In the 8th grade Computer Science elective, students are using EV3 LEGO Mindstorms to create solutions for everyday problems. The students have been presented with various challenges throughout the semester and construct robots using the LEGO Mindstorms platform to complete each task.
In class, the eighth graders were first challenged to design and program a robot to maneuver throughout an obstacle course. They started by building and designing their robot using LEGO pieces and motors. Next, the students used the LEGO Mindstorms software to program the robot’s movements and functions. While programming, they learned about the importance of a ‘loop’ function to simplify their coding. The loop function is a technique used in programming to continuously repeat a group of code until a certain condition is reached. The girls found the loop function to be extremely helpful during this challenge.
Here are some samples of the robot designs and programming for this challenge.
In their next challenge, the eighth graders were asked to create a program that would prevent their robot from falling off the edge of a table. While building their robots for this project, the students quickly learned the importance of using a sensor. Some groups used a color sensor to detect when the color changed from the black table to the cream floor. Other groups used a touch sensor, which includes a button that can be pressed and released. This sensor was helpful to detect whether the robot was on, nearing, or off the table. Lastly, groups used an ultrasonic sensor to detect the distance from the sensor to the table. These groups programmed the robot to understand that when this distance reached a certain point, the robot was no longer on the table. Regardless of their sensor choice, all of the groups were successful in creating a program to
detect the floor and autonomously move back their robot back onto the table.
In these robot designs, the group to the left choose to use a touch sensor, while the design to the right utilizes to use a color sensor. Both groups wanted to position their sensor in the front of the robot, so that the sensor could detect the edge of the table without the robot falling off.
Here is a sample program that some of our 8th graders created. They decided to use the loop function for this project as well. See their creative program below!