Grade 3

The robotics projects in Grade 3 use a lot of adding and subtracting, skip counting and estimating distances. Depending on the project, they will have to measure distances using objects that are about the same length as a robot's wheel rotation.

The projects often are less about the final grand program, as it often is in the older grades, and more about shorter challenges. Challenges that don't depend on the success of previous challenges are recommended. For example: rather than taking a program that goes from A to B to C and adding an additional destination (D) so that the robot has to start at A to do the whole path, it is more productive for students to make a program start from A and go to B, then start from B and go to C and then start from C and go to D as the subsequent challenges. 


Adaptations

Can you change your robot so it acts like an animal that responds to its environment?  I love this project because it is easy to change the complexity of the challenge so it works with grade 2 all the way up to grade 6 classes.In the earlier grades we have changed it so the students have to make the robot act like an animal in one of Canada's regions. In the older grades we can add much more complexity! Think of it as interpretive dance with robots!


An Animal's Story

A grade 3/4 class had just finished doing a lot of research on animals and we decided to make our robots into the animals the groups were studying.

We created comic strips showing three different events in our animal's daily life. For example, one group was studying the beaver and decided the events would be repairing the dam, finding bark to chew and responding to danger. Another group decided the fox robot would stalk a prairie dog, pounce and start eating and then have to run away when a larger predator came along.


Community Endeavours

Students needed to get their robot to deliver mail to specific locations. The teachers and I wanted to have them to estimate and check using rotations as the unit (1 wheel rotation is ~ 17 cm). The teachers and students took lots of pictures and described what they did:


Farming in Acadia

Students asked, "What would happen if we could go back in time and help the Acadian farmers look after the newly reclaimed farmland?" The Acadian farmers created dykes to create farmland from land formerly covered by seawater. As rains fell, it would dissolve the saly wash the brackish water away to the bottom of the field. The challenge was to create a robot that open a gate to drain the field and close the gate when the tide was coming in.


Number Line Challenges

This project can be adapted for older grade 1 to grade 4 students. See below for more ideas.

Grade 2 students at Sunalta School in Calgary, Alberta were working with a number line and robots. The number line was made with laminated paper with marks 17 cm apart (17 cm is about one rotation or the robot's wheel).