The following tasks and exercises are intended to familiarize your students with the robot and the programming interface. These are great tasks to try before you move onto some of the introductory and grander challenges. Students will gain computational thinking skills as they learn about the robot’s driving and turning abilities, and how the movements can be realized through programming. For instance, the Turning Exercise provides guidance in investigating how the robot “pivots”, and which coding is required to do so.
We have highlighted the mathematical possibilities in each of these tasks. Robots can provide a great opportunity to explore number as measurement.
The practice tasks and exercises below are a starting point for further inquiry into the robot’s functionality and abilities, so feel free to add to the suggested material. Each task provides free printable PDF documents to use in your classroom.
In this task, students will learn about one of the robot’s simplest abilities: driving forward. The task is structured so that students can gain experiences and confidence in simple programming, for instance by downloading and running programs, or by connecting the robot to the iPad. At the same time, they will learn how to program the robot to move forward, and thus gain a spatial sense of the proportion of wheel rotations and the distance traveled.
The Turning Exercise provides students with insight in how the robot “pivots” (or turns on the spot), and which coding is required to do so. Students will learn which wheel rotations are required to make the robot complete a half or a full turn (and others), so that they gain a spatial understanding of this essential feature in the robot’s operation.
This task is about unpacking the black-box with mathematical modelling to help students understand how their robot turns. It expands on the ideas of the Turning Exercise.
The challenge is to program the robot to trace the polygon. Programming the robot to follow a regular polygon reinforces understanding of the properties of 2D shapes and incorporates measurement of distance and angles in terms of wheel rotations, which requires multiplication and proportional thinking.
© 2020 Dr. Krista Francis & Stefan Rothschuh