In a new robotics unit, our sixth graders are employing their knowledge of astronomy from their recent Digital Universe Field Study.
The boys are building, programming, and operating their own model Mars rovers, using LEGO Mindstorms. They work in small, collaborative teams to solve a series of challenges, such as dropping off supplies or moving objects on the planet.
This project requires the boys to think critically as they test and revise mechanical systems and digital sensors, and build and debug code. They are free to take risks, since it is easy to take apart designs that aren't working and to try something different--allowing them to work according to the engineering design process.