1. Iteration, collaboration, and documentation

    Iteration, collaboration, and documentation

    Iteration, collaboration, and documentation are integral parts of engineering design. This challenge is intended to provide students with an opportunity to develop their understanding and appreciation of these important ideas. To run this activity, first divide the class into at least three different groups. Stage 1 Challenge each group to...

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  2. Energy losses

    Energy losses

    One of the most important topics of engineering and design is losses. In many classes, we ignore losses (such as friction) to simplify problems while learning the physics of engineering. But when we solve real life engineering problems, we need to be aware that losses are always present and are a...

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  3. Iteration and efficiency

    Iteration and efficiency

    Efficiency is important in engineering, not only in materials but also time, money and energy. It is important for a young engineer to learn the value of an efficient product. Anyone can build a bridge with as many pieces they desire, but can you do it with fewer and fewer?...

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  4. Assistive technology: Making lives easier

    Assistive technology: Making lives easier

    In the age of digital technology, there are so many things that are designed to make peoples’ lives easier. Smart phones allow people to stay connected wherever they are, garage openers keep you from having to leave the comfort of your car, and there are all sorts of apps that allow you to order...

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  5. TrotBot Walking Machine

    TrotBot Walking Machine

    After teaching a challenge-based LEGO Engineering class for two years, I wanted to offer a really difficult challenge for a dozen of my most motivated students (grades 6-8). I settled on linkage-based walkers, like Theo Jansen’s Strandbeest. Rather than copy prototypes or plans, I had the class study various linkage mechanisms, their...

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  6. EV3 projectile launcher

    EV3 projectile launcher

    This is the EV3 projectile launcher, inspired by RobotlCare’s Ball3r. The goal behind the EV3 Projectile Launcher is to provide students with a way to explore projectile motion by creating a LEGO EV3 robot to generate it. After creating the launch structure, students will need to derive a relationship between EV3...

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  7. Greenhouse Challenge

    Greenhouse Challenge

    I’m finding gardening to be an attractive theme for STEM education in general and specifically to girls. Using the LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 brick to introduce control systems, design, and data logging. The LEGO Friends theme really adds to the project allowing girls to imagine themselves in the role of research...

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  8. Exploring thresholds

    Exploring thresholds

    This unit introduces an extremely simple exercise that allows students to think more deeply about the concept of a threshold and how to use it to make a robot react to its environment. It is based on my Teachers Introduction Course to LEGO® MINDSTORMS NXT & EV3 at BOGATECH’s website....

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  9. Naked NXT/EV3 projects!

    Naked NXT/EV3 projects!

    For some projects, you might prefer to offer your students more time to learn advanced programming, and spend less time building. That means no extra LEGO pieces, motors, or external sensors –  just a “Naked” NXT/EV3 brick! If that sounds like you, then let’s strip down the brick and have...

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