Meet Pi

Some mathematical constants are difficult to explain, especially for young students. I believe that science is not only formulas and theory but also experiments. The best way to explain it to children is showing effects and results. All teachers know that mathematical problem solving can be challenging for young children, as they can’t hold abstract […]

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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 motor power, and the distance […]

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Mathematics and LEGO robotics at CIPCE

The Center for Initiatives in Pre-College Education (CIPCE) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute has published a substantial collection of lessons and units aligned to the Common Core Learning Standards in Mathematics (CCLSM) that make use of the LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 and NXT. The modules (lessons and units) that form the collection have been designed and taught […]

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Experimental determination of Pi

The wheels on the bus go round and round, but how far does the bus go? In this activity you will use LEGO bricks to create a very simple car with an orange “tooth” on the wheel. I have included a presentation that was original intended for Super Pi Day (3/14/15), a student worksheet, and […]

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The 6 tile challenge

 I recently ran a simple challenge that I called the “6 Tile Challenge” that worked well in my classes and got the point across that you should calculate the number of rotations before you drive your robot.  This was the second day of robotics programming for my classes and we had discussed the diameter and […]

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Why I like educational robots

With all the available STEM options, we often get asked Why Robotics?  So here are some quick thoughts to kickstart your thirty second elevator speech for robotics program support. See what you think. I like educational robots because they make abstract concepts real. With this opening salvo, and depending on your primary expertise and your audience’s understanding of your […]

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Going the distance

The idea for this challenge is to build and program a robot car to drive as close as possible to a LEGO minfig, without knocking it over! Sounds easy? The catch is that you are not allowed to use any sensors and once you are told how far the minifig will be from the starting […]

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Area measurement – part one – follow the path

Area the Easy Way

I’ve often wanted to see greater educational use of LEGO robots more in alignment with how robots get used in the real world – taking on that dull, dirty, dangerous, or distant task. One approach could be to measure an area, map the features, and then conduct missions based on the calculated map.  The idea […]

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Pendulum mathematics

multiple pendulum streams

Pendulums are one of the earliest machines we see and Physics courses can take advantage of that familiarity to reveal fundamental principles and demonstrate the mathematical relationships. In this demonstration, I suspended an NXT with three sensors from above, and let it swing back and forth, recording the data via Bluetooth to the NXT-G data […]

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