In my Introduction to Robotics class we've been learning about electricity and circuits. To introduce the activity I made a very short slideshow (attached) that takes JessyRatFink's Mummybot and adds basic circuits.
I gave the students the challenge to build their Mummybot, but to add something extra to make it more "robotic". Students were tasked with designing a circuit to give the Mummybot glowing eyes using LEDs and a switch to turn the eyes on and off.
I'm using this challenge as an assessment to see how well my students understand basic electricity/circuit concepts. I expect there will be some productive struggle (I definitely spent a lot of time testing this idea out) and I think it will be a lot of fun.
If/when we get to the adding motors etc. I'll post updates.
Scissors, craft knife, cutting mat
Conductors: wire, conductive ink, conductive paint, copper foil
LEDs and SMDs
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Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.
Step 1: Planning
Students first had to cut out their template, trace it in their Engineering Notebook and then plan out where the lights, switch, and battery would go and how they would make it work and test it in their notebook.
Step 2: Conductors
Students had the option of using several types of conductors (wires, conductive ink pens, conductive paint, or copper foil).
Step 3: Lights
They also had the option to use SMD LEDs or regular LEDs.
Step 4: Switches
Students had to create their own switches to make sure the battery was connecting to the circuit. Most students did this by using a piece of copper foil or attaching a flap with conductive ink on one side.
Step 5: Putting It All Together
When they had their circuit design planned out, students then built their robots and tested whether or not the circuit worked. If it didn't, they had to figure out what went wrong and fix it.
Step 6: Engineering Notebook Questions
Once their robot was built and met all the necessary requirements, students had to answer 5 questions in their Engineering Notebook:
1. What type of conductor did you use to build your circuit? Why did you choose this conductor?
2. Did you try other conductors? If yes, why and what was the result?
3. Did you have any challenges with your Mummybot or the circuit? Explain.
4. What would you do differently?
5. What would you add to your Mummybot to make it more like a real robot?The next step is for students to take their ideas (i.e., motors to make it move, etc.) and try to make them happen.
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