Today our experiment centered around the students using the chariots to determine how much weight their minions could haul when building a lego structure on top of the snap in brick feature of the chariot base. Gram blocks were used and they were only counted if they stayed on the chariot after a collision. The Sphero also had to be able to physically change its location, not just spin in place. Some of the interesting discussions that came up centered around the size of the bricks used (single vs. double row blocks), how lego doors and windows add height but weigh less, that by snapping the gram blocks together you could have them higher but outwit the collision rule. Some students thought that snapping the gram blocks together was cheating so this also added to the discussion about the parameters of the experiment. Some of the groups built their "containers" very tall while others found that the taller they were the more they sacrificed in being able to move the Sphero. Also, the taller the structure, the more likely it would tip over.
We got the Spheros back out in Room 103 this month for a lesson about mass. Students loaded down the Sphero chariots with LEGOs and compared how quickly they could stop as compared to a Sphero without the extra load. This lesson fit perfectly into our unit on force and motion and in fact worked better than the lesson that was provided through our science curriculum!
We had a wonderful time with the parents from one of our classes, the Monchilovs. They came in with all of their very interesting equipment and showed the kids just what they can do with a robot in the every day.
Click Here for a glimpse of our day courtesy of iMovie trailer.
We had animals running wild in room 102 today as the students finally got to test out their Spheros. We named each Sphero after a different animal (cat, dog, horse, bear, fish, etc.).
Each group created a maze on paper and then transferred it to a shower curtain. The students didn’t realize how difficult it was to maneuver the robots through tight corners and small boxes. They quickly realized that next time they created a maze there would need to be major adjustments.
The STEM Sisters are Elementary Teachers working together on STEM related topics and projects.