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  • Satish S. Nair
Control Using Sound
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Students gain a deeper understanding of how sound sensors work through a hands-on design challenge involving LEGO MINDSTORMS(TM) NXT taskbots and sound sensors. Student groups each program a robot computer to use to the sound of hand claps to control the robot's movement. They learn programming skills and logic design in parallel. They experience how robots can take sensor input and use it to make decisions to move and turn, similar to the human sense of hearing. A PowerPoint® presentation and pre/post quizzes are provided.

Subject:
Engineering
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Pranit Samarth
Satish S. Nair
Srijith Nair
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Don't Bump into Me!
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Students' understanding of how robotic ultrasonic sensors work is reinforced in a design challenge involving LEGO MINDSTORMS(TM) NXT robots and ultrasonic sensors. Student groups program their robots to move freely without bumping into obstacles (toy LEGO people). They practice and learn programming skills and logic design in parallel. They see how robots take input from ultrasonic sensors and use it to make decisions to move, resulting in behavior similar to the human sense of sight but through the use of sound sensors, more like echolocation. Students design-test-redesign-retest to achieve successful programs. A PowerPoint® presentation and pre/post quizzes are provided.

Subject:
Engineering
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Nishant Sinha
Pranit Samarth
Satish S. Nair
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Follow the Light
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Students' understanding of how robotic light sensors work is reinforced in a design challenge involving LEGO MINDSTORMS(TM) NXT robots and light sensors. Working in pairs, students program LEGO robots to follow a flashlight as its light beam moves around. Students practice and learn programming skills and logic design in parallel. They see how robots take input from light sensors and use it to make decisions to move, similar to the human sense of sight. Students also see how they perform the steps of the engineering design process in the course of designing and testing to achieve a successful program. A PowerPoint® presentation and pre/post quizzes are provided.

Subject:
Engineering
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Nishant Sinha
Pranit Samarth
Satish S. Nair
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Hare and Snail Challenges
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Students engage in the second design challenge of the unit, which is an extension of the maze challenge they solved in the first lesson/activity of this unit. Students extend the ideas learned in the maze challenge with a focus more on the robot design. Gears are a very important part of any machine, particularly when it has a power source such as engine or motor. Specifically, students learn how to design the gear train from the LEGO MINDSTORMS(TM) NXT servomotor to the wheel to make the LEGO taskbot go faster or slower. A PowerPoint® presentation, pre/post quizzes and a worksheet are provided.

Subject:
Engineering
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Pranit Samarth
Sachin Nair
Satish S. Nair
Date Added:
09/18/2014
How Do Sensors Work?
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Through six lesson/activity sets, students learn about the functioning of sensors, both human and robotic. In the activities, student groups use LEGO MINDSTORMS(TM) NXT robots and components to study human senses (sight, hearing, smell, taste, touch) in more detail than in previous units in the series. They also learn about the human made rotation, touch, sound, light and ultrasonic sensors. "Stimulus-sensor-coordinator-effector-response" pathways are used to describe the processes as well as similarities between human/animal and robotic equivalent sensory systems. The important concept of sensors converting/transducing signals is emphasized. Through assorted engineering design challenges, students program the LEGO robots to respond to input from various LEGO sensors. The overall framework reinforces the theme of the human body as a system with sensors that is, from an engineering perspective. PowerPoint® presentations, quizzes and worksheets are provided throughout the unit.

Subject:
Engineering
Material Type:
Full Course
Unit of Study
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Nishant Sinha
Pranit Samarth
Satish S. Nair
Srijith Nair
Trisha Chaudhary
Date Added:
09/18/2014
How Do You Make Loops and Switches?
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Students learn how to program using loops and switches. They see how loops enable us to easily and efficiently tell a computer to keep repeating an operation. They also see that switches permit programs to follow different instructions based on whether or not preconditions are fulfilled. Using the LEGO MINDSTORMS(TM) NXT robots, sensors and software, student pairs perform three mini programming activities using loops and switches individually, and then combined. With practice, they incorporate these tools into their programming skill sets in preparation for the associated activity. A PowerPoint® presentation, pre/post quizzes and worksheet are provided.

Subject:
Computer Science
Engineering
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Pranit Samarth
Riaz Helfer
Satish S. Nair
Date Added:
09/18/2014
How Do You Make a Program Wait?
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Building on the programming basics learned so far in the unit, students next learn how to program using sensors rather than by specifying exact durations. They start with an examination of algorithms and move to an understanding of conditional commands (until, then), which require the use of wait blocks. Working with the LEGO MINDSTORMS(TM) NXT robots and software, they learn about wait blocks and how to use them in conjunction with move blocks set with unlimited duration. To help with comprehension and prepare them for the associated activity programming challenges, volunteer students act out a maze demo and student groups conclude by programming LEGO robots to navigate a simple maze using wait block programming. A PowerPoint® presentation, a worksheet and pre/post quizzes are provided.

Subject:
Computer Science
Engineering
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Pranit Samarth
Riaz Helfer
Satish S. Nair
Date Added:
09/18/2014
How Does a Light Sensor Work?
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Students learn more about how light sensors work, reinforcing their similarities to the human sense of sight. They look at the light sensing process incoming light converted to electrical signals sent to the brain through the human eye anatomy as well as human-made electrical light sensors. A mini-activity, which uses LEGO MINDSTORMS(TM) NXT intelligent bricks and light sensors gives students a chance to investigate how light sensors function in preparation for the associated activity involving the light sensors and taskbots. A PowerPoint® presentation explains stimulus-to-response pathways, sensor fundamentals, and details about the LEGO light sensor, including its two modes of gathering data and what its numerical value readings mean. Students take pre/post quizzes and watch a short online video. This lesson and its associated activity enable students to gain a deeper understanding of how robots can take sensor input and use it to make decisions via programming.

Subject:
Engineering
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Pranit Samarth
Satish S. Nair
Srijith Nair
Date Added:
09/18/2014
How Does a Sound Sensor Work?
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Educational Use
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Students learn about how sound sensors work, reinforcing their similarities to the human sense of hearing. They look at the hearing process sound waves converted to electrical signals sent to the brain through human ear anatomy as well as sound sensors. A mini-activity, which uses LEGO MINDSTORMS(TM) NXT intelligent bricks and sound sensors gives students a chance to experiment with the sound sensors in preparation for the associated activity involving the sound sensors and taskbots. A PowerPoint® presentation explains stimulus-to-response pathways, sensor fundamentals, the unit of decibels, and details about the LEGO sound sensor, including how readings are displayed and its three modes of programming sound input. Students take pre/post quizzes and watch a short online video. This lesson and its associated activity enable students to appreciate how robots can take sensor input and use it to make decisions to via programming.

Subject:
Engineering
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Pranit Samarth
Satish S. Nair
Srijith Nair
Date Added:
09/18/2014
How Does a Touch Sensor Work?
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Students learn about how touch sensors work, while reinforcing their similarities to the human sense of touch. They look at human senses and their electronic imitators, with special focus on the nervous system, skin and touch sensors. A PowerPoint® presentation explains stimulus-to-response pathways, how touch sensors are made and work, and then gives students a chance to handle and get familiar with the LEGO touch sensor, including programming LEGO MINDSTORMS(TM) NXT robots to use touch sensor input to play music. Students take pre/post quizzes and watch a short online video. The mini-activities prepare students for the associated activity. This lesson and its associated activity enables students to appreciate how robots can take input from sensors, and use that to make decisions to move.

Subject:
Engineering
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Pranit Samarth
Satish S. Nair
Trisha Chaudhary
Date Added:
09/18/2014
How Does an Ultrasonic Sensor Work?
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Students learn about how ultrasonic sensors work, reinforcing the connection between this sensor and how humans, bats and dolphins estimate distance. They learn the echolocation process sound waves transmitted, bounced back and received, with the time difference used to calculate the distance of objects. Two mini-activities, which use LEGO MINDSTORMS(TM) NXT robots and ultrasonic sensors, give students a chance to experiment with ultrasonic sensors in preparation for the associated activity. A PowerPoint® presentation explains stimulus-to-response pathways, sensor fundamentals, and details about the LEGO ultrasonic sensor. Pre/post quizzes are provided. This lesson and its associated activity enable students to gain a deeper understanding of how robots can take sensor input and use it to make decisions via programming.

Subject:
Engineering
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Nishant Sinha
Pranit Samarth
Satish S. Nair
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Line-Follower Challenge
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Student groups are challenged to program robots with light sensors to follow a black line. Learning both the logic and skills behind programming robots for this challenge helps students improve their understanding of how robots "think" and widens their appreciation for the complexity involved in programming LEGO® MINDSTORMS® NXT robots to do what appears to be a simple task. They test their ideas for approaches to solve the problem and ultimately learn a (provided) working programming solution. They think of real-world applications for line-follower robots that use sensor input. A PowerPoint® presentation and pre/post quizzes are provided.

Subject:
Career and Technical Education
Physical Science
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Pranit Samarth
Sachin Nair
Satish S. Nair
Date Added:
06/17/2021
Master Driver
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As part of a design challenge, students learn how to use a rotation sensor (located inside the casing of a LEGO® MINDSTORMS ® NXT motor) to measure how far a robot moves with each rotation. Through experimentation and measurement with the sensor, student pairs determine the relationship between the number of rotations of the robot's wheels and the distance traveled by the robot. Then they use this ratio to program LEGO robots to move precise distances in a contest of accuracy. The robot that gets closest to the goal without touching the toy figures at the finish line is the winning programming design. Students learn how rotational sensors measure distance, how mathematics can be used for real-world purposes, and about potential sources of error due to gearing when using rotation sensor readings for distance calculations. They also become familiar with the engineering design process as they engage in its steps, from understanding the problem to multiple test/improve iterations to successful design.

Subject:
Engineering
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Nishant Sinha
Pranit Samarth
Satish S. Nair
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Maze Challenge
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As the first engineering design challenge of the unit, students are introduced to the logic for solving a maze. First they observe a blindfolded student volunteer being guided through a classroom maze by the simple verbal instructions of another student. In this demonstration, the blindfolded student represents a robot and the guiding student represents programming commands. Then student groups apply that logic to program LEGO MINDSTORMS(TM) NXT robots to navigate through a maze, first with no sensors, and then with sensors. A PowerPoint® presentation, pre/post quizzes and a worksheet are provided.

Subject:
Engineering
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Pranit Samarth
Sachin Nair
Satish S. Nair
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Music by Touch
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Students' understanding of how robotic touch sensors work is reinforced through a hands-on design challenge involving LEGO MINDSTORMS(TM) NXT intelligent bricks, motors and touch sensors. They learn programming skills and logic design in parallel as they program robot computers to play sounds and rotate a wheel when a touch sensor is pressed, and then produce different responses if a different touch sensor is activated. Students see first-hand how robots can take input from sensors and use it to make decisions to move as programmed, including simultaneously moving a motor and playing music. A PowerPoint® presentation and pre/post quizzes are provided.

Subject:
Engineering
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Pranit Samarth
Satish S. Nair
Trisha Chaudhary
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Navigating a Maze
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Using new knowledge acquired in the associated lesson, students program LEGO MINDSTORMS(TM) NXT robots to go through a maze using movement blocks. The maze is created on the classroom floor with cardboard boxes as its walls. Student pairs follow the steps of the engineering design process to brainstorm, design and test programs to success. Through this activity, students understand how to create and test a basic program. A PowerPoint® presentation, pre/post quizzes and worksheet are provided.

Subject:
Engineering
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Pranit Samarth
Riaz Helfer
Satish S. Nair
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Remote Control Using Bluetooth
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Building on what they learned about wired and wireless electrical connections in the associated lesson, students use Android phones to take advantage of Bluetooth wireless connections to remotely guide LEGO MINDSTORMS(TM) NXT robots through a maze. They compare this wireless remote control navigation to their previous experiences navigating LEGO robots via programming. A PowerPoint® presentation and pre/post quizzes are provided.

Subject:
Engineering
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Pranit Samarth
Riaz Helfer
Sachin Nair
Satish S. Nair
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Robot Design Challenges
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Through the two lessons and five activities in this unit, students' knowledge of sensors and motors is integrated with programming logic as they perform complex tasks using LEGO MINDSTORMS(TM) NXT robots and software. First, students are introduced to the discipline of engineering and "design" in general terms. Then in five challenge activities, student teams program LEGO robots to travel a maze, go as fast/slow as possible, push another robot, follow a line, and play soccer with other robots. This fifth unit in the series builds on the previous units and reinforces the theme of the human body as a system with sensors performing useful functions, not unlike robots. Through these design challenges, students become familiar with the steps of the engineering design process and come to understand how science, math and engineering including computer programming are used to tackle design challenges and help people solve real problems. PowerPoint® presentations, quizzes and worksheets are provided throughout the unit.

Subject:
Computer Science
Engineering
Material Type:
Full Course
Unit of Study
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Pranit Samarth
Riaz Helfer
Sachin Nair
Satish S. Nair
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Robot Sensors and Sound
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Students continue to build a rigorous background in human sensors and their engineering equivalents by learning about electronic touch, light, sound and ultrasonic sensors that measure physical quantities somewhat like eyes, ears and skin. Specifically, they learn about microphones as one example of sound sensors, how sounds differ (intensity, pitch) and the components of sound waves (wavelength, period, frequency, amplitude). Using microphones connected to computers running (free) Audacity® software, student teams experiment with machine-generated sounds and their own voices and observe the resulting sound waves on the screen, helping them to understand that sounds are waves. Students take pre/post quizzes, complete a worksheet and watch two short online videos about "seeing" sound.

Subject:
Education
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Pranit Samarth
Satish S. Nair
Srijith Nair
Date Added:
10/14/2015
Robot Soccer Challenge
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Students learn how two LEGO MINDSTORMS(TM) NXT intelligent bricks can be programmed so that one can remotely control the other. They learn about the components and functionality in the (provided) controller and receiver programs. When its buttons are pressed, the NXT brick assigned as the remote control device uses the controller program to send Bluetooth® messages. When the NXT taskbot/brick assigned as the receiver receives certain Bluetooth messages, it moves, as specified by the receiver program. Students examine how the programs and devices work in tandem, gaining skills as they play "robot soccer." As the concluding activity in this unit, this activity provides a deeper dimension of understanding programming logic compared to previous activities in this unit and introduces the relatively new and growing concept of wireless communication. A PowerPoint® presentation, pre/post quizzes and a worksheet are provided.

Subject:
Computer Science
Engineering
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Pranit Samarth
Riaz Helfer
Sachin Nair
Satish S. Nair
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Sumobot Challenge
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Students apply their knowledge of constructing and programming LEGO MINDSTORMS (TM)NXT robots to create sumobots - strong robots capable of pushing other robots out of a ring. To meet the challenge, groups follow the steps of the engineering design process and consider robot structure, weight and gear ratios in their designs to make their robots push as hard as possible to force robot opponents out of the ring. A class competition serves as the final test to determine the best designed robot, illustrating the interrelationships between designing, building and programming. This activity gives students the opportunity to be creative as well as have fun applying and combining what they have learned through the previous activities and lessons in this and prior units in the series. A PowerPoint (tm) presentation, pre/post quizzes and a worksheet are provided.

Subject:
Engineering
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Pranit Samarth
Sachin Nair
Satish S. Nair
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Using Waits, Loops and Switches
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Students are given a difficult challenge that requires they integrate what they have learned so far in the unit about wait blocks, loops and switches. They incorporate these tools into their programming of the LEGO MINDSTORMS(TM) NXT robots to perform different tasks depending on input from a sound sensor and two touch sensors. This activity helps students understand how similar logic is implemented for other every day device operations via computer programs. A PowerPoint® presentation, pre/post quizzes and worksheet are provided.

Subject:
Engineering
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Pranit Samarth
Riaz Helfer
Satish S. Nair
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Wait Program!
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After completing the associated lesson, students test their understanding in two programming tasks that utilize LEGO MINDSTORMS(TM) NXT robots and sound/touch sensors. In the first challenge, students become acquainted with wait blocks by designing programs to simply make robots move forward until "hearing" a noise, and then turn left. The second, more challenging activity pushes students to fully understand the potential of wait blocks. They create programs that make the robots change speed several times when a touch sensor is pressed. Students gain practice in the iterative design-program-test-redesign process. A PowerPoint® presentation, pre/post quizzes and worksheet are provided.

Subject:
Engineering
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Pranit Samarth
Riaz Helfer
Satish S. Nair
Date Added:
09/18/2014
What Are Gears? What Do They Do?
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Students are introduced to an important engineering element the gear. Different types of gears are used in many engineering devices, including wind-up toys, bicycles, cars and non-digital clocks. Students learn about various types of gears and how they work in machines. They handle and combine LEGO spur gears as an exercise in gear ratios. They see how gears and different gear train arrangements are used to change the speed, torque and direction of a power source. This prepares them to apply this knowledge in four associated activities in order to create successful solutions to design challenges that use LEGO MINDSTORMS(TM) NXT robots. A PowerPoint® presentation, pre/post quizzes and a worksheet are provided.

Subject:
Engineering
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Pranit Samarth
Sachin Nair
Satish S. Nair
Date Added:
09/18/2014
What Is Bluetooth?
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Students learn about electrical connections, how they work and their pervasiveness in our world. They consider the usefulness of wireless electrical connections for connecting electrical devices. Morse code is introduced as a communication method that takes advantage of on/off states to transmit messages by electrical bursts sent via wires, light or sound. They learn the Morse code rules and translate a few phrases into Morse code. Specifically, they learn about a wireless connection type known as Bluetooth that can be used to control LEGO robots remotely from Android devices, which leads into the associated activity.

Subject:
Engineering
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Pranit Samarth
Riaz Helfer
Sachin Nair
Satish S. Nair
Date Added:
09/18/2014
What Is Engineering? What Is Design?
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Students are presented with an overview of engineering and design. Various engineering disciplines are discussed in some detail using slides and an online video and website. The concept of design is introduced by presenting the basic steps of the engineering design process. Students learn that design is not necessarily restricted to engineering, but a general concept applicable to all walks of life. To strengthen their understanding, students are challenged to design a picnic for their friends by considering its various components as they go through the design process steps. This prepares them for subsequent design challenges such as those in the associated activities of this unit. A PowerPoint® presentation, pre/post quizzes and worksheet are provided.

Subject:
Architecture and Design
Engineering
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Pranit Samarth
Sachin Nair
Satish S. Nair
Date Added:
09/18/2014
What Is a Computer Program?
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Through four lesson and four activities, students are introduced to the logic behind programming. Starting with very basic commands, they develop programming skills while they create and test programs using LEGO MINDSTORMS(TM) NXT robots. Students apply new programming tools move blocks, wait blocks, loops and switches in order to better navigate robots through mazes. Through programming challenges, they become familiar with the steps of the engineering design process. The unit is designed to be motivational for student learning, so they view programming as a fun activity. This unit is the third in a series. PowerPoint® presentations, quizzes and worksheets are provided throughout the unit.

Subject:
Computer Science
Engineering
Material Type:
Full Course
Unit of Study
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Pranit Samarth
Riaz Helfer
Sachin Nair
Satish S. Nair
Date Added:
09/18/2014
What Is a Motor? How Does a Rotation Sensor Work?
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Students learn about electric motors and rotational sensors. They learn that motors convert electrical energy to mechanical energy and typically include rotational sensors to enable distance measuring. They also learn the basics about gear trains and gear ratios. Students create a basic program using the LEGO MINDSTORMS(TM) NXT interface to control a motor to move a small robot. Then, through a 10-minute mini-activity, they make measurements and observations to test a LEGO rotation sensor's ability to measure distance in rotations. This prepares them for the associated activity during which they calculate how many wheel rotations are needed to travel a distance. A PowerPoint® presentation, worksheet and pre/post quizzes are provided.

Subject:
Engineering
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Nishant Sinha
Pranit Samarth
Satish S. Nair
Date Added:
09/18/2014
What Is a Program?
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Students are introduced to the basic concepts of computer programs, algorithms and programming. Using a few blindfolds and a simple taped floor maze exercise, students come to understand that computers rely completely upon instructions given in programs and thus programs must be comprehensive and thorough. Then students learn to program using the LEGO MINDSTORMS(TM) NXT software. They create and test basic programs, first using just the LEGO NXT intelligent brick, and then using basic movement commands with the LEGO NXT software on computers. A detailed PowerPoint® presentation, plus a worksheet and pre/post quizzes are provided.

Subject:
Computer Science
Engineering
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Pranit Samarth
Riaz Helfer
Satish S. Nair
Date Added:
09/18/2014
What Is a Sensor?
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Students gain a rigorous background in the primary human "sensors," as preparation for comparing them to some electronic equivalents in the associated activity. A review of human vision, hearing, smell, taste and touch, including the anatomies and operational principles, is delivered through a PowerPoint® presentation. Students learn the concept of "stimulus-sensor-coordinator-effector-response" to describe the human and electronic sensory processes. Student pairs use blindfolds, paper towels and small candies in a taste/smell sensory exercise. They take pre/post quizzes and watch two short online videos. Concepts are further strengthened by conducting the associated activity the following day, during which they learn about electronic touch, light, sound and ultrasonic sensors and then "see" sound waves while using microphones connected to computers running (free) Audacity® software.

Subject:
Engineering
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Pranit Samarth
Satish S. Nair
Srijith Nair
Date Added:
09/18/2014