Subject: Science and Writing
Major Content: Combining Actions, Switches, and Loops to perform a rescue and persuade panel
Unit Title: Social Studies - Search and Rescue with Lego Robots; Writing - Being Persuasive
Lesson Number and Title: Science #6 - Culminating Activity; Writing #10 - Culminating Activity
In Social Studies, the students have been studying the different ways robots can be used in the field of search and rescue to assist the different institutions involved in relief efforts after catastrophic events. They have been shown video clips of robots being used to help solve the BP oil spill, rescue people in Haiti after the earthquake, and help military personnel in Afghanistan and have participated in discussions regarding each of these topics. Students have been acquiring the programming skills of actions, switches, and loops while using the Lego Mindstorm NXT robots. Each day, the children have been working in partners to complete tasks which have allowed them to practice these skills. This culminating activity will require the students to apply all the skills they have learned to solve a new scenario.
In Writing, the students have been learning about effective ways to be persuasive. They have debated various topics and written persuasive letters to practice their skills. The presentation portion of this culminating activity will give students the opportunity to persuade a rescue panel (a group of teachers) why their robot and program is the best choice in completing the rescue mission.
Other skills required for this activity include the ability to use a Flip Video Camera to capture video of their trial run which can be used to persuade the panel. This is a skill the students have been using throughout the school year in various projects.
1. Students will program their robot to stay within the black line, avoid the blue ball (which we will pretend is a support beam that if moved will cause the entire building to collapse), and hit the red ball (which is representative of rescuing a person). Upon striking the red ball, the students must also have their robot programmed to find the black line and follow it until stopped by the ultrasonic sensor at the entrance to the course (which will be marked by a 4x10 inch obstacle). Modifications can be made to the robot if needed.
2. Students will create a 3-5 minute persuasive presentation indicating why their program will work (thereby explaining why they chose to create the program the way they did) and why their robot design will be the most effective and the safest choice for the rescue attempt.
Program of Studies:
SS-5-CS-U-2: Students will understand that cultures develop social institutions (e.g., government, economy, education, religion, family) to structure society, influence behavior and respond to human needs.
T-I-SESI-U-4: Students will understand that technology is used in jobs and careers to support the needs of the community and global community.
T-I-RIPSI-U-2: Students will understand that technology supports critical thinking skills used in inquiry/problem solving to make informed decisions.
T-I-RIPSI-U-3: Students will understand that technology is used to produce an innovative product or system.
EL-5-SL O-S-1: Students will create oral presentations that
a) are appropriate for the purpose (e.g., to inform, persuade, entertain) audience, context, and occasion
b) support judgment with sound evidence and appropriate details
c) maintain a consistent focus
d) exhibit a logical structure appropriate to audience, context, and purpose
e) organize ideas in a coherent, meaningful way including an introduction and a conclusion
f) choose language for its effect on the audience (e.g., strong nouns, active verbs, concrete and sensory details, figurative language)
EL-5-Sl O-S-3: Students will use visual aids, media and tools of technology to support oral communication.
SS-05-2.2.1: Students will describe social institutions (government, economy, education, religion, family) in the United States and explain their role in the growth and development of the nation.
Type of Assessment
Description of Assessment
Depth of Knowledge Level
Adaptations and/or Accommodation
Students will program their robot to stay within the black line, avoid the blue ball (which we will pretend is a support beam that if moved will cause the entire building to collapse), and hit the red ball (which is representative of rescuing a person). Upon striking the red ball, the students must also have their robot programmed to find the black line and follow it until stopped by the ultrasonic sensor at the entrance to the course (which will be marked by a 4x10 inch obstacle). Modifications can be made to the robot if needed. 4
None Required but if needed could:
1. modify course to decrease/increase complexity
2. use larger Lego kits if have children with coordination issues
3. develop vodcast tutorials regarding switches, loops, and actions for the children to refer to
Students will create a 3-5 minute persuasive presentation indicating why their program will work (thereby explaining why they chose to create the program the way they did) and why their robot design will be the most effective and the safest choice for the rescue attempt. Included in this presentation will be a video recording of the successful trial run of their robot through the course. 4
None Required but if needed could:
1. have students use podcasts, vodcasts, and/or powerpoint to enhance presentations further
2. use notecards to aid in presentation for students who struggle with public speaking or have memory issues
Resources, media, and technology:
3 Lego Mindstorm NXT kits
Mindstorm NXT software downloaded to all the wireless laptop computers
12 wireless laptops
large pieces of cardboard with a white surface facing up and a large black oval made out of tape on the surface of the cardboard
4x10 inch free standing obstacle made out of Legos
two stands for balls built out of Legos
Internet connection so can view videos:
Japanese Rescue Team: http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x9ajh9_robot-rescue-team_tech
Rescue Rats: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V5AwI68T3n0
Dexter Space Rescues: http://science.discovery.com/videos/discoveries-this-week-robot.html
Failed Mine Rescue (things to consider):
Houston Robots: http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=1609109n
SUT Robot: http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x1ud0g_sut-rescue-robot_tech
Snake Robot: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=68mp7dYUOWU
Lift Robot: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ztcigh-hCok
classroom blog or website
1. Place each of the links listed in the reference list on a classroom website or blog for easy access by students.
2. Have students log into wireless laptops with the partner they have been working, grab robot material, and find a place around the classroom to work.
3. Give students 10 minutes or so to explore the links on the website. Tell them to notice different robot structures and how certain features aid the robot in various tasks. Also ask them to pay attention to the different obstacles robots might face on a rescue mission. Instruct your students not to watch the video at http://www.bing.com/videos/watch/video/robot-rescue-fails/6fzaht (Failed Mine Rescue).
4. Show students the video listed in procedure 3. The video shows a failed rescue attempt of a robot in a mine shaft. As a class, identify things that went wrong and how these things could have been avoided. Also discuss features the children noted in the 10 minute exploration period and the circumstances these features helped overcome.
5. Read students the scenario:
A mudslide has destroyed the town of Stephenshire. Some of the residents are still trapped in their homes. At rubble site 507, a woman has been heard yelling for help. Scans of the building indicate there is a large beam near the woman that is keeping the house from collapsing. Your mission is to program your robot so that it searches the building until it finds the woman (stays in the black line), does not disturb the support beam (backs away from the blue ball), rescues the woman (hits the red ball), and finds a way out (follows the black line until it reaches the 4x10 inch obstacle located on the line and stops).
6. Tell students they may make physical changes to their robot.
7. Explain to students they must successfully complete the trial run with their robot and use the flip video camera to capture the run.
8. Lastly, explain to students each group is going to be persuading a panel of rescue leaders (teachers) that their program and robot is the best and safest choice for the job by creating a 3-5 minute presentation which includes the video of their successful trial run.
9. Students work on the robot design. Students will be given 15 minutes to do this.
10. Upon completion of modifications, students will design the rescue program. Students will be allowed to move freely to the rescue board to test their programs.
11. After being given 45 minutes or so to work on the program, students will begin working on their persuasive presentations and will record a successful trial of their program. Students will have 20 minutes to prepare their presentations.
12. Students will present to the rescue panel.