The NXT Step - Assessing with Lego Robots


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Workshop delivered by Kent Pledger, Mid Calder Primary School, at the 2011 eAssessment Scotland conference.

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The NXT Step - Assessing with Lego Robots

  1. 1. Digital Natives <ul><li>*every child born since 2000 has never known a world without the internet </li></ul><ul><li>*their brains are hardwired to think differently, more linearly, more compatible to the way computers work, why, because they have grown up in a world of programmable toasters, phones, televisions and gadgets of all kinds </li></ul><ul><li>*if children can build, play and understand games that work, it is possible that someday they will understand and design systems that work. And the world is full of complicated systems </li></ul>
  2. 2. Assessment is for Learning <ul><li>If you don’t have a piece of paper in front of you and boxes to tick, how do you assess your pupils? </li></ul><ul><li>Practical hands-on 3 dimensional learning, to demonstrate their comprehension of a subject </li></ul><ul><li>Break your class into groups of 4 to 6 pupils </li></ul><ul><li>These groups ought to be made up of right & left brain children, ‘thinkers & doers’, different sexes and learning abilities </li></ul><ul><li>This ‘forces’ pupils to work together to problem solve </li></ul><ul><li>Make notes of behavioral changes, digitally record their work, facilitate & enable </li></ul><ul><li>I call this method ‘the great classroom leveler’ </li></ul>
  3. 3. A Crash Course in LEGO NXT Robotics - Getting Started Meri V. Cummings, Ph.D. NASA-sponsored Classroom of the Future Center for Educational Technologies Wheeling Jesuit University 316 Washington Ave. Wheeling, WV 26003 Phone: 304-243-2499 E-mail: [email_address] URL:
  4. 4. Why Study Robotics? <ul><li>Robotics is an excellent way to introduce the students to integrated areas (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) </li></ul><ul><li>Students participating in robotics learn about careers and experience the same activities as professionals solving real-world problems </li></ul><ul><li>Everyone – girls and boys alike – should get a chance to see how much fun it is learning engineering skills this way! </li></ul>
  5. 5. The Least You Need <ul><li>One computer (ideally, a school computer lab with LEGO MINDSTORMS Education Software installed) </li></ul><ul><li>One robotics kit, LEGO MINDSTORMS Education Base Set, per 2-10 youth - I recommend you start with a small group (e.g., 4 students) – 1 kit per 2 students is perfect – you might also want several Education Resource sets (spare parts) </li></ul><ul><li>LEGO MINDSTORMS Education Software to program the robot </li></ul>
  6. 6. After you’ve learned the basics, then what? <ul><li>There are lots of robotics competitions kids can participate in, such as FIRST LEGO League (FLL) </li></ul><ul><li>The tournaments tend to include multipart, real-world problems and research and occur over specific time periods - for instance, the FLL challenge is released in mid-Sept. each year and competitions occur from Nov. through Feb. </li></ul>
  7. 7. The Problem-solving Process <ul><li>What is the robot’s task? </li></ul><ul><li>What behaviors are needed to accomplish it? </li></ul><ul><li>Create the program – debug then download. </li></ul><ul><li>Run the program. </li></ul><ul><li>Is the NXT behaving badly (doesn’t do task)? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Check the robot first. If there’s a problem, can you fix it? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Next, check the program. Problem? Can you fix it? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Last, go back to the beginning and reread the task. Does your program really tell the robot what it’s supposed to do? </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Challenge 1: Line Program <ul><li>Create and test a program to make the robot go forward in a straight line for exactly 1 second </li></ul><ul><li>Save your program as your first name and Line (e.g., File  Save as </li></ul><ul><li>Maria Line  Enter) </li></ul>
  9. 9. Challenge 2: Square Program <ul><li>Create and test a program to make the robot go in a square </li></ul><ul><li>Save your program as your first name and Square </li></ul>
  10. 10. Challenge 3: Light Dark Program <ul><li>Create and test a program to make the robot: </li></ul><ul><li>Go forward until it finds a dark line </li></ul><ul><li>Stop for 1 second </li></ul><ul><li>Go forward until it finds light </li></ul><ul><li>Stop for 1 second </li></ul><ul><li>Reverse for 4 seconds </li></ul><ul><li>Save your program as your first name and Light Dark </li></ul>
  11. 11. Challenge 4: Tracker Program <ul><li>Create a program to make the robot: </li></ul><ul><li>Go forward until it finds a dark line </li></ul><ul><li>Move forward along the edge of the line </li></ul><ul><li>Save your program as your first name and Tracker </li></ul><ul><li>Hints : You need a loop, and it’s easier if the robot starts at less than a 90  angle </li></ul>
  12. 12. Challenge 5 – Bump Program <ul><li>Create a program to make the robot: </li></ul><ul><li>Go forward until it finds a wall </li></ul><ul><li>Turn moving backward for 2 seconds </li></ul><ul><li>Repeat these behaviors for 5 “wall bumps” </li></ul><ul><li>Save your program as your first name and Bump </li></ul><ul><li>Hint : You’ll need to use wait until Touch in for the first step. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Bonus Beep Challenge <ul><li>Create a program to make the robot: </li></ul><ul><li>Go forward until it finds a line </li></ul><ul><li>Stop for 1 second and beep </li></ul><ul><li>Repeat for 5 lines </li></ul><ul><li>For fun, end with a different sound </li></ul><ul><li>Save your program as your first name and Beep </li></ul>
  14. 14. NXT Education Links <ul><li>http: //firsthandtechnology .org. uk/Default .aspx </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>http://www. educatenxt .com/ </li></ul><ul><li>http://www. nxtprograms .com/index1.html </li></ul><ul><li>http://www. nxtprograms .com/index2.html </li></ul>
  15. 15. Robotics Web Sites <ul><li>NASA Robotics Alliance Project </li></ul><ul><li>NASA Robotics Curriculum Clearinghouse </li></ul><ul><li>Mars Exploration Rover Mission </li></ul><ul><li>Robotics Academy </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>FIRST LEGO League </li></ul><ul><li>BEST Robotics </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
  16. 16. Sample NXT Programs Challenge 2 – Square with a sound Challenge 1 – Forward for 1 second Challenge 3 – Detecting Light/Dark
  17. 17. NXT Programming Details Select a motor icon (you’ll see a blue border around it) to open its control panel - displayed at the bottom of the screen Additional control panels for sensors and wait for icons have similar displays
  18. 18. <ul><li>Due to the limited amount of memory available for the NXT, all currently installed sound files should be deleted </li></ul><ul><li>Sound files take up a lot of space and should be used selectively </li></ul><ul><li>Use the same sound file repeatedly in stored programs to cut down on memory usage </li></ul>NXT Programming Details (cont’d)
  19. 19. Hands-on: Your Turn! <ul><li>Use LEGO MINDSTORMS Educator to program the NXT robot to move in a square </li></ul><ul><li>Think about the robot’s required behaviours to move in a square </li></ul><ul><li>What motors have to do what for each behaviour? </li></ul><ul><li>Which behaviours repeat? You can loop them! </li></ul>
  20. 20. Curriculum for Excellence <ul><li>*SUCCESSFUL LEARNERS </li></ul><ul><li>*CONFIDENT INDIVIDUALS </li></ul><ul><li>*RESPONSIBLE CITIZENS </li></ul><ul><li>*EFFECTIVE CONTRIBUTORS </li></ul>
  21. 21. Unlocking Hidden Potential <ul><li>Games based learning is all about unlocking pupils’ hidden potential </li></ul><ul><li>Empowering pupils to take control of their learning </li></ul><ul><li>Encouraging pupils to mentor other pupils, share skills, work together and problem solve </li></ul><ul><li>Teachers taking on the role of Facilitator, and pupils pushing learning forward </li></ul>
  22. 22. Games are very good at: <ul><li>*giving dynamic ongoing feedback </li></ul><ul><li>*presenting challenging learning experiences </li></ul><ul><li>*trusting in the ability of the player/learner </li></ul><ul><li>*nurturing growth mindsets </li></ul><ul><li>*maximising potential for peer assessment </li></ul><ul><li>*presenting purposeful and relevant learning opportunities </li></ul><ul><li>*ensuring assessment is not 'done to' but 'observed’ </li></ul><ul><li>*giving players/learners the the best chance of success </li></ul>