Robot Classroom Activity

This activity is intended to be used by teachers in their classrooms when they are introducing object-avoiding robots which use the Ultrasonic Distance Sensor. It can be used as a prelude to building the YourDuino Basic Robot Kit

1. Materials needed:
  • 1 or 2 Robots with fully charged batteries
  • Science notebooks
  • Pencils
  • White board/markers to write students' hypotheses
  • Materials such as tape to use for testing hypotheses
  • Several Ultrasonic Distance Sensors to pass around
  • Parts for robot kit to put on display
  • Ultrasonic PPT (link below) / Computer and video projector

2. Setting up the Environment:
  • Have the Parts of the robot kit displayed on a table for kids to look at and examine
  • Children sit in a large circle on the floor
  • They have their Science notebooks and pencils with them

3. What the teacher will say:
  • We are going to be observing these robots
  • Watch them carefully
  • Please write down in your notebooks what they are doing
  • Once you have decided what the robots are doing, let's share some of your ideas together as a group
  • Now, try to come up with a hypothesis to answer this essential question:
  • How does this robot work?

4. Steps for writing a hypothesis:
  • Ask Question
  • Observe robot
  • Construct a Hypothesis
  • Fill in this sentence: (Make an educated guess)
  • "If , then_[this]__ will happen."
  • Test Your Hypothesis by Doing an Experiment.
  • Analyze Your Data and Draw a Conclusion.
  • Communicate Your Results.

5. Turn robots on and let them move about in the circle of kids for approx. 5 minutes. Students will write their observations and then their hypotheses in their science notebooks. When finished writing, students can go back to their seats where they can view the board/screen

6. Write students' hypotheses on the board
Some possible examples:
  • It uses technology
  • It sees things with its eyes
  • It touches things
  • It can tell how far away things are
  • It can hear

7. Test their hypotheses
  • Examples:
    • Put electrical tape or other materials over the robot's "eyes" (the ultrasonic) and then test to see if the robot will still avoid obstacles
    • Make loud noises when the robot is running to see if this changes the robot's behavior

8. Decide on a conclusion

9. Follow up:
  • Show PowerPt: