2 INTRO & TARGET AUDIENCE Students are required to build the fastest car in the class. Their objective is to understand STREAMLINING & AERODYNAMICS in order to achieve speed.INTRO & TARGET AUDIENCE7th grade TechnologyAll levels of studentsAges 11-12Special NeedsCourse accommodates 16 – 30 studentsTIME LINE: 5 weeks (15 total classes)A basic background of my class is that every student in the school cycles through my class at one point during the year, and I get them in 6th 7th and 8th grade. Each grade ties into the next, becoming more challenging as the years progress.
3 GOALS & OBJECTIVES SENSE & MEANING Making a connection from real automotive engineering and building a dragster in class.Understanding Streamlining to ensure less drag = more speed.Incorporating “Specification” measurements to add a common guideline for every student.Working in teams to complete a common goal: WINHave fun!SENSE & MEANINGSENSE & MEANING: David A. Sousa describes the importance of sense and meaning. He writes, “It seems that the working memory connects with the learner’s past experiences and asks just two questions to determine whether an item is saved or rejected. They are: ‘Does this make sense?’ and ‘Does this have meaning?’” (How the Brain Learns - Sousa, 52).In order for students to store important information into their long-term memory, as Sousa explains, the information itself has to have sense and meaning. Below is the lesson development that creates sense and meaning.Gears: Initially students are given a five question worksheet where they research information about gear ratios and engineering.3D Printing / Mechanical Drawing: In the beginning of the cycle students complete a series of mechanical drawings to acclimate them to the beginning stages of engineering, as well as remind them of the importance of measurement. From their earlier years in tech students store measurement into their long-term memory through sense and meaning. In 8th grade that sense and meaning comes through the process of demonstrating how important measurement is to engineering. Then tying this process into robotic engineering by showing them a video of how gears can be completely useless if their measurements and alignment are off even 1/16 of an inch.When they are acclimated to understanding mechanical drawings, they are introduced to AutoCAD. AutoCAD is a computerized mechanical drawing that can be built three-dimensionally.Robot Olympics: To switch gears (no pun intended) I take the students into the mini gym to play some games (floor hockey, soccer and an obstacle course). Later we come back into the room and discuss some of the physical attributes they have or need to succeed in those events. I introduce the Lego Systems that they will be using and I group them up into four teams. I then show them the Olympic events and we discuss the similarities between the Lego events and the events they performed in the gym. Students will then participate in several activities as a team to design and create a robot vehicle and attachments for each event.AutoCAD 3D Printing: Students are then reintroduced to the idea of 3D printing by creating another piece or pieces for their attachments by designing them on AutoCAD. The program saves the files to the 3D printing system, and students can see how to create more pieces for their Lego systems right from a drawing.
4 NJCCSCPI#9.1: All students will develop career awareness and planning, employability skills and foundational knowledge necessary for success in the workplaceRST.7.9: Compare and contrast the information gained from reading a text on the same topic.CPI # A.1: Design and create a technology product or system that improves the quality of life and identify trade-off’s, risks and benefits.CPI# B.1: Brainstorming and devise a plan to build using the design processRST.7.7: Integrate quantitative or technical information expressed in words in a text with a version of that information expressed visuallyHere are four learning objectives involved in the lesson. In the conclusion of the cycle the students will be able to:Explain the connection of mechanical drawings to AutoCAD.Understanding robotic engineering, and how each part equals a special component for the entire system.Describe how their robot was able to compete in the events and how their attachment assisted in that success.Explain the process of measurement and how important calculation is to engineering.
5 Day 1 – 3: Introduction to Streamlining and Brainstorming Dragster Designs Day 4 & 5: Building a Styrofoam car. Then evaluate & revise.Day 6 & 7: Build Balsa CarDay 8: Practice RaceDay 9-13: Race Week (with revisions to improve time)Day 14 & 15: FINAL RACES and PresentationsACTIVITIESIntroduce gear ratios and how they convert energy into power or speed. Discuss robotic engineering design and the relationship to our project.PRIMACY-RECENCY: Sousa explains that during the learning process “we tend to remember best that which comes first, and remember second best that which comes last. We tend to remember least that which comes just past the middle of the episode” (Sousa, 94). Knowing that I want the students to understand the importance of robotic engineering, the measurement principles involved in the process and how to use gears to create power or speed, I have to make sure that this process comes in the first lesson.PRIME TIME 1: Students walk into the room with video clips of “Battle Bots” playing on the board with dramatic music playing in the background. Immediately students become engaged in the energizing clips of smashing, sawing, and bashing robots. “The first items of new information are within the working memory’s functional capacity, so they command our attention and are likely to be retained in semantic memory” (Sousa p94). The students are then separated into teams and given Lego systems. We then discuss gear ratios with their Lego pieces, as students battle against each other (in survivor style) to see which team can create the fastest ratio for each scenario. This is in the beginning of my lesson because understanding the battle of events and how to create a fast or powerful robot are the two most important aspects of the project. Students will use this information throughout the class and utilize the knowledge to complete the project at the highest level.
6 PRESENTATIONS / SPREADSHEETS In down time, the students get a first hand experience of teamwork. Each team begins to delegate who does which job and who has which responsibilities.Students are then introduced to AutoCAD and 3D printing so they can see how to make new Lego pieces with extensions to support an attachment in a specific event. Students then begin to brainstorm ideas and either build or use AutoCAD to design for a 3D print. During this process music is played in the background to support the musical multiple intelligence and stimulate the temporal lobes.This process is important to long-term memory storage as the hippocampus transfers short-term memory to long-term memory through repetition. The repetition is through trial and error as they begin to understand the uses of some of the unfamiliar Lego pieces. Sousa explains that “the assignment of sense and meaning to new learning can occur only if the learner has adequate time to process and reprocess it” (Sousa p91)
7 GRAPHS / SPREADSHEETSStudents will be assisted by a series of checklists via step guides. Personal assistance will be given based upon self direction.In down time, the students get a first hand experience of teamwork. Each team begins to delegate who does which job and who has which responsibilities.Students are then introduced to AutoCAD and 3D printing so they can see how to make new Lego pieces with extensions to support an attachment in a specific event. Students then begin to brainstorm ideas and either build or use AutoCAD to design for a 3D print. During this process music is played in the background to support the musical multiple intelligence and stimulate the temporal lobes.This process is important to long-term memory storage as the hippocampus transfers short-term memory to long-term memory through repetition. The repetition is through trial and error as they begin to understand the uses of some of the unfamiliar Lego pieces. Sousa explains that “the assignment of sense and meaning to new learning can occur only if the learner has adequate time to process and reprocess it” (Sousa p91)As students race they will be taught how to calculate SPEED = Distance/Time. They will then make the calculations and connect how weight plays a factor in the speed (based on power of CO2)Students will then be taught how to calculate that data into a spreadsheet and decide how much weight to lose based on their current speed.
9 MULTIPLE INTELLIGENCES LINGUISTICStudents must work with their teams and communicate through constructive criticism.LOGICAL / MATHEMATICALStudents will have to calculate SPEED & DRAG. Then revise their dragsters based on their data.INTRAPERSONALStudents must work independently to build their dragsters. After evaluation they are also required to make revisions on their own.INTERPERSONALStudents work in teams to help each other with data entry and streamlining ideas.MULTIPLE INTELLIGENCES:MUSICAL: Music with robot video / Music in the background during downtimeBODILY / KINESTHETIC: Playing sports in the mini-gym prior to coming into the room to talk about roboticsINTERPERSONAL: The class is broken up into four equal teams. Each team has to collaborate their ideas and have regular communication to connect, not only their ideas, but their Lego pieces from attachments to the robot.INTRAPERSONAL: Although there is teamwork each team member has their own personal responsibility. Each person must design and create either the robot or an attachment for an event. There are also other independent projects with the research gear worksheet, the assessment worksheet and the design process for AutoCAD 3D printing.LOGICAL / MATHEMATICAL: Every robotic Olympic event is a challenge that involves higher level thinking and problem solving. For example: Setting up the gear ratios on the robot would either set your system as powerful, fast or an equal amount of both (but not a great amount of either). Building an attachment for the robot must also be designed based on that gear ratio. If the ratio is built for speed than designing a “bulldozer-like” attachment it wouldn’t be successful against a robot that was powerful. The idea is to calculate the differences between the ratios and develop an attachment that supports the ratio to compete with another robot.
10 BRAINY BITS MOTOR CORTEX PARIETAL LOBE (spatial orientation) FRONTAL LOBE(problem solving)Students will constantlybe calculating speed andweight . As well as revisingtheir dragster to improveon the total speed.OCCIPITAL LOBE(visual processing)Students use a WINDTUNNEL iPad app tosee how much windresistance and dragtheir dragsters have.“Although the minor wrinkles are unique in each brain, several major wrinkles and folds are common to all brains. These folds form a set of four lobes in each hemisphere. Each lobe tends to specialize for certain functions” (Sousa, p16). These four regions, or lobes, include the occipital lobes, temporal lobes, parietal lobes, and frontal lobes.FRONTAL LOBE: The frontal lobes are the “executive control center of the brain, monitoring higher-order thinking, directing problem solving, and regulating the excesses of the emotional system” (Sousa, 16). Students in our middle school are instructed to use higher level thinking and problem solving which is a direct function of their frontal lobes. The activity allows the students to practice their problem solving skills by identifying the situation and brainstorm solutions to winning the event. This is an example of when the frontal lobes are used.TEMPORAL LOBE: The temporal lobes rest above the ears, and deal with sound and speech. The playing of the video with music in the background when students enter the classroom is processed in the temporal lobes. In addition, when students begin to process the information as they relate the previous exercise for gear ratios to the set up of their robot, they are accessing the temporal lobe through object recognition.OCCIPITAL LOBE: The occipital lobes deal mainly with visual processing. In my lesson, the occipital lobes are utilized at several points. As students watch the practice events they process information to assist their evaluation and revisions they are accessing their occipital lobe PARIETAL LOBE: The parietal lobes, near the top of the brain, deals mainly with “spatial orientation, calculation, and certain types of recognition” (Sousa, 17). This portion of the brain is accessed a few times during my lesson. First when we leave the classroom to go play sports in the mini-gym, the students get an idea of how small the gym is knowing they have to work with that size with the events we play. That is directly related to the size of the arena that the robots compete in. They immediately realize how big or small their robots and attachments should be to be successful during the events.MOTOR CORTEX: “This strip controls body movement” (Sousa, p17). Building the robot requires a good use of motor skills, but controlling the robot becomes an easy event for those students with a better hand/eye coordination which completely accesses their motor cortex.NEURONS: “The Neuron sends out spikes of impulses through the axon to the synapse where the activity releases chemicals stored in sacs at the end of the axon. Learning occurs by changing the synapses so that the influence of on neuron on another also changes” (Sousa, p22). Neurons constantly process the information as students are figuring out how the new Legos work for a common goal of winning the events. As the students build, drive or design their brain is processing that information.TEMPORAL LOBE(sound and speech)
11 WORKS CITEDGardner, Howard. Intelligence Reframed: Multiple Intelligences for the 21st Century. New York:Basic Books, 1999.Google Images Web. Oct 2013.Gregorc, Anthony. The Gregorc Style Delineator.Latest. AFG, 2004.Horner, Evelyn. Ramapo College. Mahwah. Fall Lecture.Sousa, David A. . How the Brain Works. 4th ed Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press, print.