Polygon Task

Please click HERE for a printable version of this page.

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. It also helps with learning number sense.

Materials Needed

  • Tape for marking a polygon on floor
  • Alternatively, print mats on smooth vinyl
  • Estimated costs: approximately CAD 50 per mat. Email us to get a downloadable link
  • Basic EV3 robot built from the instruction manual (no sensors needed)
Boys working on tracing a polygon with a robot

Key Understandings

  • Relates length of polygon side to robot’s wheel rotations by estimating measurement and movement
  • Relates angle of polygon to robot’s wheel rotations by estimating measurement and movement
  • Translates measurements into programming code to move a robot a specific distance and turn a specific angle

Advanced Understanding of Programming Code

  • Uses a loop program for the robot to trace out a regular polygon.

We have 4 different shapes available that should be printed on 3′ x 3′ vinyl mats. Email us if you would like a copy.

If you would like any further information on number sense and how it can be learnt using robots, please read:

Francis, K., & Poscente, M. (2016). Building number sense with Lego® robots. Teaching Children Mathematics, 23(5), 310–314. https://doi.org/10.5951/teacchilmath.23.5.0310


© 2020 Dr. Krista FrancisMichael Poscente, & Stefan Rothschuh