Once your students have succeeded on some of the introductory challenges, they should have no trouble with these challenges. We estimate that each challenge will take about 6 hours of class time. Also note that the challenges can be adjusted to take longer or less time if needed.
The intention of these tasks is to run them like an engineering design co-opetition. Set a timeline so the students need to have their robot ready to perform by the design challenge date. Then run a co-opetition on that date. It is a chance to celebrate a huge accomplishment, to share work and to learn from each other. In an actual engineering design challenge, the teams not only test their robot, they also prepare and present about how their robot and program work, as well as reflect on any design challenges they overcame. This 2-3 minute presentation component can really help with reflecting on the process and developing communication skills.
It is fun to get an external judge to assess the design outcomes. The challenges are designed to have multiple levels of success. If you send us a link of your robots performing these tasks, we would be happy to share them link on our site.
A food warehouse has caught on fire, and it is too dangerous for human firefighters to go inside. It is up to you and your group to find the biggest fire and dump water on it. Use sensor to detect the fire, but don’t bump into the walls. Design your robot so it can dump water on the fire and also tell the firefighters outside when it is safe to come in…
There is a buried electrical line on a well-known route with inspection points. Your task is to look at each inspection point. If it is red, sound an alarm, and drop a marker for the repair crews to see.
In a remote region of Northern Canada, there is a pine beetle infestation that is threatening the entire forest, and poses a fire risk for a nearby community. The ground crews in the area are overwhelmed, and are in dire need of assistance. Your task is to design and build an automated robot that can go into the forest and remove the red infested trees, without hurting the ground crew, healthy trees, or underbrush in the forest. The infection is clustered around an old but well marked logging road, which could help a robot to find the diseased trees.
Your task is to build a robot that will be sent to the surface of Mars, and autonomously build a habitable space station before the humans arrive.
The robot must take building materials (building blocks) to the designated Space Station Building Zone (black circular zone), and then position the solar panels on the Solar Panel Power Zone (orange ring) so that they can power the space station.
© 2020 Dr. Krista Francis & Stefan Rothschuh