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The Amazing Maze - Days 1-5

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Discovery Experience 3 - The Amazing MazeRobotics Learning Objective: The students will learn the basics of programming and sensors and why it is needed by creating a Lego robot that will traverse a maze.
Extension: The students will demonstrate the use of sensors by constructing either (1) a Lego robot, (2) a VEX robot, or (3) a Beetle Bot.

Days 1 - 5

Materials and Resources Needed:

  1. Lego Robot
  2. Mindstorm program
  3. Maze components


  1. Students are introduced to the problem.
    • Robot is to transverse maze using different sensors
    • The maze can include a variety of obstacles and tasks.  For instance, a maze might include some of the following:
      • Walls for sonic sensors
      • A box or goal for the robot to sit in for 10 seconds
      • A black line the robot is to follow
      • Ramps the robot must go up and down
      • Tasks to perform in the maze, such as bumping swtches, pushing balls, and/or knocking objects over
  2. Students work and program
  3. Students attempt a maze.  Students are evaluated on their mazing skills
  4. Students record progress in Student log book
    • Some questions to ponder might include:
      • What is most difficult part of this task?
      • “Programming includes a great deal of problem solving.” Reflect on this statement.
      • Draw a sketch of the maze and write down, in a flow cart, the steps that you need to do to traverse the maze
      • LEGO Mindstorms allows the programmer to write notes about the details of the program. Why would this be helpful?

*  Extension Activities:

  1. Programming:
    • Teacher shows examples of code (Java, C++, binary, and others)
    • Teacher explains that at the basic level all code is just 1’s and zero’s called “binary code”
    • The computer takes the programming language and converts it to zeros and 1’s; binary code
    • Demonstration with binary code
      • One student stands alone
      • All other students stand in a row facing one way Every third student turns around; this is to mimic that student going forward
      • Every other student turns around; this is to mimic going backward
      • You can continue with these to demonstrate turning and to show what the computer actually reads
    • There are good websites that have practice programming
  2. Beetle Bot:  
    1. Students can build a Beetle Bot and explain, in their journal, how the sensors and Beetle Bot work
      1. This will take a few days:  3-4 to actually build the Beetle Bot
      2. It will also take more materials.  See “Beetle Bot”  Resources
  3. VEX robotics:  Best resource is found at Carnegie Foundation
    1. The following websites came from Carnegie Foundation PDF
    2. This course is a 9 week curriculum, but can be tailored for shorter time periods if need be.
      1. Setting up the Vex Robot
      2. Fundamentals of programming
      3. Movement
      4. Radio Control
      5. Sensing

What's next?  A Prototype Robot

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Contact Info

  • Kathleen Letsky, Curriculum Specialist
  • Nathan Patia, STEM Specialist
  • Salvador Cabusi, Technology Specialist
  • Robot Invasion
  • Krause Family Foundation
  • Honolulu, Hawaii
  • Tel: 808.778.1265

The Krause Family Foundation: ‘Alana Ke Aloha

  • ‘Alana Ke Aloha places relationship at the heart of all learning.  We create and support projects that engage participants’ imagination, collaboration, and problem solving toward a healthy planet.
  • The Krause Family Foundation: ‘Alana Ke Aloha is a private, 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization (EIN: 27-1531421) registered (01/21/2010) in the State of Hawai‘i.