Yes You Can – An Easy Way to Integrate Robotics into Any Curriculum

Yes You Can – An Easy Way
to Implement Robotics into
Any Content Area
Dr. Andrea Peach
([email protected])
Professor of Education /
Associate Dean of Graduate Education
O Why Robots?
O Hardware / Software options
O Examining curriculum for appropriate robot-
related units
O 4 standard robot activities that will fit most
O Classroom management options for
robotics activities
O PD Opportunities
My Qualifications
• Professor (Instructional Technology) / Associate Dean of
Graduate Education at Georgetown College
• 10 years of running robot graduate classes and student camps
• 5 + years of robots competitions
• 5 current / previous robotics-related grants
• 30 years of programming experience and IT-related teaching
Why Robots?
“Proponents of technology and engineering
studies say those subjects help students
acquire valuable interdisciplinary and applied
skills in real-world situations, and attract
students who are not otherwise drawn to
traditional math and science. " (Where’s the 'T'
in STEM?)
Robots are Growing in Use and
O Robotic technology is growing in home
applications, military / safety, industry,
recreation/sports, entertainment, media,
transportation, research, and health care.
O Robotics activities combine all aspects of STEM
O Robots are accessible and motivational to most
all students
O Robotic competitions continue to grow in
Robotics activities address all areas of STEM
O SCIENCE: Physics (Motion, force and motion,
gear ratios / speed, energy, etc.)
O Technology: Programming (computational
O Engineering: Design, mechanics, machines,
problem solving
O Math: ratios, circumference, rotation, degrees,
estimation, etc.
Curriculum ideas: STEM!
All subject areas welcome
Science: Animal Science (Bugs), Space Science (Back to the Moon,
Mission to Mars), Environmental Science (RCX Challenge 2012)
Social Studies: Geography (Amazing Robot Race, RoboGames); Current
Events (Destination: Japan; Back to the Moon)
Language Arts: Base unit on a book or movie (Transformers, Wall E, Iron
Giant, Star Wars, etc.); include storytelling, presentations, journaling, etc.
Math: Most themes will work: most of the robotics activities have math
Practical Living / PE / College - Career Readiness: PE (RoboGames);
College-Career (teamwork, problem solving, time management); Practical
Living (FLL Senior Challenge, Special Needs)
O Next Gen Science Standards Examples:
O Next Gen Science Standards Examples:
O 4th Grade: Measurement and Data -
O 5th Grade: Graphing coordinates
O 7th Grade: Circumference of Circles:
O Depending on activity, can cover many ELA
Speaking / Listening:
21st Century Skills
O “Ways of thinking. Creativity, critical thinking,
problem-solving, decision-making and learning
O Ways of working. Communication and
O Tools for working. Information and
communications technology (ICT) and
information literacy
O Skills for living in the world. Citizenship, life and
career, and personal and social responsibility”
4 Robot Activities to get you
O Start simple – using simple robot or build
robot from the guide that comes with robot
O Each activity adds new skills
O End with a bang!
Activity #1: Motors
Move forward and stop
O Modifications
O how far robot moves
O How fast robot moves
O How to determine distance
O Rotations
O Time
O Degrees
O Add turns
O Stopping one motor (pivot)
O Using turn function
O Require a more accurate stop
O Require the quickest or straightest route
Example ‘scenarios’
O RoboGames: Robot is carrying the Olympic
Torch (straight line) and then enters the
stadium to light the flame (turns)
O Mission to Mars: Robot leaves the space
ship, travels to the edge of a crater (straight
line), and then goes around the crater
O Destination: Japan: Robot is sent into the
nuclear power plant to allow engineers to
view the damage.
Activity #2: Add Sensors /
Wait Fors
O Add a touch or sonic sensor
O When sensor is triggered, either
O Start or stop the robot
O Let the robot do something (make a sound,
turn a curve, etc.)
O Optional: Add an additional ‘arm’ using the
3rd motor
Example ‘scenerios’
O RoboGames: Play Field Hockey: When
distance or sound is detected, the robot
stops and swings the arm. The arm hits a
ball into a goal.
O Back to the Moon: When the robot detects
space debris (distance sensor), it is moved
out of the way (arm).
O Destination: Japan: When the robot detects
an obstacle (wall), robot stops and sends a
signal to the engineers (makes a sound)
Activity #3: Light Sensor /
Loops / Switches
O Robot uses a light sensor to:
O Follow a line
O Stay within a line
Example ‘scenerios’
Follow a line
O BUGS – Ants release pheromone trails to
lead other ants to food sources. The robot
‘ant’ follows the trail
O Amazing Robot Race – industrial robots (like
at Toyota) follow magnetic strips (lines) to
deliver products to the line
O RoboGames – Robot performed on balance
beam and swim race.
Example ‘scenerios’
Stay inside a line
O BUGS – Ants release pheromone trails to
lead other ants to food sources. The robot
‘ant’ follows the trail
O Amazing Robot Race – industrial robots (like
at Toyota) follow magnetic strips (lines) to
deliver products to the line
O RoboGames – Robot performed on balance
beam and swim race.
Activity #4: Multiple sensors /
Variables / engineering
O Stay within a space (square / rectangle /
circle) using a light sensor
O Count touches on a touch sensor (loop /
wait for)
O Build robot to ‘survive’ being touched or
Example ‘scenarios’
O Overall task:
O Stay within the black line.
O When your robot gets touched by another
robot, keep track of the touch.
O When you are touched 3 times, sing a sad
song / transmit a warning, etc. and shut
O Scenario: Your robot is protecting an area
against other robots.
Classroom management
options for robotics activities
O Lesson Plan Example – Presentation Example:
O My camps last for 5 days – 2 ½ hours per day
O Day 1 – Activity 1
O Day 2 – Activity 2
O Day 3 – Activity 3
O Day 4 – Activity 4 (build and program)
O Day 5 – Activity 4 (finish building and testing) and
final ‘battle’
Other logistics
O 2-3 students per robot is ideal
O Have ‘advanced’ scenario options for
students who get done quickly
O Build in time for reflection, journaling,
reporting, etc…
O Consider inviting outside professionals
(engineers (IEEE), police department robot,
etc.) and involve parent volunteers.
Technical information
O My website –
O NXT Software – all tasks are documented
and include detailed instructions on
programming and building
O Websites abound – you can start with my
Delicious site –
PD Opportunities
O My Georgetown College class – CSC 522 (3
hours credit)
O Attend my GC PD – June 18-20
O Attend District PDs
O Training CDs, books, etc. available from Lego
Final Thoughts
O Robotic activities are available at all grade
O These 4 activities prepare students to do
well in robotics competitions
O Other robotics products are available that
may be more affordable in certain situations
O Don’t be afraid – let the kids go!
Questions / Comments?
O Questions: Contact me –
[email protected]
O Join my Facebook Group Page -
O Visit my website –
O Link to my Delicious site –

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