–Journal: How is a robot’s body different from ours? What can a robot do that we cannot do?
–Have students brainstorm and share with the class their answers.
–Divide students up into groups of 4. Students will participate in a couple of activities that do not require actual robots to consider the advantages and limitations of robots.
*My students will not have the robot resources discussed.
- Have one person wearing lace-up shoes, take off their shoes. This person then has the other group members fasten Popsicle sticks on their index and thumbs with rubber bands.
- Person with limited hand mobility then tries to tie their shoes while other group members watch.
- Have students reflect in their journal how difficult it was to tie your shoes without joints.
- Blindfold the 3 members of the group who watched during the last activity.
- Place a piece of paper and a tub of markers in front of the group of 3.
- The member who is not blindfolded gives the following directions: Pick out a green marker; Draw a house with 4 people inside, a car, a dog, and a tree; Switch papers with the person next to you; Draw a sun on the page.
- Remove blindfolds and look at pictures.
- Have students reflect in their journal how effective they were with choosing a specific marker color while blindfolded, as well as drawing pictures on a piece of paper. Discuss how robots do not have senses (took away their vision how difficult the task became.)
- Split groups into 2 sets of partners.
- Choose a starting point and an ending point between which the “robot” must navigate. Make sure the path is not direct.
- Have one student close their eyes and be the robot. The other person is the caller.
- Have the caller give the robot directions from the starting point to the ending point using only these 5 commands: Turn left 90 degrees, Turn right 90 degrees, Take a step forward with the left foot, Take a step forward with the right foot, and Stop.
- Have students reflect in their journal how repeats and loops connect with this activity. How would using repeats and loops help make the job easier for the robot.
–Extension activity: Have students re-design the “hands” for the robot to perform Activity 1.
ADVICE: Have supplies ready ahead of time. Bring old shoes in case there aren’t enough students who have shoes with laces on them. Review with students the protocol for blindfolds. Also, review expectations for the use of the Popsicle sticks.
IDEAS: Pick the groups for the students or do a preliminary group selection activity so students learn how to work with other people and not just those they are most comfortable with.
MODIFICATIONS: No modifications necessary.
ADD’L RESOURCES: Watch a movie clip where robots perform mundane activities. Have a class discussion regarding whether or not they would want the job the robot is performing–all day, every day, performing this task?