Academic standards correlations on Teachers' Domain use the Achievement Standards Network (ASN) database of state and national standards, provided to NSDL projects courtesy of JES & Co.
We assign reference terms to each statement within a standards document and to each media resource, and correlations are based upon matches of these terms for a given grade band. If a particular standards document of interest to you is not displayed yet, it most likely has not yet been processed by ASN or by Teachers' Domain. We will be adding social studies and arts correlations over the coming year, and also will be increasing the specificity of alignment.
Most people think of robots in humanlike terms — communicating and doing things like people would. But this specific subset of robots is actually not very common. A robot can be defined as a mechanical device that is capable of performing a variety of tasks on command or according to instructions programmed in advance. Engineers design robots to perform complex tasks more easily and with greater accuracy. Some everyday examples of robots include:
In this lesson, students learn about the kinds of things that robots do, the excitement that goes with the design and testing, and what inspires ideas for different robots.
If possible, arrange computer access for all students to work individually or in pairs.
1. Have students do the first three steps in their science/technology notebooks and write the date at the top of the page. This will allow them to return in Part III to their original ideas about robots and see how their ideas have changed (and what changed them).
2. Introduce the definition of a robot: "A mechanical device that is capable of performing a variety of tasks on command or according to instructions programmed in advance." Compare how their ideas and drawings fit with this definition.
3. Show the LEGO® Robots QuickTime Video followed by the Engineering for the Red Planet QuickTime Video. After viewing the videos, start a class discussion about why engineers design robots, and brainstorm some of the more routine tasks that are done by robots. Make sure to highlight some of the reasons for using robots — for example, they're good for performing boring, repetitive tasks and can go where it is not practical or safe for humans to venture. In short, robots are developed for practical purposes, including efficiency, safety, and convenience.
4. Have students explore a Mars rover in detail using the Anatomy of a Rover Flash Interactive. As they examine the rover, they should observe the different types of tasks it is capable of performing. These observations can be added to their science/technology notebooks.
5. Assign students the task of identifying and observing robots around them, noting the specific functions that they are designed to do. These robots should be ones the students see in their everyday lives, but the exercise can also be extended to include ones they have read about or seen in movies.
6. Have students share their results. Then reintroduce the class description of a robot that they recorded in their science/technology notebooks. Has their definition broadened?
7. Now discuss where engineers get their ideas for different kinds of robots. For example, engineers will research how other people have solved problems similar to the one that they want their design to address. Expanding on someone else's ideas is often how advancements in technology are made. Sometimes ideas come from nature. Show the RoboSnail QuickTime Video and the Robofly QuickTime Video, discussing the different approaches engineers take in designing robots to perform certain functions. You can expand your discussion to include the concept of biomimicry by also showing the Design Inspired by Nature Flash Image collection.
8. Show the Kismet QuickTime Video and discuss how the idea for this robot was to model how humans interact with one another.
9. Wrap up the lesson with a discussion about what a robot is. Students should write in their science/technology notebooks how their ideas have changed and what influenced the change.
Have students discuss the following: