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Activities for Robotics Project Groups
Name ________________________________
County _______________________________
Helper’s Guide
3
Need Cover Photo
National 4-H Curriculum
BU-08366
Welcome to the Gearing Up 4-H Robotics Series Helper’s Guide.
Thank you for volunteering your time and talents to assist one or more young people as
they explore the exciting world of robotics. Your involvement will make a real difference in
the quality of their experiences. You will play a valuable role in helping them to learn about
robotics as they practice important life skills along the way. Your interest, enthusiasm and,
most importantly, your time will be key ingredients to positive and successful experiences.
Gearing Up Learner Outcomes
• Design and program a robot.
• Use skills in engineering design and research and
development to program a robot to accomplish a
specific task.
• Practice life skills of critical thinking, decision making,
and communications.
Gearing Up 4-H Robotics Series
The robotics project is for youth grades 3-9.
1 – Robotics Explorer
. . . . . . . . . . . . . .
BU-08364

2 – Robotics Probe . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
BU-08365

Robotics Helper’s Guide . . . . . . . . . . . .
BU-08366

Robotics and You CD
. . . . . . . . . . . . . .
BU-08368
Robotics Helper’s Guide
T
his guide can be used in conjunction with the online
and the printed robotics youth activity guides:
Robotics
Explorer
and
Robotics Probe
. In addition, the
Robotics
and You

CD
, provides technical support for the project.
One of the most valuable things you will do is to spend
time interacting individually with youth on the questions
in each of the activities. You will also want to carefully
go over the portfolios they will produce. This will greatly
reinforce their learning.
Each activity is designed so the youth has an opportunity
to learn by doing before being told or shown how. Youth
should take an active role in planning meetings and co-
facilitating them. Your role as Project Helper is to “take a
back seat” while the youth explore the activities and learn
from the experiences, even when something doesn’t work
the first time the way you think it should. You can most
effectively help with learning by listening as youth consider
the questions and draw their own conclusions.
Materials Needed
These activities require the following materialsL LEGO
MINDSTORM kit, ROBOLAB control software Version 2.5
(or later), and the Robotics and You CD: In addition, you
will need access to a computer able to run the ROBOLAB
software. The approximate cost of the LEGO materials and
ROBOLAB software is $300. No endorsement of LEGO
products or services by 4-H is implied or intended.
S
tructure of the Activities
The activities in this guide, as well as the two youth activity
guides, follow the same general format:
Heading Material
—Introduces the activity by including
the main idea embedded in the activity as well as the
Robotics Skill, the Life Skill, National Educational Standard,
and (in the case of Helper’s Guide activities) estimated
time for the activity and materials needed.
Mission Briefing
—Explains what is to be done in the
activity (but not how to do it).
Testing Facility
—Describes the activity to be completed
and provides an area to record answers.
Feedback Loop
—This part of the activity includes a series
of questions about the experience for youth to discuss
with each other and their helper. See Page 2 for details.
Nuts & Volts
—Factual information that supports the
subject matter of the activity.
Applied R & D
—Additional activities the youth may
choose to do to expand the experience.
Robotics Project Online
Robotic’s project information
and technical information to support the individual
activities in the youth activity guides. See inside back
cover for more information, or visit www.4-hcurriculum

.org/robotics
Robots and You CD
Related robotic experiences and
resources for the activities.
Chip Directory
Words used for the first time in this
activity and defined in the Glossary.
Acknowledgements

Robotics Design Team:
Lori Marsh, Coordinator, VA;
Connie Miller, Liaison, NY; Norman Kerman, Writer/editor,
PA; Kathyrn Alstat, VA; John Ansorge, NE; Bradley Barker,
NE; Walter Barker, KS; Tony Cook, AL; Bill Duggins, VA;
Susan Duggins, VA; Ron Horn, CT; Richard Mahacek, CA;
Robin Shoop, PA; Ben Silliman, NC; Suzanne Wilson, FL
Graphic Design:
Georgette Starnes, PA.
4-H Robotics Product Review Team:
Connie Miller, Chair,
NY; Bob Horton, OH; Ellen Rowe, VT; Tom Zurcher, MI
Supporters and Donors:
LEGO Education; Carnegie
Mellon University
Note to Project Helper
Copyright 2006 National 4-H Council. All rights reserved. Reproduction without permission of National 4-H Council is strictly prohibited.

Robotics Project Online Contents
www.4-hcurriculum.org/robotics
Robotics Project Overview
• Materials
• Shopping Cart
• Marketing Brochure
• Requirements
• Goals
• Learner Outcomes
• Educational Standards
• Acknowledgements/Credits
• User Feedback/Testimonials
Activity Guide Resources
• By Activity in Guide
• By Categories
_ Direction Master Building
Instructions
_ Gears, Gears and More Gears
_ Rotational Sensor I Building
Instructions
_ Belts /Ratios
_ Gears and Speed—Constant Time
_ Gears and Speed—Constant Distance
_ Gripper Attachment Building
Instructions
_ Programming with Sub-VIs
Youth Resources
• Fun Project Activities
• Interactive Games
• Supporting Internet Links
• County Fair Classes, Score Cards
• Project Records
• Project Exhibit Photos
• Achievement Program
Completion Certificates
• National Events and Activities
• Activity Guide Evaluation
Helper and Club Resources
• Note to the Project Helper
• Worksheets/Handouts
• Project Meeting Ideas
• Experiential Learning
Methodology
• Ages and Stages of Youth
• Supporting Internet Links
• Club Ideas and Highlights
• Service Learning Opportunities
• Career Opportunities
Educator Resources
• Organizing a Project Club

or Group
• Curriculum Use in the Classroom
• Curriculum Use in after

School Programs
• Curriculum Use in Home School
• Supporting Internet Links
• Project Workshop Training
Outline
Let Others Know
• Post a Review
• Evaluation Survey
Site Map

Robotics and You CD Contents
• Real World Robots
• Motors & Timers
• Point Turns
• Modifiers
• Loops
• Line Tracking
• Timed-Line Tracking
• Wait for Push
• Wait for Dark
• Measured Movement
• Measured Line Tracking
• Containers
• Subroutines
Online and CD Contents
Discover over 180 National 4-H Curriculum titles in mission areas of Science, Engineering
and Technology; Healthy Living; and Citizenship. Youth activity guides are filled with fun,
engaging experiences that cultivate abilities youth need for everyday living as they
progressively gain knowledge about subjects that interest them.
All titles have been reviewed and recommended by the National 4-H Curriculum Jury Review
process, signifying their excellence in providing hands-on learning experiences for youth.
Find more about
Robotics
and other projects online at:
www.4-hcurriculum.org
Discover over 180 National 4-H Curriculum titles in mission areas of Science, Engineering
and Technology; Healthy Living; and Citizenship. Youth activity guides are filled with fun,
engaging experiences that cultivate abilities youth need for everyday living as they
progressively gain knowledge about subjects that interest them.
All titles have been reviewed and recommended by the National 4-H Curriculum Jury Review
process, signifying their excellence in providing hands-on learning experiences for youth.
Find more about
Robotics
and other projects online at:
www.4-hcurriculum.org
1
Robotics
Helpers Guide
Table of Contents
Welcome
..................................................................................................................................................Inside.Front.Cover
Table.of.Contents
..................................................................................................................................................................
1
Learning.by.Doing,.the.4-H.Way
.......................................................................................................................................
2
The.Project.Helper
................................................................................................................................................................
4
Ages.and.Stages.of.Youth
....................................................................................................................................................
4
Developing.Life.Skills
...........................................................................................................................................................
5
Supporting.Teams
.................................................................................................................................................................
6
Financing.Supplies
................................................................................................................................................................
7
Preparing.for.Competitions
................................................................................................................................................
7
Activities
.Rituals:.Meet.My.Robot
............................................................................................................................................
8
.Silent.Free.Build
........................................................................................................................................................
9
.Robot.Bingo
..............................................................................................................................................................
10
.Peanut.Butter.and.Jelly
..........................................................................................................................................
11
.Robotics.Skillathon
..................................................................................................................................................
12
.Robotics.Pyramid.Challenge
.................................................................................................................................
14
.Move.It.Along
...........................................................................................................................................................
15
.Light.Up.Your.Life
...................................................................................................................................................
16
.Cyclops
......................................................................................................................................................................
17
.Guess.My.Cookie
....................................................................................................................................................
18
.Directions?.No.Problem!
.......................................................................................................................................
19
.Cryptography:.Keeping.It.Secret
..........................................................................................................................
20
.You,.a.Roboticist?
.....................................................................................................................................................
21
Hints.for.the.Helper
............................................................................................................................................................
22
Bingo.Card.
...........................................................................................................................................................................
28
Cookie.Cutter.Form.
...........................................................................................................................................................
29
Measuring.the.Impact
........................................................................................................................................................30.
Answer.Guide
......................................................................................................................................................................
32
Robotics.Meeting.Ideas
......................................................................................................................................................
32
Robotics.Resources.(Robotics.Online.and.Robotics.and.You.CD)
..............................................Inside.Back.Cover
More on Robotics
Robotics Explorer, Level 1
Robotics Probe, Level 2
Chapter 1: Discovering Robots

Activity 1 Brick, Blocks and Gears

Activity 2 Robot or Not

Activity 3 If I Only Had a Brain
Chapter 2: Basic Programming

Activity 4 Go, Bot, Go

Activity 5 Time and Time Again with a Twist

Activity 6 An A-Mazing Experience

Activity 7 Start Your Engines
Chapter 3: Advanced Programming

Activity 8 When Push Comes to Shove

Activity 9 Seeing the Light of Day

Activity 10 Decisions, Decisions, Decisions
Chapter 4: Completing the Course

Activity 11 Follow the Robot Road

Activity 12 Simon Says

Activity 13 Combinations

Activity 14 Are We There Yet?
Chapter 1: Rotational Sensors

Activity 1 Robot Garage

Activity 2 Do It Again Robot

Activity 3 Tracking with a Twist

Activity 4 Measured Turns
Chapter 2: Belts, Pulleys and Gears

Activity 5 Gears Galore

Activity 6 Go the Distance

Activity 7 Tighten Your Belts

Activity 8 Do the Time
Chapter 3: Advanced Programming

Activity 9 It Varies

Activity 10 Grips and Grabs

Activity 11 Double Duty

Activity 12 Keep it Simple Silly

Activity 13 Beyond (Sub)Routines

Activity 14 Loop-D-Loop

2
In.the.early.1900’s,.the.progressive.educators.and.USDA.
demonstration.agents.who.began.4-H.recognized.the.
power.of.hands-on,.minds-on,.exploration.of.real.world.
grownup.activities.as.a.way.for.youth.to.learn.and.apply.
new.ideas..Since.then,.much.more.has.been.learned.
about.how.young.people.like.to.explore.and.discover,.
and.how.they.like.to.be.treated..Today.the.way.4-H.
teaches.is.called.life-skills.based.experiential.youth.
development.education..The.focus.is.based.equally.on.
the.youth.and.on.the.educational.content.
Leading by Facilitating
In.experiential.learning,.youth.and.adults.share.
responsibility.as.partners.in.learning..The.adult.Helper.
(or.Facilitator).engages.youth.in.the.experiential.learning.
process,.guiding.them.as.they.become.involved.with.
information,.design.the.learning.experiences,.encounter.
the.decision-making.process,.and.measure.achievement.
of.goals..A.variety.of.hands-on.experiences.are.provided..
Learning.is.usually.accomplished.through.discovery.or.
exploratory.learning,.with.guiding.questions.that.stimulate.
reflection.and.critical.thinking.skills..The.Helper.gives.
support.and.encouragement.and.serves.as.a.resource.to.
set.the.stage.and.provide.access.to.needed.information.and.
materials..The.Helper.doesn’t.have.to.know.all.the.answers!
Motivating Youth through Positive Reinforcement
Positive.reinforcement.is.the.single.most.effective.tool.for.
motivating.youth..As.the.Helper,.it.is.extremely.important.
for.you.to.provide.positive.reinforcement.both.verbally.
and.nonverbally.throughout.all.the.activities..Youth.need.
constant.reinforcement.for.their.positive.actions,.even.when.
they.are.faced.with.an.outcome.they.did.not.expect..There.
might.be.times.as.youth.are.completing.the.activities.in.the.
Robotics.curriculum.that.they.do.not.achieve.the.outcome.
they.thought.they.would.
When.providing.positive.reinforcement,.it.is.important.to.
be.specific.and.sincere..Say.specifically.what.the.child.did:.
“Johnny,.your.robot.followed.the.maze.perfectly!.Great.
job!”.Being.too.general.may.appear.artificial.and.phony..
Here.are.some.positive.reinforcement.ideas:
•.A.pat.on.the.shoulder
.
•.An.enthusiastic.and.encouraging.comment
.
•.Certificates.for.completing.individual.activities
.
•.Keeping.an.achievement.chart.using.stickers
.
•.Asking.a.youth.to.demonstrate.their.skills.to.the.group
..
National Education Standards Used
ITEA
— International Technology Education Association

NCTM
— National Council of Teachers of Mathematics
NCTE
— National Council of Teachers of English
NSS
— National Science Standards
The Experiential Learning Model
Each.of.the.activities.uses.the.experiential.learning.model..
Successful.experiential.learning.results.in.project.
.
subject.matter.and.personal.life.skills.developing.together.
in.a.single.activity,.or.a.series.of.related.activities..
Successful.experiential.learning.engages.learners.in.
.
the.activity,.encourages.them.to.think.more,.work.
.
harder,.and.ultimately.learn.more.thoroughly.than.with.
traditional.methods.
Experience—Mission Briefing and Test Facility
The.model.begins.with.an.experience..Action!.When.the.
learner.is.involved.in.learning.by.doing.before.being.
told.or.shown.how,.a.wide.variety.of.life.skills.can.be.
practiced..The.life.skills.selected.engage.the.youth.in.the.
experience..As.Helper,.you.set.the.stage.for.the.learning.
opportunity,.help.learners.access.the.resources.they.need,.
and.are.available,.if.needed,.for.assistance..The.strategy.
for.learning,.if.new,.is.also.described,.discussed,.or.
demonstrated..The.learners.are.allowed.to.proceed.with.
the.discovery.learning.process.
Share—Store It
As.the.model.shows,.sharing.is.simply.asking.individuals,.
“What.did.you.do?.What.happened?.What.did.it.feel.
like.to.do.(whatever)?”.This.step.should.generate.lots.of.
information.that.will.lead.to.the.process.step..The.Helper.
performs.a.subtle,.nondirective.role,.helping.group.
members.to.work.together.and.share.their.skills.and.
Learn by Doing the 4-H Way

knowledge..The.Helper.also.assures.that.all.learners.have.
a.chance.to.contribute.to.the.group.experience.
Process—Transform It
The.questions.and.discussion.now.become.more.focused.
on.what.was.most.important.about.the.experience..
Common.themes.that.emerge.from.the.sharing.session.
provide.opportunities.to.explore.further..Discuss.teaching.
points.related.to.the.subject.matter..Look.for.differences.
and.similarities,.as.well.as.patterns.and.relationships.to.
connect.the.learning.with.previous.learning.
Generalize—Sense It
In.this.step.the.discussing.becomes.more.personal..“So.
what?”.is.the.question..What.did.the.experience.mean.
to.me.personally?.How.does.it.relate.to.my.everyday.
life?.While.the.subject.matter.alone.could.remain.the.
focus.of.the.discussion.of.all.five.steps.of.the.model,.life.
skill.development.is.equally.important.and.should.be.a.
major.part.of.the.discussion..Helpers.should.ask.what.
life.skills.were.practiced.while.doing.the.activity.or.during.
the.experience..If.youth.worked.in.teams.to.complete.
an.activity,.then.questions.about.teamwork.would.be.
appropriate..Likewise,.if.an.activity.calls.for.communicating,.
skills,.then.communications.skills.could.be.discussed..
Members.of.the.group.think.about.how.their.new.
knowledge.can.help.them.to.accomplish.other.goals.and.
explore.even.wider.uses.in.other.real.life.situations..The.
“Applied.R.&.D”.activities.included.help.them.generalize.
the.concepts.and.principles.they.have.learned..
Apply—Program It
What.was.learned?.How.can.youth.apply.it.to.their.lives?.
Better.yet,.can.youth.perform.a.different.activity.that.
requires.the.new.skill.to.be.used?.Again,.the.emphasis.is.
placed.on.the.life.skill.practiced.rather.than.the.subject.
matter.skill..This.may.lead.to.the.evidence.of.program.
impact,.and.more.thinking.about.what.else.learners.need/
want.to.know..This.can.become.the.next.educational.
activity.to.build.on.what.has.just.been.learned.
Making it Happen
It.takes.experience,.feedback,.observation,.and.reflection.
to.develop.competence.as.a.facilitating.Helper..The.first.
few.times.you.do.it,.you.may.feel.awkward..Fortunately,.
all.of.the.activities.in.this.series.have.been.carefully.
thought.out.by.people.who.are.familiar.with.“hands-on”.
learning.and.reflection..Follow.their.suggestions.in.the.
activities,.and.before.you.know.it,.the.youth.will.become.
involved.in.learning.this.way.
3
1
Experience

the.activity,
perform,.
.
do.it
2
Share

the.results,.
.
reactions,.observations,.
publicity
3
Process
by.discussing,.
looking.at.the.
experience,.
analyze,.reflect
4
Generalize
to.connect.the.
experience.to.real.world.
examples
5
Apply
what.was.learned.to.
a.similar.or.different.
situation;.practice
Youth.do.before.
being.told.or.
shown.how.
Youth.describe.
the.experience.
and.their.
reaction.
Youth.discuss.what.
was.most.important.
about.what.they.
did.
Youth.relate.the.life.
skill.practiced.to.
their.own.everyday.
experiences.
Youth.share.how.
they.will.use.the.life.
skill.and.robotic.skill.
practiced.in.other.
parts.of.their.lives.
Learn by Doing the 4-H Way

continued
Pfeiffer,.J.W.,.&.Jones,.J.E.,.“Reference.Guide.to.Handbooks.and.Annuals”.
.
©.1983.John.Wiley.&.Sons,.Inc...Reprinted.with.permission.of.John.Wiley.&.Sons,.Inc.
Experiential
Learning

Model

The 9-11 Year Olds
Youth.at.this.stage.are.really.active,.so.activities.should.
encourage.physical.involvement.rather.than.trying.to.keep.
them.still.and.quiet..
Hands-on.involvement.with.objects.is.helpful..These.
youth.are.still.fairly.concrete.thinkers.and.will.pay.more.
attention.if.they.are.both.seeing.and.doing.things..They.
need.many.opportunities.to.share.their.thoughts.and.
reactions.to.others..
These.children.are.beginning.to.think.logically.and.to.
understand.abstract.ideas..Typically,.they.will.think.an.
.
idea.is.right.or.wrong,.great.or.disgusting,.fun.or.boring..
There.is.very.little.middle.ground.
The.role.of.the.Helper.is.crucial.at.this.stage..9-11.
year.olds.look.to.adults.for.approval.and.follow.rules.
primarily.out.of.respect.for.adults..Comparison.with.the.
success.of.others.is.difficult.for.these.children..It.erodes.
self-confidence..You.can.build.positive.self-concepts.by.
comparing.present.to.past.performances.of.individuals..
This.is.the.age.of.the.“joiners.”.Boys.and.girls.like.to.be.
.
in.organized.groups.of.others.similar.to.themselves..
They.generally.are.concerned.with.immediate.self.reward..
Often.participation.in.community.service.projects.are.
enjoyed.because.youth.can.see.that.they.are.making.a.
difference.in.another’s.life.
These.youngsters.have.a.strong.need.to.feel.accepted.
and.worthwhile..School.and.other.pressures.are.
demanding..Individual.improvement.should.continue.to.
be.emphasized..Youngsters.want.to.know.how.much.they.
have.improved.and.what.they.should.do.to.be.better.next.
time..Individual.evaluation.and.encouragement.from.an.
adult.can.have.amazing.results.
The 12-14 Year Olds
This.developmental.stage.varies.widely.among.young.
teens..Growth.spurts.beginning.with.adolescence.occur.
at.a.wide.range.of.ages,.with.girls.usually.maturing.before.
boys..These.rapid.changes.in.physical.appearance.may.
make.some.teens.uncomfortable..Faster-developing.
teens.may.feel.thrust.into.a.more.adult.world.they.didn’t.
choose..Slower-developing.teens.may.be.uneasy.about.
their.lack.of.changes.
Every.youth.taking.part.in.this.project.will.benefit.
.
from.having.a.Helper.who.interacts.with.him.or.her.in.
the.project..This.can.be.a.parent,.an.older.sibling,.another.
relative,.a.neighbor,.or.someone.who.is.interested.in.
Robotics..The.youth.activity.guides.are.intended.to.be.
completed.independently.by.youth,.usually.at.home,.
between.group.robotic.project.meetings..
Role of Project Helper
•.Become.familiar.with.the.material.in.the.activity.guide.
•.Support.youth.in.their.efforts.to.set.goals.and.complete.
the.activities.
•.Date.and.initial.the.activities.on.the.Achievement.
Program.as.the.youth.completes.them.
•.Help.the.youth.know.themselves,.including.their.
strengths.and.weaknesses.
•.Incorporate.the.use.of.the.experiential.learning.cycle.in.
all.learning.experiences.
Robotics Project Meetings
When.several.youth.or.a.classroom.of.youth.are.taking.
part.in.the.project.together,.monthly.(or.more.frequent).
meetings.of.the.youth.greatly.enrich.the.experience.
for.all..Your.role.as.Project.Helper.is.to.take.a.back.seat.
while.youth.explore.the.activities.and.learn.from.their.
experiences..The.youth.share.their.progress.and.learning,.
take.part.in.group.activities.from.this.guide,.and.prepare.
for.the.independent.activities.they.will.do.before.the.next.
meeting..One.key.point:.every.meeting.should.include.an.
element.of.fun!
This.Helper’s.guide.is.intended.primarily.for.the.Project.
Helper..When.only.one.Helper.is.taking.part,.this.Helper’s.
Guide.will.be.extremely.useful..While.it.is.possible.for.the.
project.Helper.of.a.group.to.function.without.each.youth.
having.an.individual.Helper,.it.certainly.takes.a.great.deal.
of.time.to.interact.individually.with.each.of.the.youth.on.
each.of.the.questions.in.each.of.the.activities!
Using the Group Activity Helper’s Guide
This.guide.provides.additional.learn-by-doing.activities.
that.can.be.adapted.to.4-H.project.groups,.clubs.or.other.
groups..You’ll.also.find.helpful.hints.about.characteristics.
of.youth,.life.skill.development,.teaching.experientially,.
project.meeting.ideas.and.resources..At.the.end.of.this.
book.and.online.are.pre-.and.post-.evaluation.sheets.to.
evaluate.the.progress.of.the.group.or.individuals.within.
the.group.
Ages and Stages of Youth
The Project Helper
5
Young.teens.move.from.concrete.to.more.abstract.
thinking..Playing.with.ideas.is.as.much.fun.as.playing.
sports..Ready-made.solutions.from.adults.are.often.
rejected.by.young.teens.in.favor.of.finding.their.own.
solutions..Volunteers.who.provide.supervision,.support.
and.minimal.direction.will.do.well.with.this.group..
Small.groups.provide.the.best.opportunity.for.young.
teens.to.test.ideas..Justice.and.equality.become.important.
issues..Opinions.of.peers.become.more.important.than.
opinions.of.parents.and.other.adults..Teens.enjoy.the.
social.interaction.and.acceptance.they.receive.in.groups.
As.puberty.approaches,.young.teens.may.begin.a.roller.
coaster.ride.of.hormones.and.emotions..This.time.period.
seems.to.present.the.biggest.challenge.to.a.young.
person’s.self-concept..These.youngsters.face.so.many.
changes.that.they.hardly.know.who.they.are..Young.teens.
begin.to.test.values.and.seek.adults.who.are.accepting.
and.willing.to.talk.about.values.and.morals..Adults.can.
help.by.providing.self-discovery.activities.leading.teens.to.
self-knowledge.
Adults.should.continue.to.avoid.comparing.young.
people.with.each.other.and.try.not.to.embarrass.them..
They.want.to.be.part.of.something.important.and.have.
opportunities.to.develop.responsibility.and.demonstrate.
leadership.skills.
Adapted.from.
Moving Ahead, 4-H.curriculum.

Ages and Stages of Youth
continued
Developing Life Skills
W
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Self-motiv
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T
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Contrib
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Gr
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M
arketable Skills
R
esponsible
C
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Leader
shi
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Comm
unity Service
V
olunteering
Comm
unication
Cooperation
Social Skills
Conflict Resolution
Accepting
Differences
Concern
fo
r Othe
rs
Empat
hy
Sharing
Nu
rt
uring
Relationships
Resiliency
K
eeping Recor
ds
W
ise Use of
Resour
ces
Planning/Or
ganizing
Goal Setting
Service Learning
C
ritical
Thinkin
g
Pr
oblem Solving
Decision Makin
g
L
earning to Lear
n
Self-estee
m
Self-responsibility
Character
Managing Feelings
Self-discipline
Pe
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sonal Safety
Disease Pre
vention
S
tress Managemen
t
Healt
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Lifestyle
C
hoice
s

Ta
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Life Skills

Ta
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Life Skills
Figure 1: Targeting Life Skills
Source:.Hendricks,.P..L..1996..Targeting.Life.Skills.Model,.Ames,.Iowa..Iowa.State.University.Extension,.VI-96060

High.quality.youth.development.experiences.don’t.just.
happen..The.best.ones.are.carefully.planned.to.encourage.
life.skill.development.while.developing.subject.matter.
content,.and.to.achieve.specific.results..It.has.become.
increasingly.important.to.be.accountable.for.resources.
expended.by.documenting.program.impact..
A.skill.is.a.learned.ability.to.do.something.well..Life.
skills.are.abilities.individuals.learn.that.will.help.them.to.
be.successful..In.the.Targeting.Life.Skills.Model.(Figure.
1).categories.of.life.skills.are.identified.and.divided.on.
the.basis.of.the.4-H.clover.that.represent.Head,.Heart,.
Hands.and.Health..Two.general.categories.of.life.skills.are.
included.under.each.of.the.four.headings.
The.goal.of.youth.programming.is.to.provide.
developmentally.appropriate.opportunities.for.young.
people.to.experience.life.skills,.to.practice.them.until.
they.are.learned.and.to.be.able.to.use.them.as.necessary.
throughout.a.lifetime..Through.the.experiential.learning.
process,.youth.internalize.the.knowledge.and.gain.the.
ability.to.apply.the.skills.appropriately.
The.life.skills.attached.to.each.activity.in.the.Robotics.
series.a).help.determine.how.the.subject.matter.content.
is.delivered,.and.b).identify.which.observable.measurable.
indicators.(attitudes.or.behaviors).would.
Developing Life Skills
continued
Working.effectively.with.others,.compromising.and.being.
supportive.of.others.are.not.easy.skills.to.learn..Much.of.a.
Helper’s.job.will.be.to.build.teamwork,.create.team.spirit.
and.mediate.disputes.among.club.members..Most.youth,.
individually,.can.learn.to.build.and.program.a.LEGO.
MINDSTORM™.robot.with.relative.ease..Unfortunately,.
a.task.that.is.easy.for.an.individual.becomes.more.
challenging.for.a.group.of.up.to.10.bright,.active.and.
opinionated.kids.working.on.the.same.robot..
Group.members.can.quickly.become.angry,.frustrated.
and.disillusioned.if.resources.are.limited.and.only.a.few.
people.can.actually.work.on.a.robot.at.a.given.time..
The.rest.of.the.group.members.will.need.to.work.on.
researching.related.subjects,.designing.logos.and.displays,.
fund.raising.or.other.activities..In.most.cases,.every.
member.wants.to.either.build.or.program.the.robot..As.a.
leader.you.will.need.to.help.your.team.develop.a.variety.
of.life.skills.to.be.able.to.function.effectively.as.individual.
members.of.a.team.
Many.of.the.activities.in.this.guide.are.designed.to.help.
robotics.group.members.learn.to.work.more.effectively.
as.a.team..As.the.group.facilitator,.you.may.wish.to.
devote.an.entire.meeting.to.team-building.events,.or.
you.may.wish.to.intersperse.these.activities.throughout.
your.meetings..You.will.also.need.to.adjust.the.activities.
according.to.the.ages,.personalities.and.special.needs.of.
your.team.members..
Helpful Hints for Building Teams
1..Find.a.task.for.every.member—while.some.are.working.
on.the.robot,.others.need.to.be.involved.in.research,.
designing.logos.and.displays,.or.other.activities..
2..If.your.group.meets.immediately.after.school,.make.
sure.to.schedule.a.snack.and.recess.time.during.the.
first.15.minutes..Students.need.time.to.refuel,.recharge.
and.socialize.
3..Always.schedule.at.least.10.minutes.at.the.end.of.
each.meeting.for.clean-up.and.a.brief.summary.or.
discussion.of.the.group’s.progress.on.any.projects.
4..Have.the.group.secretary.write.a.brief.report.of.the.
team’s.progress—this.report.should.be.reviewed.at.
the.beginning.of.the.next.meeting..Or.you.can.have.
members.take.turns.writing.the.report.
5..Occasional.all-day.sessions.or.meetings.can.be.fun.
and.very.effective,.but.make.sure.to.build.in.snack.and.
recess.breaks..
6..During.stressful.sessions,.members.may.need.to.
.
step.outside,.run.and.play.to.burn.off.excess.energy.
.
or.frustrations.
7..Keep.one.or.two.beach.balls.or.foam.balls.on.hand.for.
games.like.dodge.ball.or.silent.speed.ball..Sometimes.
group.members.need.a.break.from.LEGOs.
Supporting Teams
Robotic Skill:.Working.as.a.group.to.accomplish.a.
common.task
Life Skill:.Performing.as.a.team.member.
Educational Standard: ITEA.Standard.4—develop.
an.understanding.of.the.cultural,.social,.economic.and.
political.effects.of.technology
Success Indicator:.Completes.a.team.activity.
Group Size:.8.-12.people
Time:.15.minutes
Supplies:.Floor.space.to.form.a.circle.and.move.around.
This.activity.is.a.good.icebreaker..It.teaches.patience,.
cooperation.and.communication.skills..Because.of.the.
close.physical.contact.involved.with.this.activity,.it.is.
.
not.recommended.with.a.group.that.may.already.be.
having.difficulties.
.
Mission Briefing
1..Form.a.knot--Have.8.to.12.individuals.(including.
Helpers.or.mentors.if.necessary).arrange.themselves.in.
a.circle,.placing.their.hands.in.the.center..Each.person.
takes.hold.of.two.people.other.than.those.immediately.
next.to.them..
2..Unrave.the.knot--.Without.breaking.your.hold,.see.if.
the.group.can.unravel.themselves.from.this.seemingly.
impossible.“knot.”.Very.important:.the.group.should.
not.tug.or.pull.on.each.other..Some.may.end.up.in.one.
circle,.some.in.two.circles,.some.as.two.interlocking.
circles..You.may.not.release.hands,.but.may.pivot.on.
one.another.and.grips.may.change.but.contact.must.
not.be.broken..
3..Having.difficulty?—If.the.group.is.having.difficulty,.
have.them.perform.a.“surgery”.Do.this.by.having.one.
person.break.his.or.her.hold.and.then.the.people.who.
that.person.was.attached.to.join.hands.and.the.extra.
person.inserts.him.or.herself.between.some.other.
players..Remember.that.the.group.may.not.move.until.
they.are.reconnected.
.
Feedback Loop
Store It
.
(share what you did)
.
What.did.you.do.to.untie.the.knot?
.
How.did.people.react.if.the.knot.became.more.tangled?.
Transform It
.
(process what’s important)
What.did.it.take.for.the.group.to.work.together?
.
How.did.you.react.when.you.felt.pulled.around?
Sense It
.
(generalize to your life)
When.a.group.must.cooperate.to.accomplish.a.task,.
what.roles.must.be.assumed.by.different.group.
members?
.
What.role.do.you.feel.most.comfortable.assuming.to.
move.things.along?.
Program It
(apply what you learned)
How.can.you.relate.this.to.other.problems.or.challenges.
that.a.group.may.encounter?.
.
What.traits.would.you.want.in.a.group.leader?
.
.
Applied R&D
Teach.this.activity.to.another.group..Watch.how.they.
interact.
.
.
.
Nuts and Volts
Staying Focused
When.situations.become.awkward.or.difficult,.people.
react.in.a.variety.of.ways..Some.people.take.charge..
Others.are.eager.to.cooperate.and.follow.orders..
Some.people.may.become.angry,.silly,.or.act.in.an.
inappropriate.manner..A.good.leader.keeps.the.group.
focused.on.a.common.goal,.smoothes.over.disruptions.
and.keeps.things.light-hearted.
Robotics Project Online:.www.n4hccs.org/
Written.by.Kathryn.Alstat.

7
The.material.in.the.
Gearing Up 4-H Robotics Series.can.
prepare.a.group.to.function.as.a.successful.Robotics.
team,.capable.of.competing.in.the.FIRST.LEGO.League.
Competition..This.section.will.outline.a.few.basics.about.
coaching.and.managing.a.FIRST.LEGO.League.team.
Knowledge of Coaches

While.it.is.helpful.for.the.coach.to.be.familiar.with.basic.
LEGO.Mindstorms.building.and.programming,.it.is.not.
the.most.essential.part.of.being.a.coach..Encourage.
and.allow.team.members.to.find.their.own.solutions.
and.always.do.their.own.work..The.task.of.a.coach.is.to.
manage.the.team.and.guide.it–not.to.build.or.program.
the.robot.or.write.the.research.project.presentation..
The.most.important.duties.of.a.coach.include.dealing.
with.personality.and.behavior.problems.among.team.
members,.establishing.a.timeline.for.tasks,.and.keeping.
track.of.the.necessary.paperwork.and.materials.for.
competition..The.team.building.exercises.listed.in.this.
guide.will.be.helpful.not.only.for.informing.teams.and.
encouraging.cooperation,.but.in.maintaining.them.
FIRST LEGO League Competition

FIRST.LEGO.League.is.a.challenging.international.
competitive.event.for.youth.between.the.ages.of.9.and.
14..Teams.of.up.to.10.players.work.together.towards.
common.goals..Each.team.must.build.and.program.
a.LEGO.Mindstorms.Robot.to.complete.a.series.of.
designated.tasks..Points.are.awarded.for.successfully.
completed.tasks.during.the.2½.minute.competition.run..
In.addition.to.scoring.points.for.these.tasks,.each.team.is.
also.judged.on.a.research.project,.technical.knowledge.
of.programming.and.design,.and.their.enthusiasm.and.
ability.to.work.as.a.team..Teams.compete.at.regional.
tournaments,.and.then.if.they.qualify,.can.move.on.to.
state.and.national.competitions.as.well..
For.more.information.on.the.FIRST.LEGO.League.
competition,.including.dates,.organization.and.costs,.visit.
the.FIRST.LEGO.League.website.at.www.firstlegoleague.
org.or.see.the.Helper’s.section.of.the.4-H.Robotics.
website.www.4-hcurriculum.org/robotics.
Other Competitions

Another.highly.successful.LEGO.Competition.is.called.
Robofest..This.is.a.competition.with.two.age.brackets:.
Junior.(grades.5-9).and.Senior.(grades.9-12)..Student.
teams.composed.of.two.-.seven.members.each.
undertake.missions.using.two.autonomous.robots.they.
have.built.and.programmed.to.work.cooperatively..Teams.
may.also.enter.an.exhibition.where.they.demonstrate.
the.creative.tasks.they.have.designed.their.autonomous.
robots.to.accomplish..Contests.take.place.in.April.each.
year,.with.the.World.Robofest.Championship.held.in.May..
All.participants.receive.medals.and.framed.certificates..
Winners.at.each.site,.including.the.World.Robofest.
Champsionship,.receive.trophies..Detailed.information.
and.competition.rules.can.be.found.at.

www.robotfest.com..

Admission.to.all.

Robofest.

Competitions.

is.free.
Financing Supplies
Preparing for Competitions
Fundraising

The.LEGO.MINDSTORMS.kit.and.supporting.software.
to.conduct.these.activities.cost.approximately.$300..If.
you.have.a.group.of.youth.interested.in.the.Robotics.
curriculum,.there.are.many.ways.to.seek.financial.
assistance.for.your.team..First,.contact.your.local.4-H.agent.
for.advice;.they.may.already.have.access.to.the.needed.
materials.or.have.good.suggestions.for.fundraising.
Other.possible.means.of.securing.funding.incude:
•.Distribute.costs.evenly.among.particpants.by.
requesting.money.from.parents.or.sponsors.
.
•.General.fundraising,.such.as.bake.sales,.car.washes,.
etc..Be.creative!
.
•.Approach.a.local.community.service.group.for.
sponsorship,.such.as.the.Elks.or.Rotary.Clubs.
.
•.Talk.to.local.schools.to.see.if.they.have.kits.to.loan..If.
not,.then.parent/teacher.organization.may.be.willing.
to.purchase.kits.and.the.school.may.provide.space.and.
computers.for.after-school.groups.
.
•.Work.with.youth.organization.such.as.the.Boys.and.
Girls.Club,.Scouts.or.YMCA.to.see.if.they.would.be.
willing.to.loan.or.purchase.a.kit.
.
•.Consider.creating.a.presentation.to.a.local.company.
explaining.the.benefits.of.the.Robotics.curriculum.and.
learning.process..Allowing.youth.to.have.input.is.an.
excellent.opportunity.to.strengthen.presentation.skills.
If.your.group.obtains.donations.or.a.sponsor,.
remember.to.have.them.write.a.letter.of.thanks!
Rituals: Meet My Robot
ACtiVities

Robotic Skill:.Learning.about.famous.robots
Life Skill:.Communicating.with.others.
Educational Standard:.NL-ENG.K-12.4:.Adjust.the.use.
of.spoken,.written.and.visual.language.to.communicate.
effectively.with.a.variety.of.audiences.and.for.different.
purposes.
Success Indicator:.Presents.a.favorite.robot.to.the.group.
Group Size:.2-20
Time:.10.minutes.per.participant
Supplies:.Robot.pictures.and.descriptions.(from.
research),.3”x.5”.cards,.pencils
To.be.part.of.a.team,.youth.need.to.know.something.
about.the.other.team.members..Also,.they.need.to.be.
able.to.communicate.something.about.themselves..
Talking.about.the.team’s.work.can.help.youth.get.to.know.
each.other..This.activity.asks.youth.to.choose.a.robot.
from.a.book,.Internet.site,.or.kit,.and.to.introduce.the.
robot.and.themself.to.their.team..
.
Mission Briefing
Assign.each.participant.the.task.of.researching.robots.in.
the.library.or.online.and.selecting.one.to.introduce.and.
describe..Alternatively,.a.leader.can.prepare.and.distribute.
a.handout.with.pictures.and.descriptions.of.robots..
Each.person.chooses.one,.gives.it.a.name.or.nickname,.
and.selects.two.or.three.features.(parts,.functions,.
transformations).to.share.with.the.group..Youth.should.
also.select.3-5.things.to.tell.about.themselves.(school,.
favorite.superhero,.what.they.like.about.robots.or.want.to.
do.with.robots)..Before.they.begin,.distribute.one.3”.x.5”.
card.and.a.pencil.to.each.participant..
.
.
test Facility
Each.one.should.take.about.5.minutes.to.share.about.
him/herself.and.the.robot..After.each.member.presents,.
others.should.write.one.fact.learned.about.that.person.
and.one.fact.learned.about.the.robot,.as.well.as.one.thing.
he/she.liked.about.the.way.facts.were.presented..
After.everyone.has.presented,.go.around.the.group.and.
let.each.person.describe.one.unique.or.special.thing.they.
liked.about.each.robot.introduced.and.say.one.thing.
about.the.person.who.introduced.the.robot..If.the.group.
is.large,.you.may.wish.to.assign.each.youth.a.couple.of.
teammates.to.report.about,.rather.than.having.each.
person.report.about.everyone.in.the.group.
.
.
Feedback Loop
Store It
.
(share what you did)
.
.
How.did.you.decide.on.your.favorite.robot?.
.
How.did.you.decide.what.to.tell.the.group?.
.
What.was.it.like.to.share.something.with.the.group?
.
As.a.listener,.how.do.you.remember.what.others.say?
Transform It
.
(process what’s important)
.
What.did.you.learn.about.each.teammate.by.learning.
about.the.robot.he/she.chose?.What.else.would.you.like.
to.ask.other.members?.
Sense It
.
(generalize to your life)
.
What.can.you.use.from.this.exercise.to.make.introducing.
yourself.easier?
.
What.did.you.learn.about.getting.to.know.others?
Program It
(apply what you learned)

If.you.were.a.club.leader.or.activity.leader,.how.would.
you.help.members.get.to.know.each.other?
.
.
Applied R&D
Ask.youth.to.develop.robot.trading.cards.to.learn.more.
about.robots.and.teammates..These.tools.might.even.
lead.to.a.decision-making.activity.based.on.challenge.
tasks.and.knowing.what.each.robot.does.well..
.
.
Nuts and Volts
Robots Online
.
Carnegie-Mellon.University.in.Pittsburgh.has.an.actual.
Robot.Hall.of.Fame.to.celebrate.science.and.science.
fiction.pioneers.that.serve.peoples’.needs.and.stir.their.
imaginations..The.2003.and.2004.inductees.include.
Unimate,.the.first.robot.to.weld.cars.on.an.assembly.line,.
the.Mars.Rover,.and.of.course,.R2D2.and.C3PO.from.the.
Star.Wars.movies..Check.them.out.at.www.halloffame.org.
Written.by.Ben.Silliman.

Robotic Skill:.Working.as.a.team.to.accomplish.a.
common.goal
Life Skill:.Performing.as.a.team.member
Educational Standard:.NL-ENG.K-12.12:.Use.spoken,.
written.and.visual.language.to.accomplish.their.own.
purposes
Success Indicator:.Utilizes.LEGOs.to.design.a.
.
unique.creation.
Group Size:.4-5.people.per.team
Time:.10-15.minutes
Supplies:.A.bucket.of.assorted.LEGOs,.including.a.
variety.of.odd.shaped.parts.for.each.group..If.you.want.
to.let.the.teams.“compete”.you.will.need.an.impartial.
judge.to.determine.which.team.wins.
In.this.activity,.youth.work.together.to.construct.a.
.
LEGO.creation.in.keeping.with.a.theme—such.as.“a.
children’s.playground”.or.“an.underwater.city.”.You.may.
wish.to.ask.the.youth.to.brainstorm.to.select.a.theme..
This.challenge.is.for.the.youth.to.work.together.to.
.
create.something.under.the.constraints.of.limited.time.
and.resources..
.
Mission Briefing
Form.teams.of.three.to.four.individuals.and.give.each.
team.a.bucket.full.of.LEGOs.
.
test Facility
1..Announce.the.Challenge..Tell.the.teams.that.they.have.
five.minutes.to.construct.something.together..They.can.
only.use.the.LEGO.pieces.in.their.own.bucket..They.
may.not.speak..Give.them.a.theme.such.as.“build.an.
underwater.city”.or.“build.a.children’s.playground.”
2..Determine.the.Winner..The.judge.will.determine.the.
winner.based.on.entire.team.participation,.creativity.
and.who.used.the.most.LEGOs.
Feedback Loop
Store It
.
(share what you did)

How.did.your.team.decide.what.to.build?
Transform It
(process what’s important)

What.did.you.find.challenging.about.this.activity?
.
What.do.you.think.would.happen.in.this.activity.if.you.
could.speak?
Sense It
.
(generalize to your life)
.
What.are.some.skills.that.you.used.in.this.game.
.
that.you.think.will.help.you.to.work.effectively.as.a.
.
group.member?
.
What.are.some.ways.you.communicate.to.others.
.
besides.through.talking?
Program It
.
(apply what you learned)
.
What.can.you.do.when.you.are.working.in.a.team.and.
a.decision.needs.to.be.made.quickly,.but.you.cannot.
speak.to.each.other?-
.
Nuts and Volts
Communicationg Without Words

When.a.group.functions.together.without.talking.they.
must.find.non-verbal.means.to.communicate..If.the.
team.members.are.used.to.working.together,.established.
patterns/roles.will.probably.be.adopted..If.the.team.
members.are.not.used.to.working.together,.some.trial.
and.error.and.some.give.and.take.will.probably.be.
required..This.exercise.is.a.good.way.to.learn.about.
personality.traits..Who.took.charge?.Who.followed.
someone.else’s.lead?.What.happens.when.more.than.
one.person.wants.to.lead,.or.when.no.one.steps.up.to.
take.charge?.
Written.by.Kathryn.Allstat.
Silent Free-Build
ACtiVities
Robot Bingo
ACtiVities
10
Robotic Skill:.Defining.robotic.terms
Life Skill:.Leading.self.and.others
Educational Standard:.NL-ENG.K-12.4:.Adjust.the.use.
of.spoken,.written,.and.visual.language.to.communicate.
effectively.with.a.variety.of.audiences.and.for.different.
purposes
Success Indicator:.Plans.and.conducts.GEARS.BINGO.
Group Size:.3-10
Time:.60.minutes
Supplies:.GEARS.bingo.cards,.buttons,.beans.or.coins,.
terms.and.definitions,.pencils.or.pens,.blank.paper,.bowl.
for.words
The.Robotics.project.includes.many.new.terms.for.
group.members.to.know.and.understand..Identification.
contests,.robotics.pyramid.and.skillathons.are.all.more.
exciting.when.key.terms.are.a.part.of.the.youth’s.
vocabulary..By.planning.and.conducting.this.activity,.
youth.will.also.practice.their.leadership.skills.
.
Mission Briefing
Appoint.a.youth.planning.committee.to.organize.and.
conduct.Robot.Bingo..Ask.each.participant.to.write.ten.
robotics.terms.and.definitions.on.a.piece.of.paper..This.
will.provide.Robot.Bingo.questions.and.help.each.person.
learn.new.terms..Look.in.the.Chip.Directory.sections.of.
each.youth.activity.guide.for.a.start..One.way.to.prepare.
the.cards.is.to.list.all.the.terms.to.be.used.and.ask.the.
youth.to.prepare.one.or.more.Robot.Bingo.cards.using.
the.terms.provided..Card.format.is.on.page.28..
When.all.the.cards.have.been.prepared,.scramble.them.
and.distribute.them.along.with.a.supply.of.beans.or.
something.similar.to.cover.the.called.terms.
.
.
test Facility
Someone.reads.a.definition.(not.the.term).or.shows.a.
LEGO.piece,.and.the.players.decide.if.they.have.the.term.
on.their.cards.that.corresponds.to.the.definition.or.item..
When.a.bingo.is.achieved.(five.in.a.row),.the.player.
responds.with.“ROBOT”..The.card.is.then.checked..After.
a.couple.of.games,.the.youth.who.says,.“Robot”.will.give.
the.definition.of.each.of.the.four.or.five.words.that.make.
up.the.bingo..This.game.is.easily.adjusted.for.age.and.
skill.level.
Feedback Loop
Store It
.
(share what you did)
.
How.was.this.type.of.bingo.different.from.regular.bingo?
.
How.did.you.go.about.organizing.the.game?
Transform It
.
(process what’s important)
.
Why.was.this.a.fun.way.to.learn.robotic.terms?
.
How.does.playing.games.make.learning.easier.for.you?
Sense It
.
(generalize to your life)
.
What.is.one.thing.you.would.do.differently.next.time.you.
are.on.a.planning.committee?
Program It
(apply what you learned)

What.would.you.change.about.the.game.that.would.
make.it.easier.to.lead?
.
.
Applied R&D
1...Make.a.list.of.other.topics.that.could.be.used.for.
headings.for.ROBOT.Bingo.cards..
2...List.terms.and.definitions.that.could.be.used.for.each.
of.the.headings.
.
.
Nuts and Volts
Sample Robot Bingo Card Terms

Robolab Programming:.modifiers,.multitasking,.loops,.
icons,.wait.for.commands,.fork,.forward,.merge,.stop,.
pseudocode,.flow.chart
Gears:.spur,.bevel,.differential,.worm,.slip
Sensors:.light,.touch,.rotational,.temperature
RCX:.input.port,.output.port,.IR.port,.LCD.screen,.stop.
button,.view.button,.run.button
Robot Parts:.motor,.gears,.wheels,.tracks,.axles,.beams,.
plates,.etc..Be.specific.about.the.part,.for.example,.a.
‘2x10.plate’.rather.than.just.a.‘plate.’
Types of Robots:.rectilinear,.cylindrical,.spherical,.
assistive,.climbing,.humanoid,.automation,.android,.
mobile
Science Concepts:.polarity,.machine,.computer,.robot,.
sensor,.physics,.download,.degree,.calibration
Written.by.Connie.Miller.
11
Robotic Skill:.Technical.writing
Life Skill:.Communicating.with.others
Educational Standard:.NL-ENG.K-12.4:.Adjust.the.use.
of.spoken,.written,.and.visual.language.to.communicate.
effectively.with.a.variety.of.audiences.and.for.different.
purposes
Success Indicator:.Writes.clear.directions.
Group Size:.2-20
Time:.30.minutes
Supplies:.Loaf.of.bread,.jar.of.peanut.butter,.jar.of.
.
jelly,.paper.plate,.butter.knife.and.paper.and.pencil.for.
each.participant.
In.this.activity,.youth.will.write.directions.for.making.
a.peanut.butter.and.jelly.sandwich.and.read.their.
directions.to.someone.who.does.exactly.what.was.
written.(and.only.what.was.written)..The.results.will.
demonstrate.the.importance.of.detailed.instructions..
.
Mission Briefing
Tell.the.group.to.imagine.that.they.are.hosting.an.alien.
from.outer.space.in.their.home..The.alien,.having.
traveled.several.light-years.to.get.there,.is.sleeping.in.
for.the.morning..The.youth.needs.to.get.to.school,.so.
they.are.leaving.the.alien.a.jar.of.peanut.butter,.a.jar.of.
jelly,.a.loaf.of.bread,.a.knife,.a.cutting.board.and.a.plate..
The.alien.speaks.and.reads.perfect.English,.but.it.has.
never.made.a.sandwich.before..The.challenge.is.to.write.
directions.for.the.alien.so.that.it.can.successfully.make.
the.sandwich.
Divide.the.group.into.teams..Provide.members.with.
paper.and.ask.them.to.write.detailed.directions.on.how.
to.make.a.peanut.butter.and.jelly.sandwich.without.ever.
having.made.a.sandwich.before.
.
.
test Facility
A.volunteer.reads.his.directions.to.a.member.of.another.
team..The.member.listening.must.do.exactly.what.is.
read..For.example,.if.he.says,.“take.a.piece.of.bread.
out.of.the.bag,”.the.youth.responding.might.take.only.
a.“piece”.out.instead.of.a.slice..If.directions.are.given.
to.“put.the.peanut.butter.on.the.bread”.the.response.
might.be.to.place.the.entire.jar.on.the.entire.loaf.of.
bread..The.idea.is.to.be.silly.and.to.make.the.point.that.
the.directions.are.not.complete..Give.the.youth.the.
opportunity.to.rewrite.their.instructions.and.try.again.
Feedback Loop
Store It
.
(share what you did)
.
.
What.information.was.left.out.of.the.instructions.initially?.
.
How.did.it.affect.the.finished.product?.
Transform It
.
(process what’s important)
.
What.happens.when.details.are.left.out.of.a.set.of.
instructions?
Sense It
.
(generalize to your life)
.
Why.are.instructions.important.when.teaching.others.or.
giving.directions?
.
Tell.about.a.time.when.you.were.not.given.clear.
instructions..How.was.the.outcome.affected?
Program It
(apply what you learned)

When.writing.instructions.for.someone,.how.can.you.
check.to.make.sure.the.instructions.are.clear.and.
complete?
.
.
Applied R&D
Have.the.youth.take.a.schematic.of.a.LEGO.object.and.
describe.it.to.someone.who.will.build.the.object.piece.
by.piece..The.youth.giving.directions.should.be.sitting.
with.their.back.to.the.person.building.the.object.and.
the.person.building.should.not.be.able.to.see.the.object.
they.are.going.to.build.before.they.build.it.
.
Nuts and Volts
Clear Communications
.
Youth.who.wish.to.pursue.careers.in.science,.engineering.
or.technology.fields.often.do.not.realize.the.importance.
of.clear.communications..The.scientific.method.is.based.
on.observation.and.reporting.results.so.that.others.can.
repeat.the.experiment..Also,.when.engineering.firms.
are.asked.what.skills.they.most.value.in.employees,.
both.communication.skills.and.team.working.skills.often.
appear.near.the.top.of.their.lists..
Written.by.Suzanne.Wilson
Peanut Butter and Jelly
ACtiVities
Robotics Skillathon
ACtiVities
12
Robotics Skill:.Participating.in.a.robotics.skillathon
Life Skill:.Planning.and.organizing
Educational Standard:.NM-PROB.PK-12.3:.Apply.
and.adapt.a.variety.of.appropriate.strategies.to.solve.
problems
Success Indicator:.Plans.and.conducts.a.robotics.
skillathon.
Group Size:.10-100
Time:.50-120.minutes
Supplies:.Station.signs,.situation.and.task.signs,.
.
materials.necessary.for.the.team.to.perform.the.task.
.
at.each.station
A.robotics.skillathon.is.an.excellent.way.to.involve.youth.
in.a.challenging,.non-competitive,.learning-by-doing.
activity..A.skillathon.is.a.series.of.learning.stations.at.
which.teams.are.presented.with.realistic.situations.and.
tasks.to.do..The.teams.attempt.to.complete.the.tasks.
before.being.told.or.shown.how..The.operator.at.each.
station.follows.with.questions.to.help.the.teams.build.
on.their.experiences..This.hands-on.teaching.method.
helps.youth.develop.both.life.and.robotics.skills..Adults.
can.participate.too!.The.skillathon.works.well.at.project.
meetings,.group.meetings,.in.classrooms.or.at.malls.or.
fairs.
Mission Briefing
Sponsoring.a.successful.robotics.skillathon.requires.lots.
of.planning.and.organizing..It.provides.an.opportunity.
for.youth.to.practice.developing.their.leadership.skills..
The.group.will.need.to.determine.what.committees.are.
needed,.who.will.serve.on.and.lead.each.committee,.
tasks.to.be.accomplished.and.so.on..Have.an.older.
youth.serve.as.the.event.coordinator.and.help.keep.all.
the.committees.moving.forward..Some.of.the.tasks.that.
need.to.be.considered.are.listed.in.this.activity..Many.
station.examples.are.also.provided.
To.prepare.for.the.skillathon,.have.members:
•..Decide.on.the.stations.wanted,..Some.ideas.for.stations.
are.listed.in.Nuts.&.Volts.
•..Make.a.task.sign.for.each.station.so.teams.don’t.require.
additional.directions.from.the.skillathon.operator.
•..Decided.who.will.be.in.charge.of.each.station.and.the.
equipment.and.supplies.needed.at.each.station.
•..Delegate.responsibility.for.gathering.supplies.
The.station.operator.should:
•..Be.familiar.with.the.topic.
•.Develop.several.questions.to.ask.
•.Allow.the.team.members.to.discover.for.themselves.
how.to.accomplish.the.task.instead.of.telling.or.showing.
them.how.
•.Facilitate.learning.using.the.steps.of.the.skillathon.
model.shown.in.this.activity.
Once.all.the.preparation.is.completed.and.the.stations.
are.in.place,.organize.the.group.into.teams.of.3-4.
members.with.each.team.starting.at.a.different.station..
When.the.facilitator.says.“Begin”.the.teams.are.usually.
given.7-8.minutes.to.complete.their.task.and.discuss.what.
they.did.with.the.station.operator..The.facilitator.then.asks.
each.team.to.move.one.station.to.the.right..The.rotation.
continues.until.each.team.has.rotated.to.each.station.or.
time.is.called..Allow.time.for.discussion.of.the.overall.
experience.
test Facility
13
Robotics Skillathon
continued
ACtiVities
Feedback Loop
Store It
.
(share what you did)
.
.
What.was.it.like.to.plan.and.conduct.a.skillathon?
.
What.was.the.hardest.thing.for.you.to.do?.the.easiest?
Transform It
.
(process what’s important)
.
What.did.you.observe.about.how.different.teams.did.or.
did.not.work.together?
.
Why.is.it.important.to.take.the.time.to.plan.carefully?
.
How.did.teaching.and.learning.this.way.compare.to.what.
happens.in.your.regular.school.classes?
Sense It
.
(generalize to your life)
.
What.did.you.learn.about.being.a.leader.that.will.help.
you.to.work.in.groups.or.at.school?
.
What.could.you.improve.to.be.an.even.better.planner.
and.organizer?
Program It
(apply what you learned)

How.can.you.use.the.skills.you.developed.in.this.activity.
to.plan.activities.for.other.youth.groups?
to.plan.activities.for.other.youth.groups?
Nuts and Volts
Sample Robotics Skillathon Stations
Be.sure.to.schedule.this.event.in.a.facility.that.is.large.
enough.to.accommodate.all.the.skillathon.stations..
Depending.on.the.size.of.the.groups.and.the.number.
of.stations,.think.about.overlapping.teams.at.stations.if.
necessary..Or,.have.a.group.sit.out.one.round,.so.there.
is.only.ever.one.group.at.each.station..Allow.about.8.to.
10.minutes.at.a.station..Follow.with.questions.about.the.
overall.activity.
Time to Get a Move On

Situation:.You.are.a.robot.trying.to.move.from.one.
location.to.another..
.
Your task:.You.need.to.get.from.the.table.to.the.spot.
marked.on.the.floor.but.there.is.a.large.object.in.your.
path..
.
Supplies:.Large.object..
.
Directions: Allow.the.teams.to.develop.a.solution..
Follow-up with questions:.What.did.you.decide.to.do.to.
avoid.the.obstacle?.Why.do.you.need.to.make.decisions?.
Draw Me
.
Situation:.You.are.inventing.a.new.robot..
.
Your Task: Draw.your.robot..
.
Supplies:.Paper,.writing.tools.
.
Directions: Allow.individuals.to.design.a.new.robot..
Follow-up questions: What.was.difficult.about.this.activity?
Directions Please
.
Situation:.You.need.to.explain.to.someone.how.to.draw.
the.robot.you.designed..
.
Your Task: List.six.steps.to.designing.a.robot.similiar.to.
yours..
.
Supplies:.Paper,.writing.tools.
.
Directions: Allow.individuals.to.explain.the.design.steps..
.
Follow-up questions: What.challenges.did.you.encounter.
when.writing.the.steps?.What.did.you.learn.about.your.
ability.to.write.directions?.In.what.other.ways.can.you.
apply.the.skills.you.used.in.this.activity?
Creation Time
.
Situation:.You.received.a.kit.to.make.a.robot.
.
Your Task:.Using.the.directions.provided,.create.the.robot.
.
Supplies:.Paper,.writing.tools
.
Directions:.Allow.individuals.to.use.the.directions.to.
create.the.robot..
.
Follow-up questions:.What.challenges.did.you.encounter.
when.following.the.directions?.What.additional.
information.would.you.have.found.helpful?.
Fast Enough
.
Situation:.You.need.to.work.together.to.solve.a.math.
problem.
.
Your Task:.Choose.a.math.card.and.try.two.different.
methods.to.solve.the.problem..Discuss.the.strengths.and.
weaknesses.of.each.method.
.
Supplies:.Calculator,.paper,.writing.tools
.
Directions:.Provide.individuals.with.a.math.problem.on.a.
card.to.solve..
.
Follow-up questions:.What.challenges.did.you.encounter.
when.following.the.directions?.What.additional.
information.would.you.have.found.helpful?
Written.by.Connie.Miller.
Robotics Skill:.Learning.robotics-related.terms
Life Skill:.Communicating.creatively
Educational Standard:.NL-ENG.K-12.4:.Adjust.the.use.
of.spoken,.written,.and.visual.language.to.communicate.
effectively.with.a.variety.of.audiences.and.for.different.
purposes
Success Indicator:.Defines.10.new.robotics.words.
Group Size:.4-20
Time:.30.minutes.for.10-15.sets.of.cards
Supplies:.3”x.5”.word.cards.for.each.team.of.two.to.
.
four.players
Participating.in.Robotics.Pyramid.Challenge.will.be.an.
excellent.way.for.your.group.to.develop.communication.
skills.while.learning.about.robotics.
.
Mission Briefing
The.purpose.of.this.game.is.for.a.teammate.on.one.
side.of.the.table.to.guess.the.word.being.described.by.a.
teammate.on.the.other.side.of.the.table..
.
test Facility
Here.is.how.a.typical.Pyramid.game.is.played:
•.Give.directions.and.hand.out.one.category.card.with.the.
words.related.to.that.category.on.the.reverse.side.to.the.
half.of.the.team.that.will.give.clues.
•.Start.the.game..The.team.clue.giver.says.the.category,.
turns.the.card.over.and.begins.giving.clues.for.the.first.
word..Stop.the.round.after.a.certain.length.of.time.or.
after.most.teams.have.raised.their.hands.indicating.that.
they.have.guessed.all.the.words.in.the.category.
•.Have.the.teams.and.perhaps.the.entire.group.discuss.
words.not.easily.understood.
•.The.show.host.then.gives.the.second.set.of.cards.to.the.
other.half.of.the.team.and.the.game.is.repeated.
•.To.provide.everyone.the.opportunity.to.practice.
communication.skills.with.different.teams,.have.one-half.
of.each.team.pair.with.one-half.of.a.different.team.after.
two.categories.are.completed.
•.Continue.the.game.until.all.categories.are.used.or.until.
time.expires..Discuss.the.experience.using.the.Feedback.
Loop.questions.
.
Feedback Loop
Store It
.
(share what you did)
.
.
How.did.you.feel.about.this.game?
.
What.did.you.learn.about.giving.clues?
.
What.part.of.the.game.was.most.difficult.for.you?.Why?
Transform It
.
(process what’s important)
.
What.did.you.learn.about.communicating.with.others?
.
What.type.of.communication.worked.best?.Why?
Sense It
.
(generalize to your life)
.
What.did.you.learn.about.your.communication.skills?
.
Why.is.it.easier.to.communicate.with.someone.you.
already.know?
Program It
(apply what you learned)

What.did.you.learn.about.communicating.that.will.help.
you.in.future.situations?
Nuts and Volts
Examples of Robotics Pyramid Categories
Parts of a Robot:.gears,.RCX,.grippers,.touch.sensor,.
wheels,.axles,.light.sensor
Robot Systems:.controller,.body,.mobility,.power,.
sensors,.tools
Types of Robots:.android,.mobile,.climbing,.
automated,.assistive,.spherical,.cylindrical
Careers Associated with Robots:.NASA,.robotist,.
informational.technology.systems,.toy.robot.inventor
Group Robotic Games:.Robotics.Pyramid,.Robot.
Bingo,.Robotics.Skillathon,.FIRST.LEGO.League
Things Robots Do:.explore,.assist,.move,.train,.
Robot Commands:.loop,.forward,.reverse,.stop,.turn,.fork
Famous Robots:.R2D2,.C3PO,.Short.Circuit,.RoboCop,.
Commander.Data
Places You Find Robots:.military,.space,.underwater,.
law.enforcement,.industry,.theme.parks
Movies with Robots:.Space.Camp,.Robots,.Star.Wars,.
Star.Trek,.Short.Circuit,.I.Robot
Written.by.Connie.Miller.
Pyramid Challenge
ACtiVities
1
15
ACtiVities
Move It Along
Robotic Skill:.Exploring.gears
Life Skill:.Critical.thinking
Educational Standard:.NSS.Unifying.Concept.5—
.
Form.and.function.are.complementary.aspects.of.
objects,.organisms,.and.systems.in.the.natural.and.
designed.worlds.
Success Indicator:.Uses.gears.to.change.direction.and.
speed.
Group Size:.2-10
Time:.30.minutes
Supplies:.Cardboard.with.holes.or.pegboard,.small.
dowels.or.pegs,.plastics.toy.gears,.or.a.toy.gear.set.like.
GearWorks™
A.ten-speed.bicycle.is.a.great.way.to.give.youth.a.feel.for.
gear.ratios..Almost.everyone.has.experienced.the.effect.
of.different.gear.selections.on.ease.of.peddling.going.
uphill.versus.on.flat.ground..Some.gear.ratios.make.it.
easy.to.peddle.but.the.bike.does.not.move.very.fast,.
others.may.be.harder.to.peddle.but.the.bike.goes.faster..
In.this.activity.youth.assemble.gears.together.to.get.
different.speed.ratios.and.direction.of.turning.
.
Mission Briefing
Provide.youth.with.the.materials.listed.above.and.explain.
to.them.that.their.task.is.to.put.together.a.set.of.gears.
and.determine.the.ratio.of.follower.gear.to.driver.gear..
Using.the.supplies,.place.the.gears.so.they.mesh.and.
turn.together.
test Facility
Challenge.the.youth.to.do.the.following:.Try.turning.
the.driver.gear;.does.the.follower.gear.turn.the.same.
number.of.times?.Can.you.figure.the.ratio.for.the.
follower.gear.to.the.driver.gear?.If.they.both.turn.the.
same.number.of.turns.(both.gears.are.the.same.size.and.
have.same.number.of.teeth).then.it.is.a.ratio.of.1.to.1..
Feedback Loop
Store It
.
(share what you did)
.
Describe.how.your.gears.moved..(faster,.slower,.same.or.
different.directions)
Transform It
.
(process what’s important)

How.could.you.change.the.direction.of.rotation.in.the.
follower.gear.without.changing.the.driver.gear.direction?
.
What.effect.will.an.idler.gear.have.on.a.set.of.gears?
Sense It
.
(generalize to your life)

Besides.on.a.bicycle,.where.have.you.used.gears.to.
transform.movement.for.your.use?.
.
Where.can.you.find.resources.to.help.you.learn.more.
about.gears?
Program It
(apply what you learned)

Where.would.you.use.gears.to.make.your.life.better?
.
How.do.levers.make.your.life.easier?
.
.
Applied R&D
Discuss.what.type.of.ratios.would.work.best.in.a.robot.
and.why?.Would.it.need.speed.or.power?
.
.
.
Nuts and Volts
Gears and Ratios:

# Teeth on Follower to # Teeth on Driver = Ratio

Gears.are.wheels.with.teeth.and.are.used.to.transmit.
power..They.are.helpful.to.accomplish.the.following:
1. Changing the direction of rotation

2. Changing the speed of rotation (faster or slower)

3. Changing the angle of the rotating axle

4. Keeping the moving parts in alignment
A.gear.ratio.is.a.comparison.of.the.rotation.of.the.output.
or.follower.gear.to.the.input.or.driver.gear..To.figure.
the.ratio,.take.the.number.of.teeth.in.the.follower.gear.
and.divide.by.the.number.of.teeth.in.the.driver.gear..
Example,.driver.gear.has.36.teeth,.follower.gear.has.24.
teeth..24.divided.by.36.=.0.67.so.the.ratio.is.2:3.(2.to.3)..
The.driver.gear.(36).rotates.once.and.the.follower.gear.
(24).rotates.one.and.a.half.times..In.this.case,.the.speed.
of.rotation.is.increased.
.
Written.by.Richard.Mahacek.
Robotic Skill:.Creating.an.electrical.circuit
Life Skill:.Critical.thinking
Educational Standard:.ITEA.Standard.9—Develop.an.
understanding.of.engineering.design
Success Indicator:.Creates.an.electrical.circuit.
Group Size:.2-10
Time:.20-35.minutes
Supplies:.Simple.inexpensive.flashlights.to.take.apart,.
batteries,.light.bulbs,.small.gage.wire.(telephone.cord.
type).or.aluminum.foil,.cardboard.box.top,.brads,.
paperclips,.masking.tape,.and.paper.to.make.notes.and.
draw.on.
Everyone.has.used.a.flashlight.to.see.their.way.in.the.
dark..What.a.great.technology—flip.the.switch.and.presto,.
the.light.comes.on!.But.how.does.it.work?.In.this.activity.
youth.will.take.apart.a.flashlight.to.see.how.it.is.put.
together.and.how.it.works..Then.they.make.their.own.
electrical.circuit.using.simple.wires.(or.aluminum.foil),.a.
battery.and.a.light.bulb..
.
Mission Briefing
Tell.the.youth.that.they.will.be.examining.a.flashlight.
with.a.partner..Have.the.youth.find.a.partner..Give.each.
pair.a.flashlight.to.explore.
.
test Facility
Have.the.pairs.take.the.flashlight.apart.and.draw.the.
parts.that.they.observe..Talk.about.the.materials.each.
part.is.made.from,.how.the.electricity.flows,.and.what.
happens.when.they.move.the.switch..Have.them.discuss.
other.ways.they.could.design.a.flashlight..Now.have.the.
youth.design.their.own.electric.circuit.using.one.light.
bulb,.one.battery.from.the.flashlight.and.conductors.
(aluminum.foil.or.wire)..Encourage.the.youth.to.try.
using.brads.and.paper.clips.to.design.a.switch..They.
can.use.a.cardboard.top.from.a.shoebox.to.mount.their.
items..Remind.the.youth.that.the.electricity.needs.a.path.
from.one.end.of.the.battery.through.the.bulb.and.back.
to.the.other.end.of.the.battery..This.simple.design.is.a.
series.circuit..Finally.ask.the.youth.to.share.their.designs.
with.others.
Feedback Loop
Store It
.
(share what you did)
.
.
How.does.the.design.you.made.compare.to.the.design.
of.others.and.to.the.design.of.the.commercial.flashlight?
Transform It
.
(process what’s important)
.
How.does.the.electricity.flow?
.
Which.items.are.conductors.and.which.are.insulators?
.
Why.are.certain.items.made.of.different.materials?.
Sense It
.
(generalize to your life)

How.do.you.think.a.light.works.in.your.home?
.
What.happens.when.you.flip.the.switch.on.the.wall.to.
turn.on.a.light?.To.turn.off.the.light?
Program It
(apply what you learned)

What.safety.tips.could.you.provide.to.others.when.using.
electrical.appliances?
.
electrical.appliances?
Nuts and Volts
Electrical Safety

The.electrical.outlet.in.homes.and.businesses.allow.
you.to.operate.many.electrical.appliances.from.TVs.and.
refrigerators.to.hair.driers.and.drills..The.items.you.plug.
in.usually.use.110.volts.or.more.of.electricity..For.safety.
you.want.to.only.use.items.that.are.“insulated”.and.well.
“grounded.”.They.can.still.be.dangerous.if.you.use.them.
near.water,.like.in.a.bathroom.or.sink.area..
Insulated.means.that.the.electrical.conductors.(wires.and.
metal.parts).are.covered.by.non-conducting.materials.
like.rubber,.wood.and.plastics.so.that.you.do.not.touch.
the.wires.with.your.hands.or.body..Grounded.means.
that.a.third.wire.is.used.in.case.a.“short”.occurs.where.
the.conductors.cross.or.touch..The.third.ground.wire.
provides.a.path.for.the.electricity.to.follow.back.to.a.
metal.stake.driven.into.the.earth..If.there.is.a.problem,.
the.electricity.will.easily.flow.to.the.ground.rather.than.
through.you..Grounding.and.insulation.are.two.safety.
items.to.keep.from.getting.an.electric.shock.
In.this.activity.youth.used.a.small.battery.to.create.about.
1.5.volts..Even.if.shorted,.the.battery.will.only.feel.warm.
and.it.will.be.safe.to.use.in.these.activities.
Written.by.Richard.Mahacek.
Light Up Your Life
ACtiVities
1
17
Cyclops
ACtiVities
Robotics Skill:.Navigational.tracking
Life Skill:.Critical.thinking.
Educational Standard:.NSS.Unifying.Concept.5—
.
Form.and.function.are.complementary.aspects.of.
objects,.organisms,.and.systems.in.the.natural.and.
designed.world
Success Indicator:.Navigates.a.linear.course.
Group Size:.2-10
Time:.45.minutes
Supplies:.Several.long.wrapping.paper.tubes.and.
masking.tape
Line.following.is.a.common.navigation.strategy.for.
robots..Everyday,.individuals.use.a.variety.of.strategies.to.
get.where.they.need.to.go..Some.people.use.markings.
on.the.ground,.signs.or.maps..In.this.activity,.youth.will.
identify.strategies.that.will.help.them.move.as.they.act.
like.a.robot.with.one.eye.
.
Mission Briefing
Make.a.long.winding.line.on.the.floor.using.masking.
tape..Include.some.sharp.turns.
Tell.the.youth.that.they.will.be.looking.through.the.tube.
with.only.one.eye..While.doing.this.they.need.to.keep.
the.tube.about.two.inches.off.the.ground.and.follow.
the.taped.course..Talk.with.the.youth.about.how.they.
did..Now.challenge.them.to.do.the.course.again.only.
allowing.themselves.to.turn.in.one.direction.and.a.
minimum.of.30.degrees.each.time.
.
minimum.of.30.degrees.each.time.
test Facility
Have.the.youth.write.a.line.following.program.for.
someone.who.has.not.done.the.course..Encourage.them.
to.provide.directions.that.will.allow.them.to.complete.the.
course.successfully.as.a.“cyclops”.
Feedback Loop
Store It
.
(share what you did)
.
.
How.were.you.able.to.follow.the.line?
.
What.strategies.did.you.use?
Transform It
.
(process what’s important)

What.problems.did.you.encounter.as.you.followed.
.
the.course?
.
What.changes.could.you.make.to.correct.the.problems?
Sense It
.
(generalize to your life)
.
Describe.how.you.rely.on.your.sense.of.sight.to.
accomplish.tasks.
Program It
(apply what you learned)

How.will.this.activity.help.you.program.your.robot?
.
.
Applied R&D
1..Follow.the.course.using.paper.tubes.of.varying.lengths..
Discuss.with.your.Helper.what.differences.you.noticed.
2..Design.a.new.course.that.someone.can.use.the.sense.
of.touch.to.follow..Discuss.with.your.Helper.what.you.
did.differently.
.
Nuts and Volts
Sense of Sight

From.the.moment.you.wake.up.in.the.morning.to.the.
time.you.go.to.sleep.at.night,.your.eyes.are.acting.like.
a.video.camera..Everything.you.look.at.is.then.sent.to.
your.brain.for.processing.and.storage.much.like.a.video.
cassette..This.is.a.very.simplified.explanation,.but.as.
you.read.on,.you.will.discover.why.the.sense.of.sight.is.
actually.considered.the.most.complex.of.the.five.senses.
If.you.only.had.one.eye,.everything.would.appear.
.
two-dimensional..(This.does.not.work.just.by.closing.
.
one.eye.)
Most.people.blink.every.1.to.2.seconds..Each.time.you.
blink,.you.shut.your.eyes.for..3.seconds,.which.means.
your.eyes.are.closed.at.least.30.minutes.a.day.just.
.
from.blinking.
.
Adapted.with.permission.by.Connie.Miller.from.4H.
SET,.University.of.California,.Division.of.Agriculture.and.
Natural.Resources.Cooperative.Extension.
Guess My Cookie
1
ACtiVities
Robotic Skill:.Sensory.exploration
Life Skill:.Problem.solving.
Educational Standard:.NM-PROB.PK-12.3:.Apply.
and.adapt.a.varietty.of.appropriate.strategies.to.solve.
problems
Success Indicator:.Identifies.shapes.using.sense.
.
of.touch.
Group Size:.2-10
Time:.30.minutes.
Supplies:.Blindfold,.different.cookie.cutters
Humans.rely.on.their.five.senses.to.figure.things.out..
Many.times,.though,.humans.only.use.a.few.of.their.
senses..For.example,.a.person.might.use.their.sense.
.
of.sight.and.smell.to.determine.that.their.mother.is.
making.cookies..What.happens.when.you.are.only.
allowed.to.use.one.sense?.In.this.activity,.youth.will.
.
only.use.their.sense.of.touch.to.figure.out.what.cookie.
cutter.is.in.their.hand..
.
Mission Briefing
Have.the.youth.identify.a.partner..Have.the.youth.decide.
who.will.be.blindfolded.first..Have.them.sit.before.they.
are.blindfolded..Now.have.the.blindfolded.partner.put.
his/her.hands.on.the.table.or.in.their.lap.palm.side.up.
.
test Facility
Tell.the.youth.that.they.are.going.to.try.to.guess.the.
shape.of.the.cookie.cutter.in.their.hand..Gently.press.the.
cookies.cutters.one.at.a.time.into.their.palms..Let.him/
her.guess..Now.let.them.use.their.other.hand.to.touch.
the.cookie.cutters..Let.him/her.guess.again.
Record.your.partner’s.guesses.and.the.correct.answers.
on.the.chart.provided.on.page.29.
Feedback Loop
Store It
.
(share what you did)
.
.
What.did.you.find.challenging.about.this.activity?
.
How.did.you.decide.what.your.guess.would.be?.
Transform It
.
(process what’s important)
.
How.did.you.tell.the.difference.between.each.
.
cookie.cutter?
.
How.was.it.easier.to.guess.the.cookie.cutter.the.
.
second.time?
Sen It
.
(generalize to your life)

Where.can.you.find.resources.to.help.you.learn.more.
about.the.sense.of.touch?
Program It
(apply what you learned)

Describe.a.time.you.might.use.problem.solving.skills.
.
.
Applied R&D
Place.the.cookie.cutters.on.your.partner’s.forearm.while.
you.are.blindfolded.
Nuts and Volts
Touch
.
Four.of.the.five.senses.(sight,.hearing,.smell,.and.taste).
are.located.in.specific.parts.of.the.body,.but.the.sense.
of.touch.is.found.all.over..This.is.because.the.sense.of.
touch.originates.in.the.bottom.layer.of.the.skin.called.the.
dermis..The.dermis.is.filled.with.many.tiny.nerve.endings.
that.send.information.to.the.brain.about.the.things.
with.which.the.body.comes.in.contact..They.do.this.by.
carrying.the.information.to.the.spinal.cord,.which.sends.
messages.to.the.brain.where.the.feeling.is.registered.
The.most.sensitive.areas.of.your.body.are.your.hands,.
lips,.face,.neck,.tongue,.fingertips.and.feet..There.are.
about.100.touch.receptors.in.each.fingertip..Robots.use.
digital.touch.sensors.which.act.like.the.nerve.endings.in.
humans..
Written.by.Connie.Miller.
1
Directions? No Problem!
ACtiVities
Robotic Skill:.Mechanical.assembly.and.use.of.tools
Life Skill:.Following.directions,.decision-making,.
organization
Educational Standard:.NL-ENG.K-12.7:.Conduct.
research.on.issues.and.interests.by.generating.ideas.and.
questions,.and.by.posing.problems
Success Indicator:.Builds.item.by.following.directions.
Group Size:.2-10
Time:.30.minutes.
Supplies:.LEGO.building.kit.or.“assembly-needed”.
appliance.or.furniture
This.activity.allows.youth.to.experience.putting.something.
together.by.following.directions..Learning.to.assemble.an.
item.step-by-step.allows.youth.to.better.understand.how.
something.works.and.even.how.to.fix.it.
.
Mission Briefing
Putting.together.a.toy,.appliance,.or.furniture.is.like.
putting.together.a.simple.robot..Select.any.object.kit.
(from.a.small.LEGO.kit.to.a.household.appliance).to.put.
together..Have.youth.work.in.teams.and.read.each.step.
on.the.instruction.manual..Encourage.them.to.guess.
words.and.phrases.they.don’t.know..If.that.doesn’t.work,.
also.encourage.the.youth.to.ask.an.expert.(adult.leaders,.
parents,.older.youth).for.help,.if.they.don’t.understand.
.
test Facility
Challenge.youth.to.take.a.LEGO.building.kit.or.
inexpensive.appliance.or.furniture.(shelf.unit).and.put.it.
together,.following.directions.
Feedback Loop
Store It
.
(share what you did)
.
.
How.did.you.follow.the.directions?.
.
Which.were.more.helpful,.the.word.descriptions.or.
.
the.pictures?.
Transform It
.
(process what’s important)

What.would.happen.if.you.put.the.directions.aside.and.
tried.to.put.the.object.together.by.yourself?.
.
How.do.technical.directions.help.you.find.construction.
mistakes?.
.
Why.are.they.written.that.way?
Sense It
.
(generalize to your life)

When.are.directions.a.help.and.when.are.directions.
.
not.needed?.
Program It
(apply what you learned)

Why.is.it.sometimes.difficult.to.give.directions.to.
.
other.people?.
.
How.could.you.write.better.instructions?.
.
.
Applied R&D
For.fun,.write.directions.for.putting.together.a.toy.or.set.
of.blocks.and.see.how.well.your.friends.follow.them..
Nuts and Volts
Following Directions

Directions.can.look.complicated.or.confusing.on.a.big.
sheet.or.thick.book,.but.taking.one.step.at.a.time,.tough.
projects.can.get.done..Looking.at.one.phrase.or.part.of.
a.picture.and.asking.questions.helps.break.it.into.small.
pieces..After.each.part.is.done,.you.can.often.re-write.
directions.to.make.them.easier.for.others.to.follow.
(or.for.you.to.remember.when.you.build.the.same.
thing.again)..First.one,.then.another,.then.another.step.
completed,.and.suddenly.that.big.job.is.complete.
Written.by.Ben.Silliman.
Robotic Skill: Programming.and.coding
Life Skill:.Communication,.cryptography
Educational Standard:.NL-ENG.K-12.4:.Adjust.the.use.
of.spoken,.writtena.nd.visual.language.to.communicate.
effectively.with.a.variety.of.audiences.and.for.different.
purposes
Success Indicator:.Breaks.a.secret.code.
Group Size:.2-14
Time:.60.minutes
Supplies:.Paper,.3”x.5”.cards.(for.writing.codes,.making.
airplanes),.pencils
Robots.have.a.special.language—made.up.of.zeros.and.
ones—that.programmers.use.to.get.them.to.walk,.work.
or.beep..The.youth.have.programmed.a.robot.that.
is.special.to.them.and.they.don’t.want.anybody.else.
changing.the.program..Engineers.solve.this.problem.
by.using.cryptography,.the.science.of.codes..They.work.
like.locker.codes.at.school..The.code.has.to.be.simple.
enough.to.remember,.but.not.so.simple.that.anyone.can.
figure.it.out..
.
.
Mission Briefing
Team.pairs.will.need.two.sheets.of.paper.and.a.
pencil..Some.introduction.to.codes—why.they.are.
needed.and.how.to.create.them—will.help.them.get.
started..Illustrate.by.showing.how.to.code.a.simple.
message.like.“Bring.home.milk.and.bread.for.supper.”.
(BRNGHMMLK&BRD4SPPR:.removing.the.vowels,.
substituting.symbols,.running.words.together).Then.
reverse.the.process..Present.a.code.for.the.group.to.
guess.such.as.HMTY_DMTY_N’WLLHMTYDMTY_
GRT’FLL.(“Humpty.Dumpty.sat.on.a.wall,.Humpty.
Dumpty.[had].a.great.fall…”)..Then.pass.out.a.code.
book.that.substitutes.numbers.and.symbols.for.letters.
and.ask.youth.to.guess.the.message.again..
Ask.if.they.would.be.able.to.guess.the.message.without.
the.code.book—or.without.rehearsing.the.rhyme.first..
Give.pairs.an.opportunity.to.develop.a.code.(letters,.
numbers,.symbols..missing.spaces).that.will.help.them.
pass.a.message..When.they.begin.the.activity,.each.
partner.will.have.a.codebook.that.they.created..One.will.
use.the.code.book.to.prepare.the.message.and.the.other.
will.decode.it.using.the.code.book..After.this.practice,.
they.are.ready.to.send.their.coded.message.on.a.paper.
airplane,.whizzing.past.another.team.
.
test Facility
Instruct.each.pair.to.develop.a.cipher.or.code.that.can.
be.used.to.send.a.simple.message..First.try.a.letter.(or.
number).exchange.code.that.substitutes.one.letter.(or.
number).for.another..More.complex.ciphers.may.skip.
vowels,.use.simplified.spelling.(CH.for.clubhouse),.or.
add.symbols.to.represent.letters.or.whole.words..
Ask.each.partner.to.write.a.key.(to.code.or.decode).and.
privately.write.a.message.on.a.3”.x.5”.card..Then.write.
out.the.coded.message.on.a.paper.airplane..When.the.
airplane.message.is.done,.the.message.card.(with.the.
writer’s.and.receiver’s.names).is.be.given.to.the.adult.
sponsor..Other.teams.try.to.catch.the.planes.thrown.by.
the.message-sending.partners..If.a.plane.is.caught,.teams.
have.10.minutes.to.try.and.decode.it.
Feedback Loop
Store It
.
(share what you did)
.
.
What.pattern.did.you.use.to.develop.a.code?.
.
How.did.the.de-coder.figure.out.the.coded.message?.
Transform It
.
(process what’s important)
.
Were.there.any.errors.in.your.key.that.made.
.
decoding.difficult?
Sense It
.
(generalize to your life)

Why.are.the.codes.valuable.ways.of.protecting.property.
or.ideas?
Program It
(apply what you learned)

Describe.a.time.you.have.seen.a.code.used.

Nuts and Volts
Cryptography

Cryptography.means.inventing.a.code.to.convey.a.
message.to.a.special.audience..The.code.is.a.special.
language.understood.by.the.receiver.and.sender,.but.
unknown.by.others..A.cleverly-written.code.is.like.a.
puzzle.that.no.one.can.figure.out.except.those.who.
know.its.pattern..Cryptography.helps.computer.users.to.
keep.information.private..A.password.or.account.number.
is.a.simple.code.that.works.like.a.key.
Written.by.Ben.Silliman.
Cryptography: Keeping It Secret
20
ACtiVities
21
You? A Roboticist?
ACtiVities
Robotics Skill:.Researching.careers
Life Skill:.Acquiring.and.evaluating.information
Educational Standard:.Develop.an.understanding.of.
the.relationship.among.technologies.and.the.connections.
between.technology.and.other.fields.of.study
Success Indicator: Presents.an.oral.report.on.a.career.
Group Size:.at.least.2
Time:.45.minutes.plus.work.at.home
Supplies:.Computer.with.internet.access
What.is.a.Roboticist.?.An.Engineer?.An.Information.
Technology.Specialist?.In.this.activity.youth.will.interview.
a.working.professional.in.one.of.these.fields.and.also.
get.information.online.and.from.a.state.university..In.
so.doing,.they.will.obtain.an.understanding.of.various.
professions.and.what.kind.of.education.is.required.
.
Mission Briefing
Brainstorm.a.list.of.careers.in.the.information.technology.
and.engineering.fields.with.the.youth..Start.to.prepare.
the.youth.for.their.interview.or.shadowing.experience..
Brainstorm.some.questions.they.may.want.to.ask..For.
example:.What.kind.of.work.does.an.engineer.do?.
An.Information.Technology.Specialist.?.A.Computer.
Programmer?.What.kind.of.education.do.you.have?.
What.do.you.do.in.your.job.on.a.daily.basis?.What.
classes.should.I.take.in.high.school.to.prepare.for.
college?
.
test Facility
Have.the.youth.set.up.appointments.to.interview.or.
shadow.identified.individuals..Ask.the.youth.to.write.a.
report.explaining.what.the.people.they.interviewed.do.in.
their.jobs.and.then.share.the.information.with.the.rest.of.
the.group..
Next.encourage.the.youth.to.write.to.the.Admissions.
Department.of.your.State.Universities.and.ask.them.
to.send.a.catalog..Some.of.the.youth.may.want.to.
search.for.the.catalog.online..The.catalog,.will.list.the.
high.school.classes.needed.to.get.into.their.College.of.
Engineering.or.Computer.Science..Discuss.with.the.youth.
why.they.think.the.classes.listed.are.important.
.
Feedback Loop
Store It
.
(share what you did)
.
.
What.does.an.engineer.do?
.
What.does.a.computer.programmer.do?
Transform It
.
(process what’s important)

What.are.some.of.the.high.school.classes.required.to.
enter.an.engineering.major.in.college?.A.computer.
science.major?
Sense It
.
(generalize to your life)

What.did.you.learn.about.what.an.engineer.(or.
computer.programmer.or.other.professional.you.
studied).does.in.his.or.her.job?.
.
Is.this.something.you.would.like.to.do?.Why.or.why.not?
Program It
(apply what you learned)

Why.is.it.important.to.think.ahead.about.the.major.you.
want.in.college?
.
Who.can.help.you.make.sure.your.high.school.
curriculum.will.prepare.you.for.the.major.you.want?.
.
.
Applied R&D
Use.a.college.catalog.to.research.the.different.engineering.
disciplines..Make.a.report.on.the.discipline.that.you.find.
most.interesting..What.makes.each.one.unique?
.
.
Nuts and Volts
Roboticists

People.who.design.and.build.robots.are.called.Roboticists..
They.used.to.be.called.Robotics.Engineers,.but.there.are.
so.many.different.engineering.and.computer.science.
disciplines.necessary.to.build.and.operate.robots,.that.just.
calling.them.engineers.doesn’t.do.it.justice.
You.need.structural.or.civil.engineers.to.design.the.robot’s.
frame.or.structure,.mechanical.engineers.to.design.the.
robot’s.drive.train.and.electrical.engineers.to.design.the.
robot’s.control.system.as.well.as.computer.science.and.
information.technology.specialists.to.write.programs.to.
make.the.robot.run..And.because.all.of.these.Roboticists.
need.to.be.working.toward.the.same.end,.good.
communications.is.essential.
.
Written.by.Norm.Kerman.
22
hiNts FoR the heLpeR
explorer
The.following.hints.are.written.for.Helpers.with.little.
or.no.experience.with.LEGO.robots.and.related.
software..Although.experienced.Helpers.may.be.familiar.
with.many.of.these.hints,.they.may.still.find.them.
helpful..Many.of.the.activities.go.beyond.building.and.
programming.to.teaching.mathematics.and.science.using.
robots.
Before.holding.your.first.meeting,.spend.some.time.
looking.through.the.activity.books..This.will.give.you.
a.feel.for.the.flow.of.the.activities..Page.through.the.
Robotics.Project.Online:.www.4-hcurriculum.org/robotics.
and.the.Robotics.and.You.CD..You.may.not.become.
an.expert.at.building.or.programming.a.robot.right.
away,.but.you.will.be.much.more.comfortable.with.the.
material.
.
explorer
Activity 1 - Bricks, Blocks and Gears
When.you.first.open.your.kit.of.LEGO.parts,.you.will.
find.that.the.parts,.all.826.of.them,.come.in.see-through.
plastic.bags..There.are.also.two.multi-compartmented.
storage.bins..How.you.store.the.parts.is.up.to.you.and.
your.team,.but.store.them.so.that.you.can.easily.find.
them..Let.the.youth.discuss.various.storage.strategies,.and.
decide.among.themselves.how.they.want.to.organize.the.
parts..One.strategy.that.works.well.is.to.put.all.the.very.
small.parts,.such.as.bushings.and.connector.pins,.in.one.
compartment,.all.the.gears.in.another,.etc..Have.youth.
identify.the.parts.as.they.store.them.

Activity 2 - Robot or Not?
Sometimes.it’s.hard.to.tell.the.difference.among.
machines,.computers.and.robots..Machines,.like.cars,.may.
have.computers.to.help.run.them..Washing.machines.
have.sensors,.but.they’re.not.robots.because.they.don’t.
have.a.program..A.robot.is.defined.by.three.letters:.S.
(for.Sense),.P.(for.Plan).and.A.(for.Act).and.a.word,.
autonomously.(without.human.intervention)..If.you’ve.
seen.Battlebots.on.TV,.you.now.know.that.they.are.not.
robots.because.they.don’t.have.sensors.or.a.plan.(also.
called.a.program)..Using.this.definition.makes.making.the.
distinction.so.much.easier..




Activity 3 - If I Only Had a Brain
The.grey.base.comes.off.the.RCX.if.you.jiggle.it.while.
pulling.it.off..With.that.done,.look.under.the.RCX.to.see.
where.the.6.–.1.5.volt.AA.batteries.go..Be.sure.they.are.
put.in.with.the.correct.polarity..On.the.opposite.side.of.
the.RCX.from.the.Infrared.Port,.there.is.a.connection.for.
a.9.–.volt.adaptor...You.can.buy.one.for.the.team.at.an.
electronics.or.home.supply.store..They.are.moderately.
inexpensive,.but.will.save.a.lot.of.money.in.batteries.
After.downloading.firmware,.it.is.helpful.to.modify.the.
RCX.settings.on.the.computer..Open.the.Administrator.
Page,.click.on.RCX.Setting.on.the.black.toolbar.on.the.
bottom.of.the.screen..With.the.RCX.turned.on.and.the.
Infrared.Port.facing.the.IR.Tower,.click.on.the.red.button.
called.RCX.IR.Power.Setting..Clicking.on.it.toggles.the.
indicator.between.High.and.Low..Make.sure.it.is.on.Low..
Then.toggle.the.blue.button.called.RCX.Programs.1.&.2.to.
the.unlocked.position..Finally,.highlight.the.number.in.the.
RCX.Powerdown.Time.box.and.change.it.to.2..Click.on.
the.“Back”.button.on.the.lower-right.portion.of.the.screen.
and.these.changes.will.be.saved..This.must.be.done.for.
every.RCX.you.are.using.

Activity 4 - Go Bot, Go
Laying.out.a.program.on.the.Block.Diagram.page.is.easy..
The.difficult.part.is.the.wiring..If.you’re.not.sure.where.
the.wires.are.connected.on.the.icon,.right.click.on.the.
icon.and.when.the.new.menu.opens,.click.on.Visible.
Items.and.then.click.on.Terminals..The.pink.areas.in.the.
upper.left.and.upper.right.are.the.wiring.connections..
After.you’ve.completed.the.wiring,.go.back.and.right.
click.on.the.icon.again;.click.on.Visible.Items.and.click.on.
Terminals.–.the.standard.icon.will.reappear.

Activity 5 - Time & Time Again... with a Twist!
Have.youth.think.about.a.treaded.farm.tractor.and.how.
it.turns.–.wide.turns.both.forward.and.in.reverse.as.well.
as.points.turns,.where.the.tractor.turns.on.its.own.axis..
Youth.sometimes.have.problems.remembering.which.
tread.goes.forward.and.which.tread.goes.in.reverse.when.
the.robot.turns..It.sometimes.helps.to.have.them.put.two.
hands.in.front.of.them,.as.if.holding.a.steering.wheel.in.
the.three.o’clock.and.nine.o’clock.positions..Have.them.
watch.how.their.hands.move.when.turning.left.and.right..
The.hand.that.moves.down.controls.the.tread.that.is.
going.in.reverse.and.the.hand.that.moves.up.controls.the.
tread.that.is.going.forward.
Hints for the Helper
23
A
ctivity 6 - An A-Mazing Experience
In.the.Wait.For.sub-palette,.there.are.a.lot.of.icons.that.
wait.for.specific.amounts.of.time..These.icons.are.additive.
–.to.wait.for.five.seconds,.a.Wait.For.One.Second.wired.
to.a.Wait.For.Four.Seconds.icon.will.work..Unfortunately,.
very.few.things.in.the.real.world.work.in.full.seconds..It.is.
advantageous.for.the.youth.to.use.the.Wait.for.Time.icon,.
even.when.they.do.want.to.wait.for.complete.seconds..
Youth.will.need.a.modifier.whenever.using.it..With.a.
modifier,.it’s.much.easier.to.change.the.amount.of.time.
–.all.you.need.to.do.is.change.the.modifier.
Be.sure,.when.using.the.Wait.for.Time.icon,.not.to.confuse.
is.with.the.Wait.for.Time.(min).icon..They.look.very.much.
alike,.except.for.the.small.‘m’.next.to.the.question.mark..
The.‘m’.signifies.that.the.modifier.for.this.icon.will.be.in.
minutes,.not.in.seconds.
.....Wait.For.Time....................Wait.For.Time.(min)

A
ctivity 7 - Start Your Engines
When.using.timing.to.control.the.robot,.either.for.going.
straight.or.for.turning,.it.is.important.that.the.robot.always.
starts.in.the.exact.same.location.and.that.it.be.pointing.
in.the.exact.same.direction.each.time.you.test.it..If.either.
the.location.or.the.position.is.different,.the.robot.will.
follow.a.different.path.than.the.one.planned.for.it..At.the.
same.time,.if.youth.are.having.trouble.getting.the.robot.
to.follow.the.correct.path,.you.can.aid.in.solving.the.
problem.by.changing.the.starting.position.or.direction.
One.of.the.problems.with.using.timing.to.control.a.
robot.is.that.the.distance.it.travels,.in.any.direction,.is.
dependent.upon.battery.power..As.the.batteries.start.to.
wear.down,.the.robot.won’t.go.as.far.or.turn.as.wide.as.it.
did.when.the.batteries.were.at.full.power..This.is.because.
the.motors.don’t.turn.as.fast.at.lower.power.levels..In.
robotics.competitions,.always.run.the.robot.with.fully.
charged.batteries,.even.if.it.means.changing.the.batteries.
between.rounds.
Activity 8 - When Push Comes to Shove
One.of.the.problems.with.using.the.Touch.Sensor.Bumper.
is.that.the.bumper.could.fall.off.the.robot..When.placing.
the.Touch.Sensor.Bumper.on.top.of.the.robot,.move.it.as.
far.back.as.possible.without.it.interfering.with.the.treads.
when.it.is.pushed..This.may.create.a.problem.by.blocking.
the.view.screen,.but.it’s.a.small.trade-off.for.the.stability.of.
the.sensor..There.are.two.touch.sensor.icons.on.the.Wait.
For.sub-palette,.the.Wait.For.Push.icon,.and.the.Wait.For.
Let.Go.icon..Be.careful.not.to.confuse.them.
......Wait.For.Push......................Wait.For.Let.Go

Activity 9 - Seeing the Light of Day
Electrical.tape.comes.in.many.colors.and.widths..For.
most.purposes,.the.¾”.width.is.fine..Almost.any.color.
will.work,.but.be.careful.with.lighter.colors,.like.yellow,.as.
their.reflective.characteristics.may.not.be.much.different.
from.white..Most.importantly,.red.electrical.tape.should.
be.avoided..The.light.sensor.uses.a.red.LED.to.create.the.
light.for.reflection,.so.the.phototransistor.sees.the.same.
reflection.whether.it.is.being.reflected.off.red.or.off.white.
Unlike.the.Touch.Sensor,.where.there.were.two.icons.on.
the.Wait.for.sub-palette,.there.are.four.Light.Sensor.icons.
to.be.concerned.with..The.two.to.use.are.the.Wait.For.
Light.icon,.and.the.Wait.For.Dark.icon..Don’t.confuse.them.
with.the.Wait.for.Lighter.icon,.and.the.Wait.For.Darker.
icon..These.last.two.icons.wait.for.a.value.of.light.that.
is.5%.lighter.than.or.5%.darker.than.the.present.value,.
respectively...There.is.probably.no.reason.to.ever.use.
either.of.them.in.a.program.
......Wait.For.Light......................Wait.For.Dark
.....Wait.For.Lighter...................Wait.For.Darker
explorer
continued
Hints for the Helper
continued
hiNts FoR the heLpeR
2
hiNts FoR the heLpeR
explorer
continued
Activity 10 - Decisions, Decisions, Decisions
When.using.Wait.For.icons,.a.lot.of.things.go.on.in.the.
background.that.you.may.not.be.aware.of...Whenever.
you.use.any.of.the.Wait.For.Time.icons,.the.computer.will.
reset.the.timer.before.it.starts.counting.time..Whenever.
you.use.the.Timer.Fork,.you.must.manually.reset.the.
timer.using.the.Zero.Timer.icon..Forgetting.to.do.this.will.
give.an.error.message.when.you.try.to.download.the.
program.to.the.RCX..Unlike.the.Wait.For.Time.icon,.which.
counts.in.seconds,.the.Timer.Fork.counts.in.tenths.of.a.
second..So,.to.make.the.robot.follow.the.lower.portion.
of.the.fork.for.4.seconds,.the.numeric.modifier.to.use.is.
40..Be.careful.when.using.the.Timer.Fork..Don’t.confuse.
the.Timer.Fork.icon,.with.the.Timer.(.01).Fork.icon..The.
icon.with.the.gold.clock.counts.time.in.hundredths.of.a.
second..With.this.icon,.to.make.the.robot.to.follow.the.
lower.portion.of.the.fork.for.4.seconds,.the.numeric.
modifier.would.be.400.
........Timer.Fork...................Timer.(.01).Fork
Remember.that.all.forks.must.have.a.Fork.Merge.icon.at.
their.end.to.bring.the.program.string.back.together.
There.are.three.Timer.Modifiers.on.the.Modifier.sub-
palette,.the.Red.Timer,.the.Blue.Timer,.and.the.Yellow.
Timer..These.modifiers.need.to.be.used.not.only.on.the.
Timer.Fork,.but.also.on.the.Zero.Timer.icon..They.only.
need.to.be.used.when.using.more.than.one.Timer.Fork.
at the same time..If.a.number.of.Timer.Forks.are.used.in.
series,.there.is.no.reason.to.use.modifiers.
...Red.Timer..............Blue.Timer.............Yellow.Timer
Activity 11 - Follow the Robot Road
Youth.writing.line.follower.programs.tend.to.make.two.
basic.mistakes..Not.until.after.they.get.some.experience.in.
writing.programs.to.follow.lines.do.they.start.to.get.it.right.
every.time..They’ve.spent.so.much.time.in.the.previous.
activities.making.point.turns.that.they.still.try.to.use.point.
turns.in.following.the.line,.such.as.this:
Using.point.turns.doesn’t.allow.the.robot.to.move.
forward..It.just.keeps.wiggling.left.and.right..The.other.
mistake.they.make.is.to.get.confused.with.the.Stop.icons.
In.this.case,.they’re.starting.and.stopping.the.same.motor.
on.each.leg.of.the.fork..Without.even.looking.at.the.
program,.this.mistake.is.obvious.if.the.robot.doesn’t.move.
and.emits.a.humming.noise..The.humming.noise.is.made.
because.the.motors.start.and.stop.sixty.times.a.second.
Activity 12 - Simon Says
This.is.the.first.activity.where.youth.use.a.fork.within.a.
fork,.also.known.as.nested.forks..Because.there.are.two.
forks,.there.must.also.be.two.fork.merges..Forks.and.Fork.
Merges.are.like.parentheses..You.need.to.have.a.right.
parenthesis.for.every.left.parenthesis.
Before.they.got.to.this.program,.the.use.of.a.Jump.and.
Land.had.the.robot.running.forever.(or,.at.least.until.your.
robot.was.shut.off.or.the.batteries.died)..By.using.nested.
forks,.they.can.use.the.outer.fork.to.get.the.program.out.
of.the.continuous.loop.
Activity 13 - Combinations
The.Task.Split.icon.allows.the.robot.to.run.multiple.tasks.
at.the.same.time..In.fact,.there.can.be.up.to.9.Task.Splits.
in.each.program,.but.don’t.use.too.many.-.the.addition.of.
each.task.split.slows.the.robot.down..When.downloading.
the.program.to.the.robot,.the.computer.treats.each.task.as.
a.separate.program,.which.is.why.each.task.needs.a.Red.
Stop.Light.icon.at.the.end.
There.
can.be.a.Fork.in.any.leg.of.a.Task.Split...However,.
there.
cannot.be.a.Task.Split.in.any.leg.of.a.Fork;.that’s.
because.every.leg.of.a.Task.Split.must.end.with.a.Red.
Stop.Light.and.every.Fork.must.end.with.a.Fork.Merge..
Have.youth.try.it.and.see.what.happens.
Activity 14 - Are We There Yet?
This.is.a.great.opportunity.for.youth.to.learn.how.to.use.
a.catalog.or.a.website.to.shop.for.materials..Let.them.
shop.around.to.find.the.least.expensive.store.or.website.
for.their.materials..Don’t.forget.the.cost.of.shipping..Give.
a.candy.bar.to.the.youth.or.team.that.can.find.the.least.
expensive.Bill.of.Materials.
Hints for the Helper
continued
25
Activity 1 - Robot Garage
Many.LEGO.parts.can.be.used.for.skids..The.yellow.
double.angle.beam.(that’s.the.beam.used.to.make.the.
touch.sensor.bumper).works.as.a.good.skid..Tire.hubs.
(any.of.the.white.or.yellow.hubs.except.the.ones.used.for.
treads).are.good.skids.as.long.as.the.tires.aren’t.installed...
The.rubber.tires.have.a.much.higher.friction.than.the.
hubs.and.act.like.an.eraser.when.you’re.trying.to.get.the.
robot.to.turn..The.black.slide.shoe.is.a.piece.designed.to.
be.used.as.a.skid.(in.fact,.most.people.call.the.part.a.skid.
plate).
Youth.might.find,.in.following.a.line.with.a.wheeled.robot,.
that.the.robot.moves.too.quickly,.especially.if.it.has.large.
wheels..There.are.two.possible.fixes.for.this..The.first.is.to.
use.smaller.wheels..Since.the.distance.traveled.in.a.given.
amount.of.time.is.proportional.to.the.wheel’s.diameter,.
by.decreasing.the.diameter,.the.speed.will.also.decrease..
The.second.option.is.to.decrease.the.power.level.to.the.
robot’s.motors..There.is.a.connection.for.the.Power.Level.
modifier.on.the.bottom.of.the.motor.icon..There.are.five.
power.levels,.from.level.1.to.level.5..Below.is.the.icon.on.
the.Modifier.Palette.for.Power.Level.3..The.default.value.
(the.value.the.robot.will.use.if.you.don’t.tell.it.otherwise).
is.full.power,.or.level.5..Oftentimes,.a.power.level.lower.
than.3.will.not.have.enough.power.to.get.the.robot.to.
start.moving.
..........................Power.Level.3.Modifier
Activity 2 - Do It Again, Robot
The.rotational.sensor.sends.an.output.of.16.clicks.for.
each.revolution.of.the.axle.that.runs.through.it..On.the.
robot,.because.there.is.a.24.toothed.gear.on.the.motor,.
a.24.toothed.gear.on.the.wheel.and.a.24.toothed.gear.
on.the.rotational.sensor,.the.gear.ratio.is.1:1..That.is,.the.
rotational.sensor.axle.will.make.one.revolution.(or.16.
clicks).for.each.revolution.of.the.wheel..By.changing.the.
gear.ratio,.there.can.be.more.clicks.for.each.rotation.of.
the.wheel..With.a.3:1.gear.ratio.(an.8-toothed.gear.on.the.
rotational.sensor.and.a.24-toothed.gear.on.the.wheel).
the.rotational.sensor.will.make.3.revolutions.(or.48.clicks).
for.every.rotation.of.the.wheel..This.makes.the.rotational.
sensor.three.times.as.accurate.
There.is.no.such.thing.as.a.‘partial.click’..When.youth.
program.the.robot,.they’ll.need.to.pick.the.modifier.for.
the.sensor.that.will.get.the.robot.closest.to.where.they.
want.it.to.go.

A
ctivity 3 - Tracking with a Twist
When.following.a.line.using.a.rotational.sensor,.always.
start.the.robot.with.the.light.sensor.over.the.dark.line..
Remind.youth.that.they.only.have.one.rotational.sensor.
and.it’s.on.the.right.tread,.so.it.only.counts.when.the.right.
tread.is.moving;.when.the.robot.is.making.a.non-point.
left.turn..By.always.starting.over.the.dark.line,.the.first.
move.the.robot.will.make.is.toward.the.side.of.the.line.it.
is.going.to.follow..In.robotics,.there.is.much.to.be.said.for.
consistency..If.the.robot.is.started.randomly.(sometimes.
starting.over.the.dark.line.and.sometimes.to.the.side),.it.
may.move.a.distance.before.the.rotational.sensor.starts.
to.count.

A
ctivity 4 - Measured Turns
Youth.may.find.it.difficult.to.make.an.exact.turn.using.
a.rotational.sensor..Unfortunately,.the.modifiers.to.
the.sensor.icon.only.use.whole.numbers,.so.trying.to.
use.decimals.will.not.help..This.is.a.situation.where.a.
higher.gear.ratio.will.give.the.necessary.accuracy,.so.
try.suggesting.changing.gear.ratios..If.the.robot.is.to.go.
forward,.make.a.left.turn.and.go.through.an.opening,.
there.are.several.options..If.the.robot.doesn’t.quite.make.
a.90.degree.turn.when.using.the.rotational.sensor,.have.
the.youth.make.the.time.modifier.for.the.straight.portion.
a.little.shorter,.so.that.when.it.makes.the.turn,.it.can.still.
get.through.the.opening..If.the.robot.makes.too.big.of.
a.turn,.then.make.the.straight.run.time.a.little.longer.so.
that.when.it.makes.the.turn,.it.is.aiming.at.the.opening.
probe
Hints for the Helper
continued
hiNts FoR the heLpeR
2
hiNts FoR the heLpeR

Activity 5 - Gears Galore!
There.are.many.different.gears.in.the.robotics.kit..There.
are.8-tooth,.16-tooth,.24-tooth.and.40-tooth.spur.gears,.
12-tooth.bevel.gears,.24-tooth.crown.gears,.and.worm.
gears..In.addition,.there.is.a.Differential.Housing..All.of.the.
spur.gears.have.the.same.size.teeth,.so.they.mesh.easily.
with.each.other.The.24-tooth.crown.gear.can.be.used.in.
place.of.a.24-tooth.spur.gear..In,.fact,.there.are.only.four.
24-tooth.spur.gears.in.the.kit,.so.youth.will.need.one.of.
the.24-tooth.crown.gears.for.the.rotational.sensor..The.12-
tooth.bevel.gears.only.mesh.with.each.other,.they.do.not.
mesh.with.any.of.the.spur.gears.or.the.worm.gear..The.
worm.gear.is.a.weird.looking.gear.–.it.looks.very.much.
like.a.screw.–.having.a.lot.of.great.properties..First,.it.
creates.very.high.gear.ratios..One.revolution.of.the.worm.
gear.will.only.turn.a.spur.gear.one.tooth,.so.if.the.worm.
gear.was.turning.a.24-tooth.spur.gear,.the.gear.ratio.
would.be.24:1..It.may.be.slow,.but.it.is.very.powerful..
The.worm.gear.must.be.the.driving.gear;.a.worm.gear.
can.turn.a.spur.gear.but.a.spur.gear.can’t.turn.a.worm.
gear..This.means.that.the.worm.gear.can’t.be.back-driven..
If.you’re.using.a.worm.gear.to.lift.something,.when.the.
motors.stop,.the.item.you’re.lifting.will.stay.in.position..
If.you.were.using.two.spur.gears.to.do.the.same.thing,.
when.you.stopped.the.motor,.gravity.would.drag.the.item.
back.down.

Activity 6 - Go the Distance
Teams.will.write.a.program.to.have.the.robot.go.forward.
for.a.constant.amount.of.time..By.changing.the.gear.
ratios,.they.can.get.the.robot.to.travel.different.distances.
in.the.same.amount.of.time..Placing.a.small.gear.on.the.
motor.and.a.large.gear.on.the.wheel.slows.the.robot.
down,.but.makes.it.more.powerful..Placing.a.large.gear.
on.the.motor.and.a.small.gear.on.the.wheel.makes.the.
robot.much.quicker,.but.less.powerful..Make.sure.to.point.
out.the.tradeoffs.in.speeding.the.robot.up.too.much..
It’s.not.that.difficult.to.make.the.robot.so.fast,.that.if.you.
could.get.it.moving,.it.would.go.very.fast.–.but.the.robot.
is.too.weak.to.overcome.the.starting.friction.

Activity 7 - Tighten Your Belts
Belts,.like.gears.transfer.motion.from.one.location.to.
another,.but.they.do.it.without.changing.the.direction.of.
travel..One.of.the.purposes.of.a.belt.and.pulley.system.
is.to.protect.the.motor.from.overheating..Geared.robots.
can.get.in.situations.where.the.robot.isn’t.moving.but.
the.motor.is.still.trying.to.turn..If.this.happens.for.too.
long,.the.motor.can.overheat.and.short.out..If.the.same.
situation.were.to.happen.with.a.belt.driven.robot,.the.
motor.will.continue.to.turn,.dragging.the.belt.over.the.
pulley..Over.a.period.of.time,.the.belt.will.overheat.and.
fail..Have.youths.consider.this.–.a.new.motor.costs.about.
$16.00,.but.belts.come.in.packages.with.prices.that.range.
from.20¢.to.40¢.each..The.belts.protect.the.motors..They.
act.like.a.mechanical.fuse.–.they’re.inexpensive.and.they.
keep.the.expensive.motor.from.failing..

Activity 8 - Do the Time
Losing.battery.power.is.sometimes.a.concern.because,.
all.other.things.being.equal,.the.robot.will.take.longer.
to.go.a.set.distance.as.the.batteries.drain..However,.
because.only.nine.tests.will.be.run.and.they.will.be.run.
one.right.after.the.other.(rather.than.over.a.week’s.time),.
there.probably.won’t.be.much.difference.in.battery.
power..Remember.to.start.the.robot.at.the.inside.portion.
of.the.starting.line,.as.the.robot.is.going.to.stop.when.it.
sees.dark..If.the.robot.started.at.the.outside.portion.of.
the.starting.line,.it.would.see.dark.right.away.and.stop.
before.it.goes.to.the.2-meter.path.

Activity 9 - It Varies
Maybe.the.hardest.thing.for.youth.to.learn.when.using.
containers.is.when.to.use.the.modifier.‘Value.of.the.
Input.Port’.instead.of.the.‘Input.Port’.and.when.to.use.
the.“Value.of.the.Container’.instead.of.the.‘Container’..
Until.the.youth.gets.some.experience.with.Containers,.
the.easiest.way.to.know.which.one.to.use.is.that.Robolab.
won’t.let.them.use.the.wrong.modifier..If.they.use.‘Value.
of.Input.2’.when.they.should.be.using.‘Input.Port.2’,.
or.vice-versa,.Robolab.is.smart.enough.to.not.connect.
them..If.you’ve.tried.to.connect.the.modifier.and.keep.
getting.bad.wires,.try.using.the.opposite.modifier.icon.
–.it.works.almost.every.time.
probe
continued
Hints for the Helper
continued
27
Activity 10 - Grips and Grabs
There.are.many.ways.to.build.a.gripper..The.example.
in.the.Robotics.Project.Online.is.just.one.way.to.do.it..If.
youth.build.their.own.grippers,.warn.them.to.be.careful.
when.using.a.full.bushing.on.an.axle.going.through.a.
plate..A.careful.inspection.of.the.bushing.reveals.that.the.
ends.are.not.the.same..One.end.is.round,.while.the.other.
end.has.four.notches.in.it..If.the.bushing.is.on.the.axle.
with.the.notched.end.toward.the.plate,.it.is.possible.to.
push.the.bushing.down.so.it.actually.locks.between.the.
studs.on.the.plate,.which.will.lock.up.the.axle.and.the.
gripper.won’t.open.or.close..To.make.it.work,.be.sure.that.
the.notched.end.of.the.bushing.is.away.from.the.plate.
Ask.youth.why.they.think.the.gripper.was.designed.with.a.
belt..It’s.because.the.motor.must.continually.run.to.make.
sure.the.gripper.stays.closed..If.the.motors.stop,.there’s.
nothing.to.keep.the.gripper.closed..If.gears.were.used,.
when.the.gripper.closed,.the.motor.would.lock.up.and.
short.out.

Activity 11 - Double Duty
One.of.the.earlier.hints.said.to.use.¾”.electrical.tape.
in.designing.the.path..In.fact,.the.¾”.tape.fits.perfectly.
between.the.two.light.sensors..When.both.sensors.see.
light,.they.are.straddling.the.line.and.the.robot.can.go.
straight..If.the.light.sensors.were.moved.in,.so.that.they.
touch.each.other,.the.robot.knows.that.it.is.centered.over.
the.line.when.both.light.sensors.see.dark.
Even.though.youths.may.have.calculated.the.threshold.
for.the.first.light.sensor,.they.may.not.be.able.to.use.the.
same.threshold.for.the.other.sensor..Each.sensor.is.a.
stand-alone.product...When.writing.programs,.be.sure.to.
have.youths.calculate.the.threshold.for.
both.light.sensors...
They.will.probably.be.different.

Activities 12 - Keep It Simple, Silly
Subroutines.are.really.handy.to.have..In.a.program.that.
has.many.sections.that.do.the.same.thing,.a.subroutine.
makes.the.program.cleaner.to.write.and.simpler.
to.understand..However,.there.are.many.limits.on.
subroutine.use..First,.subroutines.can.only.be.used.in.the.
program.in.which.they.were.written..If.a.youth.wrote.a.
subroutine.for.the.robot.to.go.forward.for.four.seconds,.
they.would.have.to.rewrite.it.if.they.wanted.to.make.the.
robot.go.forward.for.four.seconds.in.another.program..
Second,.there.cannot.be.any.changes.to.the.subroutine.
within.the.program..For.example,.a.subroutine.that.made.
the.robot.go.forward.for.four.seconds.could.not.be.used.
to.make.the.robot.to.go.forward.for.six.seconds;.a.new.
subroutine.would.need.to.be.written..Finally,.every.time.
a.subroutine.is.used,.in.the.background,.the.computer.
rewrites.the.whole.thing.before.it.gets.downloaded.to.the.
RCX..So,.if.a.subroutine.is.used..three.times,.the.computer.
would.write.everything.that’s.in.the.subroutine.three.
times..If.the.subroutine.contains.a.red.jump.and.land,.
the.computer.will.write.the.program.with.a.red.jump.and.
land.every.time.the.subroutine.was.used..Remember.the.
rules.for.using.jumps.and.lands.–.every.jump.must.have.
a.corresponding.colored.land,.
and.a.colored.jump.and.
land.(like.red).can.only.be.used.once.in.each.program..In.
a.program.with.more.than.one.red.jump.and.land,.when.
the.robot.gets.to.the.first.red.jump,.it.doesn’t.know.which.
land.to.go.to..Thus,.the.third.limitation.is.that.jumps.and.
lands.cannot.be.used.in.subroutines.

Activity 13 - Beyond Subroutines
Once.a.youth.has.created.a.sub-VI,.they.can.change.what.
it.looks.like..By.double.clicking.on.the.sub-VI.icon,.a.grey.
screen.called.the.Front.Panel.will.open.up..In.the.upper.
right-hand.corner.of.the.Front.Panel.is.the.icon.of.the.
sub-VI..Double.clicking.on.that.icon.will.open.the.Icon.
Editor.page..Youth.can.now.edit.the.icon.using.Paint.to.
give.it.identifying.marks..Maybe.it’s.just.the.letter,.L,.for.a.
left.hand.turn.sub-VI.or.the.letter,.R,.for.a.right.hand.turn..
Encourage.youths.to.be.creative.with.their.icons.

Activity 14 - Loop-D-Loop
Loop.While.icons.have.very.similar.characteristics.to.
forks..When.using.a.Timer-Loop-While,.it.is.necessary.
to.zero.the.timer.before.the.loop..Remember.that.the.
timer.modifier.is.in.tenths.of.a.second..When.using.use.a.
Rotational-Sensor-Loop-While,.remind.youth.to.zero.the.
rotational.sensor..They.don’t.need.to.use.a.jump.and.a.
land.because.the.program.will.continue.to.jump.back.to.
the.beginning.of.the.loop.as.the.Loop.While.condition.is.
met..When.using.the.Loop-While-the-Timer-is-Less-Than,.
the.program.will.continue.to.jump.back.to.the.start.of.
the.loop.as.long.as.the.timer.value.is.less.than.the.value.
used.as.the.modifier..In.all.cases,.when.the.condition.is.no.
longer.met,.the.program.will.go.on.to.the.next.icon..So,.if.
the.program.is.complete,.add.the.Stop-All-Outputs.icon..
Challenge.youth.to.write.a.timed.line.follower.program.
without.using.
any.forks.
probe
continued
Hints for the Helper
continued
hiNts FoR the heLpeR
Robot Bingo Game Board
2
suppLeMeNtAL pAges
Below.is.a.blank.gameboard..You.can.develop.a.list.of.
LEGO.parts.and.Robolab.icons.to.be.used.for.the.game..
In.each.gameboard,.put.the.descriptions.of.24.different.
parts.or.icons..Make.sure.each.board.is.different..On.a.
small.separate.sheet,.place.the.pictures,.LEGO.parts.and.
Robolab.icons,.or.use.real.LEGO.pieces..Place.the.pictures..
or.objects.in.a.bowl.and.pick.one.at.a.time,.having.youth.
cover.the.descriptions.on.their.board.with.the.pictures.
or.objects.drawn.from.the.bowl.that.match..Draw.until.
someone.has.five.covered.boxes.in.a.row..
Be.specific.when.writing.the.list.of.parts..For.example,.
call.it.a.2x4.plate.with.holes,.not.just.a.plate..Or.a.24.
tooth.spur.gear,.not.just.a.gear..For.ideas,.use.the.images.
that.are.on.the.underside.of.the.cover.board.that.comes.
with.your.kit,.and.use.the.icons.that.can.be.found.in.the.
functions.palette.and.sub-palettes..
A
I
M
O
S
2
Guess My Cookie Activity Chart
Name :
Partner :
Date :
Name
2nd Guess
1st Guess
Answer
suppLeMeNtAL pAges
30
MeAsuRiNg the iMpACt
Did.the.youth.participating.in.the.4-H.Robotics.
activities.change.as.a.result.of.their.experiences?..Did.
they.learn.new.robotic.skills?..Do.they.now.have.more.
confidence.with.several.important.life.skills.such.as.
communicating.with.others,.making.decisions.and.
leading.others?.
For.your.use,.the.following.evaluation.has.been.
prepared..The.Success.Indicator.for.each.activity.in.
each.guide.is.listed..Simply.indicate.the.changes.from.
the.beginning.of.the.project.to.the.completion.of.the.
project.by.checking.one.of.the.columns..
.
Sharing.your.evaluation.with.individual.youth.as.well.
as.with.the.group.is.a.good.way.to.help.them.realize.
what.they.(and.you).have.accomplished.
Begin.each.indicator.with.
.
“Youth.have.the.ability.to.…..”
1.-.
To a great extent
.
2.-.
Somewhat
.
3.-.
Not at all
.
Name:
Overall Robotics Outcomes
Before
.
After
Youth have the ability to ..
1 2 3
1 2 3
Acquire.and.evaluate.information
Make.good.decision
Communicate.with.others
Plan.and.organize
Think.creatively
Design.and.program.a.robot
Develop.an.awareness.of.potential.robotic.careers
Use.skills.in.engineering.design,.research.and.development.to.program.a.robot.to.
accomplish.a.specific.task
Robotics Explorer
Before
After
Youth have the ability to
...
1 2 3
1 2 3
..
Build.a.basic.tankbot
Identify.differences.among.machines,.computers.and.robots
Describe.elements.and.functions.of.the.RCX.and.download.firmware
Write.and.run.the.“Go.forward.for.4.seconds”.program
Program.the.robot.to.make.Point.and.Non-point.Turns
Program.a.robot.to.navigate.a.maze
Use.a.programming.Loop.to.make.a.robot.travel.around.a.square.‘Race.Course’
Program.a.robot.using.a.touch.sensor
Program.a.robot.using.a.light.sensor
Program.a.robot.to.follow.a.path
Program.a.robot.to.follow.a.path.for.a.specific.amount.of.time
Program.a.robot.to.complete.a.self-designed.challenge.course
Measuring the Impact
31
Measuring the Impact
continued

Name:
Robotics Probe
Before
After
Youth have the ability to ...
1 2 3
1 2 3
Design.and.build.a.robot
Program.using.a.rotational.sensor
Create.forward.and.backward.movements
Use.a.rotational.sensor.to.determine.distance.traveled
Use.a.rotational.sensor.to.control.turns
Identify.four.different.types.of.gears
Determine.how.travel.distance.is.affected.by.pulley.size
Determine.how.gear.ratios.affect.distance.traveled
Determine.how.gear.ratios.affect.travel.speed
Program.using.containers
Build.a.gripper.to.pick.things.up
Program.a.robot.to.use.two.sensors.at.the.same.time
Use.subroutines.to.travel.around.a.square.race.course
Use.Sub-VI’s.to.navigate.different.lengths.of.straight.runs
Use.loops.to.follow.a.line
Robotics Helper’s Guide
Before
After
Youth have the ability to ...
1 2 3
1 2 3
Name.everyone.on.a.team
Complete.a.team.activity
Utilize.LEGO.bricks.to.design.a.unique.creation
Give.a.meaningful.comment/compliment
Write.clear.directions
Present.a.favorite.robot.to.the.group
Plan.and.conduct.a.Robotics.Skillathon
Plan.and.conduct.Robotic.Bingo
Define.ten.new.robotic.words
Program.gears.to.change.direction.and.speed.of.robot
Create.an.electrical.circuit
Navigate.a.linear.course
Identify.shapes.using.sense.of.touch
Break.a.secret.code
Build.items.by.following.directions
Analyze.and.solve.a.problem
Present.an.oral.report.on.a.robotics.career
MeAsuRiNg the iMpACt

Answers for each of the activities in the Explorer and
Probe workbooks can be found online at
www.4-hcurriculum.org/robotics
Remember that in robotics, there is almost never
a single ‘Right Answer,’ so programs may vary
significantly from what you see in the answer guide.
The Right Answer is the one that works!
32
Robotics Project Meeting Ideas
Answer Guide
Are.you.looking.for.more.robotics.activity.ideas?.Here.
is.a.list.of.possibilities..Brainstorm.more.ideas.with.the.
participants.in.your.group.
Robotics Projects
.
•.Create.a.storybook.that.illustrates.the.use.of.robots
.
•.Create.a.mural.that.illustrates.past.and.future.robots
.
•.Create.a.diorama.showing.a.working.robot.in.its.
environment
.
•.Prepare.a.bulletin.board.to.share.information.about.
robots.at.school.or.at.the.public.library
.
•.Investigate.how.robots.influence.our.lives
.
•.Create.a.robot.demonstration
.
•.Build.a.faster.robot
.
•.Explore.robots.in.space
.
•.Explore.robots.underwater
.
•.Explore.robots.in.the.military
.
•.Use.recycled.items.to.create.a.robot
.
Careers in Robotics
.
•.Conduct.a.robotics.career.night
.
•.Shadow.on.the.job
.
•.Write.a.resume
.
•.Interview.people.in.the.robotics.industry
.
•.Interview.people.using.robotics.in.their.jobs
.
•.Tour.a.robotics.plant
.
Exploring Robot Construction
.
•.Identify.parts.of.robot
.
•.Identify.purpose.of.robot
.
•.Create.code
.
•.Program.a.robot.
.
Influence of Robotics
.
•.Create.a.timeline.for.the.history.of.robots
.
•.Research.robotic.spacecrafts.in.the.U.S.space.program
.
•.Explore.the.internet.for.robotics.information.
.
•.Attend.a.robotics.event
.
•.Investigate.ways.robots.assist.disabled.individuals
.
•.Collect.newspaper.clippings.on.robots
.
Career Exploration
.
•.Identify.careers.associated.with.robotics
.
•.Explore.careers.associated.with.robotics
.
•.Tour.a.company.using.robotics
.
•.Analyze.career.paths
.
•.Identify.colleges.with.robotic.programs
.
•.Explore.personal.interests
.
Designing Your Own Robot
.
•.Create.a.design.for.a.robot
.
•.Design.for.function
.
•.Identify.materials
.
•.Program.for.function
.
•.Demonstrate.programming
.
Keeping Records
.
•.Keep.a.robotics.scrapbook
.
•.Keep.a.programming.scrapbook
.
•.Keep.a.robotics.sketchbook
.
Purchasing Supplies
.
•.Compare.prices.on.the.internet
.
•.Judge.quality.of.materials
.
•.
Budget
.
Other
.
•.Exhibit.a.robotics.project
.
•.Do.a.robotics.demonstration
.
•.Conduct.a.robotics.quiz.bowl
.
•.Discuss.robotics.issues
.
The 4-H Pledge
I pledge
my Head to clearer thinking,
my Heart to greater loyalty,
my Hands to larger service, and
my Health to better living,
for my club, my community,
my country, and my world.
Explore more curriculum projects online at:
www.4-hcurriculum.org