s, blankets, etc as geologic landforms). This is only one of several challenges that the students will undertake with robolab. We will also be using excel earlier in the unit to graph various runs of time and distance and then calculate average speed using these graphs.

Here is a link to robolab so you can see how the kit works:

and here are some images of the landers adventures:


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Sean, that sounds awesome! Does each student/group need their own kit? How much does each kit cost?
When do you plan to start this and how long do you think it will take? Do your students have any experience using LegoRobotics?



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The kits are really neat but they are expensive (0 +/-). Tufts designed much of the software and because they are in Medford (where I teach), I am pretty sure there is a partnership but I am not sure of the details. We have enough kits so 2 kids can work with one kit (I think we have a total of 20 in the building). I run a 3 week unit with these and start with the engineering design process. We play a game of bingo with the parts and I highlight and explain some of them. I spend a day showing them how the rcx (the brain), the light and touch sensors, and the motors work. We spend some time with the programming that is done on the computers (drag and drop commands) which is pretty straight forward and then it is on to the challenges. For some challenges (like the time distance trials) I have them use a "simple car" that is the same for all students. On other challenges (like the bottle basherbots and mars landers) they will be allowed to come up with their own designs. I LOVE lego's and this unit is tons of fun but to be honest, with all the little parts, after three weeks I am happy to see the kits go back in the closet. Let me know if you have any further questions.



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