NXT

YWiC first incorporated LEGO NXT robotics into it’s middle school curriculum in the summer of 2013. Students are usually grouped into teams of 2-3. Instruction, build, and programming time is typically planned for 3-4 hours, with an additional 2-3 hours allocated for open build. During open build, student teams choose one of 4-5 pre-selected robots to build and program. Building difficulty for middle school students should remain in the 1-3 difficulty level, while programming difficulty should remain in the 1-2 level.

Click here for complete hardware and software lesson plans:

EV3 Introduction

LESSON 1:Generator Car

“Did you know that if you force an electric motor to turn with your hand then it will act as an electric generator and generate electricity? Here is a simple way to build a car powered by a hand cranked generator. No batteries required!”
 
This is the first robot that students build. This project should familiarize students with the NXT kits. Building should be instructor-led.
 
Building Difficulty: 1
Approximate Build Time: 30 minutes
Programming Difficulty: None
Approximate Programming Time: None

Building Difficulty: 1 Approximate Build Time: 30 minutes Programming Difficulty: None Approximate Programming Time: None

**Other group build may be the Top Spinner.

LESSON 2: 5-Minute Bot

“If you want a basic robot that you can build quickly, to run a test, or as a starting point for an experiment or other project, this simple design can be built in about five minutes. It is fairly sturdy and turns easily on smooth floors.”

 
This is the second robot that students build. Building should be student-led. Programming should be instructor-led. Instructors should assist teams with questions and concerns, and also challenge teams to improve their robot’s structure and/or functionality if students finish building and programming earlier than expected.
 
Building Difficulty: 2

Approximate Build Time: 40 minutes
Programming Difficulty: 1
Approximate Programming Time: 15 minutes

LESSON 3: Exploring Projects

This is the final robot that students build. During this lesson, student teams can choose from the list below which project to complete. Building and programming should be student-led. Instructors should assist teams with questions and concerns, and also challenge teams to improve their robot’s structure and/or functionality if students finish building and programming earlier than expected.
 
“Like a real gymnast on the high bar, this robot will swing its legs back and forth to get swinging higher and higher. Then it will tuck and roll for a back flip around the bar!”
 
Building Difficulty: 3
Approximate Build Time: 45
Programming Difficulty: 1
Approximate Programming Time: 35

Power Saw

“This hand-held power saw was designed by Karl LeVezu, age 14, of the 2007 Lego Guards robotics team. Press and hold down the button on the handle, and the gears will make the blade spin fast enough to get the teeth to cut through a sheet of paper!”
 
Building Difficulty: 3
Approximate Build Time: 45
Programming Difficulty: 1
Approximate Programming Time: 25
“This Ball Roller Coaster will keep two balls busy rolling down the track over and over again. The ultrasonic sensor tells the NXT when to use the lift motor to lift a ball back up to the top of track, so the roller coaster operates fully automatically on its own.”
 
Building Difficulty: 3
Approximate Build Time: 60
Programming Difficulty: 1
Approximate Programming Time: 30
 
“This “top fuel” dragster uses all three of the NXT motors to achieve maximum power.  It will pop a wheelie at the start then run straight down the hall!”
 
Building Difficulty: 4
Approximate Build Time: 60
Programming Difficulty: 1
Approximate Programming Time: 30
 
  
 
“This vehicle steers by pivoting its front wheels like a real car, and is controlled by a wired remote control. The remote control has a steering wheel to control the steering, and buttons to make the rover go forward, backward, slower, and faster. “
 
Building Difficulty: 2
Approximate Build Time: 50
Programming Difficulty: 3
Approximate Programming Time: 20
 
“The flame on the candle of this birthday cake will “flicker” while the NXT plays the “Happy Birthday” song. When the song finishes, you can make a wish and blow out the candle. The sound sensor will detect the blowing, and then the flame will disappear!”
 
Building Difficulty: 3
Approximate Build Time: 50
Programming Difficulty: 3
Approximate Programming Time: 20
 
“When you turn the knob on the “wind-up” motor, the ballerina dancer will start to gracefully turn around, dancing to a simple musical tune. As the winding “runs out”, the ballerina and the music will gradually slow down and then finally stop. At any time, you can wind it up more by turning the knob to re-energize it.”
Building Difficulty: 3
Approximate Build Time: 50
Programming Difficulty: 4
Approximate Programming Time: 20

Other Individual Project Suggestions:

INDIVIDUAL PROJECT CHOICES
Ball Kicker-P.Diff.=2; Build=2
Spider-P.Diff.=2; Build=3
Crazy Lawn Mower-P.Diff.=2; Build=3
Echo Telegraph-P.Diff.=3; Build=2