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Brain is a Computer
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Students learn about the similarities between the human brain and its engineering ...

Students learn about the similarities between the human brain and its engineering counterpart, the computer. Since students work with computers routinely, this comparison strengthens their understanding of both how the brain works and how it parallels that of a computer. Students are also introduced to the "stimulus-sensor-coordinator-effector-response" framework for understanding human and robot actions.

Subject:
Computer Science
Engineering
Material Type:
Instructional Material
Lesson Plans
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering NGSS Aligned Resources
Author:
GK-12 Program, Computational Neurobiology Center,
Sachin Nair, Charlie Franklin, Satish Nair
Control Using Sound
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Students gain a deeper understanding of how sound sensors work through a ...

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
Electronic Technology
Material Type:
Activities and Labs
Instructional Material
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering NGSS Aligned Resources
Author:
GK-12 Program, Computational Neurobiology Center,
Srijith Nair, Pranit Samarth, Satish S. Nair
Conversion Immersion: Working Together to Create Investigative Labs
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A "Conversion Immersion" workshop was convened to provide a forum for instructors ...

A "Conversion Immersion" workshop was convened to provide a forum for instructors to work together to convert traditional "cookbook" laboratories to a more investigative format. This paper summarizes some of the ideas that emerged from the two sessions of the workshop, which included labs on the following topics: chick development, soils, antimicrobial agents, effects of pH and heavy metals on microbial processes, DNA isolation, immunohistochemistry, enzymes, osmosis, invertebrate diversity, plant diversity, microscopy and cells, muscle contraction, fermentation, and genetic engineering.

Subject:
Biology
Material Type:
Activities and Labs
Lesson Plans
Provider:
Association for Biology Laboratory Education (ABLE)
Author:
Mariëlle Hoefnagels
Mark Walvoord
Double Dutch Distractions
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This activity (page 2 of the PDF) is a full inquiry investigation ...

This activity (page 2 of the PDF) is a full inquiry investigation into whether hearing or seeing has a bigger effect on jump rope performance. Groups of learners will plan a Double Dutch jump routine and count the number of moves before the jumper trips. Then, learners test the routine while the jumper listens to slow music and again while listening to fast music. Learners collect data, produce a table comparing average performance per auditory stimulus, and consider the validity of their results. An optional extension activity asks learners to investigate how a strobe light affects jump rope performance. Relates to linked video, DragonflyTV: Double Dutch.

Subject:
Education
Life Science
Mathematics
Algebra
Chemistry
Physics
Psychology
Material Type:
Activities and Labs
Instructional Material
Lesson Plans
Provider:
Science and Math Informal Learning Educators (SMILE)
Provider Set:
SMILE Pathway: Science and Math Activities in One Search
Author:
National Science Foundation
Twin Cities Public Television
Twin Cities Public Television, Inc.
How Do You Make a Program Wait?
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Building on the programming basics learned so far in the unit, students ...

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:
Instructional Material
Lesson Plans
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering NGSS Aligned Resources
Author:
GK-12 Program, Computational Neurobiology Center,
Riaz Helfer, Pranit Samarth, Satish S. Nair
How Does a Touch Sensor Work?
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Students learn about how touch sensors work, while reinforcing their similarities to ...

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:
Instructional Material
Lesson Plans
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering NGSS Aligned Resources
Author:
GK-12 Program, Computational Neurobiology Center,
Trisha Chaudhary, Pranit Samarth, Satish S. Nair
Movement Task Using Sensors - Humans and Robots
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This activity helps students understand the significance of programming and also how ...

This activity helps students understand the significance of programming and also how the LEGO MINDSTORMS(TM) NXT robot's sensors assist its movement and make programming easier. Students compare human senses to robot sensors, describing similarities and differences.

Subject:
Engineering
Material Type:
Activities and Labs
Instructional Material
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering NGSS Aligned Resources
Author:
Ajay Nair
Ashwin Mohan
Charlie Franklin
GK-12 Program, Computational Neurobiology Center, College of Engineering,
Satish Nair
Music by Touch
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Students' understanding of how robotic touch sensors work is reinforced through a ...

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
Electronic Technology
Material Type:
Activities and Labs
Instructional Material
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering NGSS Aligned Resources
Author:
GK-12 Program, Computational Neurobiology Center,
Trisha Chaudhary, Pranit Samarth, Satish S. Nair
Reflecting on Human Reflexes
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Students learn about human reflexes, how our bodies react to stimuli and ...

Students learn about human reflexes, how our bodies react to stimuli and how some body reactions and movements are controlled automatically, without thinking consciously about the movement or responses. In the associated activity, students explore how reflexes work in the human body by observing an involuntary human reflex and testing their own reaction times using dominant and non-dominant hands. Once students understand the stimulus-to-response framework components as a way to describe human reflexes and reactions in certain situations, they connect this knowledge to how robots can be programmed to conduct similar reactions.

Subject:
Engineering
Anatomy/Physiology
Material Type:
Instructional Material
Lesson Plans
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering NGSS Aligned Resources
Author:
GK-12 Program, Computational Neurobiology Center,
Marianne Catanho, Sachin Nair, Charlie Franklin, Satish Nair
Sensing Your Surroundings
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Students consider human senses and the many everyday human-made sensors so common ...

Students consider human senses and the many everyday human-made sensors so common in their lives. They learn about the three components of biosensors—a special type of sensor—and their functions and importance. With this understanding, students identify various organs in the human body that behave as sensors, such as the pancreas. Using LEGO® MINDSTORMS® NXT robots, provided rbt robot programs and LEGO sensors (light, ultrasonic, sound, touch), students gain first-hand experience with sensors and come to see how engineer-designed sensors play important roles in our daily lives, informing people of their surroundings and ultimately improving our quality of life.

Subject:
Education
Material Type:
Activities and Labs
Instructional Material
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
AMPS GK-12 Program,
Michael Hernandez, Carole Chen, Sophia Mercurio
That's Hot! Robot Brain Programming
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With the challenge to program computers to mimic the human reaction after ...

With the challenge to program computers to mimic the human reaction after touching a hot object, students program LEGO® robots to "react" and move back quickly once their touch sensors bump into something. By relating human senses to electronic sensors used in robots, students see the similarities between the human brain and its engineering counterpart, the computer, and come to better understand the functioning of sensors in both applications. They apply an understanding of the human "stimulus-sensor-coordinator-effector-response" framework to logically understand human and robot actions.

Subject:
Engineering
Electronic Technology
Material Type:
Activities and Labs
Instructional Material
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering NGSS Aligned Resources
Author:
GK-12 Program, Computational Neurobiology Center, College of Engineering,
Sachin Nair, Charlie Franklin, Satish Nair
Wait Program!
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After completing the associated lesson, students test their understanding in two programming ...

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
Electronic Technology
Material Type:
Activities and Labs
Instructional Material
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering NGSS Aligned Resources
Author:
GK-12 Program, Computational Neurobiology Center,
Riaz Helfer, Pranit Samarth, Satish S. Nair
What Is a Sensor?
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Students gain a rigorous background in the primary human "sensors," as preparation ...

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:
Instructional Material
Lesson Plans
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering NGSS Aligned Resources
Author:
GK-12 Program, Computational Neurobiology Center,
Srijith Nair, Pranit Samarth, Satish S. Nair