This Cyberchase video segment features Bianca, who must figure out the fastest route to a movie premiere.
Students use ultrasonic sensors and LEGO© MINDSTORMS© NXT robots to emulate how bats use echolocation to detect obstacles. They measure the robot's reaction times as it senses objects at two distances and with different sensor threshold values, and again after making adjustments to optimize its effectiveness. Like engineers, they gather and graph data to analyze a given design (from the tutorial) and make modifications to the sensor placement and/or threshold values in order to improve the robot's performance (iterative design). Students see how problem solving with biomimicry design is directly related to understanding and making observations of nature.
Students learn how engineers gather data and model motion using vectors. They learn about using motion-tracking tools to observe, record, and analyze vectors associated with the motion of their own bodies. They do this qualitatively and quantitatively by analyzing several examples of their own body motion. As a final presentation, student teams act as engineering consultants and propose the use of (free) ARK Mirror technology to help sports teams evaluate body mechanics. A pre/post quiz is provided.
This is a really fun and informative lesson that I do with my high school Programming/technology class to break up the monotony of beginner programming. However; this lesson can be used and applied in essentially any class and for many purposes, and to address many areas. One of the other really nice things about this lesson is that it can be extended to hit many points including physics, math, and advanced engineering.
Throughout the building period, I would present teams with a challenge (puzzle, build, etc…) and the first team to complete it would get a prize. It could be more modification time, extra materials, etc…)
The materials (including hot glue guns) can be purchased at Wal Mart or a similar store for around $20-25, if ordering through your district isn’t an option. With those purchases, it gives you a lot more materials than needed which can be used for additional similar projects.
An interactive applet and associated web page that demonstrate how to find the perpendicular distance between a point and a line using trigonometry, given the coordinates of the point and the slope/intercept of the line. The applet has a line with sliders that adjust its slope and intercept, and a draggable point. As the line is altered or the point dragged, the distance is recalculated. The grid and coordinates can be turned on and off. The distance calculation can be turned off to permit class exercises and then turned back on the verify the answers. The applet can be printed as it appears on the screen to make handouts. The web page has a full description of the concept of the concepts, a worked example and has links to other pages relating to coordinate geometry. Applet can be enlarged to full screen size for use with a classroom projector. This resource is a component of the Math Open Reference Interactive Geometry textbook project at http://www.mathopenref.com.
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.
The CyberSquad tests which broom can travel the furthest in five seconds in this video from Cyberchase.
Students develop and solidify their understanding of the concept of "perimeter" as they engage in a portion of the civil engineering task of land surveying. Specifically, they measure and calculate the perimeter of a fenced in area of "farmland," and see that this length is equivalent to the minimum required length of a fence to enclose it. Doing this for variously shaped areas confirms that the perimeter is the minimal length of fence required to enclose those shapes. Then students use the technology of a LEGO MINDSTORMS(TM) NXT robot to automate this task. After measuring the perimeter (and thus required fence length) of the "farmland," students see the NXT robot travel around this length, just as a surveyor might travel around an area during the course of surveying land or measuring for fence materials. While practicing their problem solving and measurement skills, students learn and reinforce their scientific and geometric vocabulary.
This chapter provides a series of exercises associated with self-defining continuous fields where the entity is an attribute that is continuous across space and thus is in some sense self-defining. The relations are those involving distance and magnitude and there are a number of associated spatial concepts such as the first order primitive we call height, and second order notions of continuity, gradient and trend.
In this video segment from Cyberchase, Harry decides to train as a firefighter and uses line graphs to chart his physical fitness progress.
In this activity students practice measuring techniques by measuring different objects and distances around the classroom. They practice using different scales of measurement in metric units and estimation.
In this activity, learners use their hands as tools for indirect measurement. Learners explore how to use ratios to calculate the approximate height of something that can't be measured directly by first measuring something that can be directly measured. This activity can also be used to explain how scientists use indirect measurement to determine distances between things in the universe that are too far away, too large or too small to measure directly (i.e. diameter of the moon or number of bacteria in a volume of liquid).
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.
Students practice their multiplication skills using robots with wheels built from LEGO® MINDSTORMS® NXT kits. They brainstorm distance travelled by the robots without physically measuring distance and then apply their math skills to correctly calculate the distance and compare their guesses with physical measurements. Through this activity, students estimate parameters other than by physically measuring them, practice multiplication, develop measuring skills, and use their creativity to come up with successful solutions.
Students learn about video motion capture technology, becoming familiar with concepts such as vector components, magnitudes and directions, position, velocity, and acceleration. They use a (free) classroom data collection and processing tool—the ARK Mirror—to visualize and record 3-D motion. The Augmented Reality Kinematics (ARK) Mirror software collects data via a motion detector. Using an Orbbec Astra Pro 3D camera or Microsoft Kinect (see note below), students can visualize and record a robust set of data and interpret them using statistical and graphical methods. This lesson introduces students to just one possible application of the ARK Mirror software—in the context of a high school physics class. Note: The ARK Mirror is ported to operate on an Orbbec platform. It may also be used with a Microsoft Kinect, although that Microsoft hardware has been discontinued. Refer to the Using ARK Mirror and Microsoft Kinect attachment for how to use the ARK MIrror software with Microsoft Kinect.
Students explore methods employing simple machines likely used in ancient pyramid building, as well as common modern-day material transportation. They learn about the wheel and axle as a means to transport materials from rock quarry to construction site. They also learn about different types and uses of a lever for purposes of transport. In an open-ended design activity, students choose from everyday materials to engineer a small-scale cart and lever system to convey pyramid-building materials.