LEGO® MINDSTORMS® Education
• Have an understanding in simulating a real world context
of how plants move as the sunlight tracks across the sky.
• Be able to understand the principle of how light affects
the movement and growth of plants.
• Have programmed a control box to turn a motor on for
a specific period of time and follow a light source.
Getting Started Set
• Torch or moveable light source
• Why do plants need sunlight?
• In what part of the plant cell does photosynthesis occur?
The building block of plant development is Chlorophyll which is found in chloroplasts of plant cells.
Light energy is needed to make photosynthesis which converts carbon dioxide and water into glucose
and oxygen. Which cells in the plant structure control this movement?
You have five minutes to think about how your robot will react to light. Evaluate the light levels in the room,
and from a brighter light source like a torch. After 20 minutes you will need to show that your robot can follow
a light source, and present the data that you collected about the ambient light in the room.
• How did you measure the ambient light and what have you found out from this?
• Are there variations of light throughout the room? Is their interference to light from other groups?
• Can we control the speed of the turn?
• Could we introduce a gearing system to slow the movement down?
• Could you incorporate the ideas of a Venus fly trap and trap an object?
• What kind of problems did you meet? How did you work around them?
• Could your robot be redesigned to look more like a flower and create a more realistic model of plant movement?
• What could you do to improve your robot? Implement your suggestions.
• Could you re-program your robot to return to a home point when it goes dark?
Discuss the changes in light level within the room and compare this to outdoor situations of weather patterns.
Do different plants react at different speeds to the changes in light and are there global issues to consider?
Can a robot truly demonstrate how a plant reacts to a light source?