Ozobots are among the coolest classroom-friendly robots around! They can be programmed with Blockly, a visual programming language (a great way to teach children the fundamentals of coding), but also by drawing paths on paper with markers, which makes for an amazing merger of art and technology.
I made this thing on Tinkercad because that's the only design program I can comfortably whip out a model in a short period of time. For that same reason I encourage you to consider Tinkercad if working with young students.
Overview & Background:
Games are a great way to engage students. And so are robots! And 3D printing!!! Put them all together and you have a winning combination, i.e. this lesson!
This lesson uses the engaging nature of Ozobots to inspire students to create their own shelters with 3D printing to be used in a board game.
Third grade and up
Any target skill which lends itself to flash card review (e.g. vocabulary, sight word review, math facts, organic chemistry test prep, etc.)
Skills Learned (Standards):
Skills vary based on the grade level and topic selected. I used the finished game board included above for sight word review with my kindergarten students, which would be CCSS ELA-LITERACY.RF.K.3.C
- Demonstrate the example shelter and game board in the Thing Files above to the class. Challenge them to design, preferably in small teams, their own shelters and game board to support a current academic focus in class. Note: Student shelters needn't be patterend on the example, e.i. four entrances. By using the right "Ozocodes" students could design shelters with any number of entrances/exits, including only one!
In the example provided, I used a shelter for each pile of quiz cards. The first student or team must answer the question, or in my case read the sight word, on the card drawn from the pile corresponding to the color card on top of the shelter. To count that card as a point, it must be answered correctly before the Ozobot enters the next shelter. So, if the Ozobot stops in the red shelter, the first student must draw a red card and read it before the Ozobot enters another shelter. Once it does enter another shelter, the next student must draw a card from the pile corresponding to that shelter's color.
- After brainstorming and sketching their shelter ideas, have teams create their game boards, indicating clearly when shelters will go. Instructor approval to begin the design process will be given once all components of the game, i.e. quiz cards, are complete.
- Introduce Tinkercad, or the design program of your choice. Allow students the chance to explore, and if possible, print some small items to build their design skill.
- It is important for students to experience the iterative design process, so allow for redesign and reprinting as much as your filament supply and time allow. To avoid burning through a year's worth of filament in one week, I recommend limiting the size of each shelter. For reference, the example shelter I provided is 60 mm (w), 60 mm (d), and 75 mm (h).
- Once every game is complete, have a game day and watch student learning shoot through the roof! Want to introduce added challenge? Release two or more Ozobots onto the game board at once!
No preparation is needed for the design portion of this lesson, but this lesson assumes students are familiar with Ozobots and their basic function.
If you're looking for other STEM-oriented lesson ideas involving Ozobots make sure to visit their website (http://ozobot.com/stem-education/stem-lessons)
Rubric & Assessment:
See the suggested assessment ideas page included in the Thing Files above.
Handouts & Assets:
The game board I use is included above with the Thing Files.