Grade 5

Grade 5 is a time when we want lots of experience with decimals, measurement, and variables. Some projects are purely math focused while others connect with social studies or science. There is an emphasis on loops, sensors and decision-making in these projects.


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!

Buckaroo Math Game

Objective: Get as close to 10 000 without going over. The person with the highest score wins.

The robot will pick 5 random numbers. You can decide to add the random number x 1, x 10, x 100 or x 1000. That number will be added to your score. You must use all 5 random numbers.

For example: Ahmed is playing Bob.

Fish Population Sorter

The students at Canyon Meadows School were worried that the larger fish in their Fish in School (FinS) tank would eat the smaller ones. Our robotics project was to create a prototype that would find a fish, test to see if it was large or small and then count the large ones and the smaller ones. We added a "scooper" that would activate whenever it found a large fish to scoop it into a different tank.

Prisoner's Dilemma

The grade 5 students at Glendale School loved puzzles and games theory. They had heard about the Prisoners' Dilemma:

Two bank robbers are captured and placed into separate interview rooms. Each robber is asked to testify against the other even though the robbers agreed to stay silent if captured. If both stay silent they will be released after serving 6 months for lack of evidence. If one robber testifies and the other stays silent, the one who testifies gets out free and the one who stayed silent is sentenced to 10 years. If both testify they both get 5 years.

The Geometric Ideal vs The Real World

Geometric shapes seem really easy. Everyone knows what a square, rectangle and triangle look like. 

Programming the robot to drive these shapes is a different story! Making the wheels turn 90° doesn't make the robot make a 90° turn. Our first job is to find what unique ratio we have to use to make accurate turns which takes a lot of meticulous work with a protractor and data collection. 

The Hunt for Death Camas

What would you do if you were a First Nations person and one of the plants you love to eat looks like a plant that is deadly poisonous? If you had a robot, perhaps you'd program your robot to clear the meadows of Death Camas and leave the delicious Nodding Onion. 

The Labyrinth

Imagine the string that Ariadne gave Thesius became untied. We need to make the robot travel through the Labyrinth and rescue Thesius and the Athenian youths. We've laid out a grid with 10cm squares to help us measure and navigate the labyrinth.


Our first job is making our robot go 10 lines (100cm) exactly using decimal rotations. We'll divide this by 10 to find out how much we need to go only 1 line (10cm).


Our next job is to investigate turning the robot. Look at this turning testing examples:

Trees and Forests

The task is to drive to a location using latitude and longitude (between 51°N 118°W and 52.5°N 116.5°W), determine if the location is infected with Pine Beetle and report back. The screen of the NXT should show a grid with the robot's current location and a summary of the number of infected/healthy trees it finds. It also needs to display the results of the survey as a percentage and make a recommendation to help the forest become more healthy.