This week I started teaching the LEGO NXT Mindstorm lessons to Mrs. Sorrell's 5th grade class. The class was very excited and enthusiastic to start this new adventure. The first thing we discussed was "What makes a robot a robot?" The students learned that there are three things that make a robot a robot. They are: #1 body, #2 control and #3 behavior. Then, we discussed input, process, output, hardware and software.
The next step was to give the students their assignment. The students are building a "Star Trek" door. The door will be programed to open automatically when a sensor is triggered. Music will play as the door opens. The door will stay open for a specific amount of time and then close automatically. Then, the process will repeat.
Currently, the students are busy building with the hardware, which are the LEGO NXT Mindstorm kits. The room is busy and noisy, but that means there is a lot of teamwork taking place, purposeful communication and problem solving.
Some comments I have heard:
"OK, now you need a 13 module beam and 2 connector pegs..."
"I am confused. What does this mean?"
"We are taking turns. I am reading the directions and she is building."
"We are working on the transmission."
"I connected all the 8 stud beams so I do not lose them."
"We are on the motor part."
"Oh, it is flipped around...I get it now!"
"We are on the third step. We had to start over because we were doing it wrong."
On Thursday, we will start to learn how to program our Star Trek door using the NXT software. The adventure continues.
Continuing to develop the whole child...