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Robotics A/B

Course Description:

            Robotics A/B is a robotics class designed with both the beginner and advanced robotics student in mind.  Using the Lego NXT platform, students will study various forms of robotic-based applications.  The learner will explore the development and design of robots while working on interesting challenges that solve a wide range of industrial based applications.  Projects for this class may include but are not limited to the following: study of simple machines and their relationship to the development of robotics systems, anatomy of a robot, robot locomotion, robotic arm systems, gripper design and implementation, and the design of specialized robotic systems.  Students will utilize the Design and Problem Solving Model for Engineering Technology to solve the fore mentioned challenges.  Robots will be programmed using NXT-G, a graphical user interface based programming language.  This class is designed for the student who enjoys design and building creations of their own design.

            Due to the nature of scheduling, students who wish to take Advanced Robotics (B) may be placed in an introductory class.  When this situation arises a dual curriculum will be taught.  

Expectations:

            Course expectations include strong classroom participation.  Actively participating in classroom discussions as well working effectively in groups are critical components for being successful in this class.  Students within this course are expected to think creatively, be active problem-solvers, and demonstrate self directed, independent learning behaviors.  Such behaviors will allow students the opportunity to learn how to solve real world problems in a controlled environment.    Students should enter class with a positive attitude.  Learning about Robotics is FUN, and your attitude will make all the difference.

Grading:

            Students are assessed daily in class via a daily work grade.  Daily work grades consist of 5 points per day, 25 points per week.  Students are expected to work with their partner, activity design and program their robotics creations and provide meaningful ideas and solutions for the challenges that are presented.     Failure to do so will result in a deduction of the student’s overall daily work grade.  Students are assessed at the end of every module with a project grade, and at the end of each semester with a final inventory and accounting assignment. 

 

 

 

Technology / Engineering Classes

 

Course Description:        

        Technology (Engineering) is a Design and Problem Solving class created with the beginner learner in mind. Using a combination of materials and processes, students actively solve real-world problems using a circular problem solving model.  Due to the nature of scheduling for 7th and 8th grade students at MacDonald Middle School, the technology curriculum has been broken down into 4 differing content areas including Bio-technology, Manufacturing, Construction, and Transportation.  Each content area is taught for one semester, rotating every two years.  Students in 7th and 8th grade will be able to sign up for a technology each semester of their 7th and 8th grdae year without repeating curriculum.  Classes are taught as follows:

Bio-Technology –             Fall Semester even years

Manufacturing –               Spring Semester odd years

Construction -                    Fall Semester odd years

Transportation -               Spring Semester even years

Expectations:

            Course expectations include strong classroom participation.  Actively participating in classroom discussions as well working effectively in groups are critical components for being successful in this class.  Students within this course are expected to think creatively, be active problem-solvers, and demonstrate self directed, independent learning behaviors.  Such behaviors will allow students the opportunity to learn how to solve real world problems in a controlled environment.    Students should enter class with a positive attitude.  Learning about Robotics is FUN, and your attitude will make all the difference.

Technology Design and Problem Solving Process:

        Each content area has a multitude of Design Challenges that are presented to students thoughout the course of the semester.  Before students start to implement a solution to the problem they are given, each student is asked to research the topic online and draw some initial conclusions based on their findings.  During this phase of their research, students are exposed to a multitude of vocabulary words associated with the project.  When a clear understanding of the project has been established, students start designing their solutions.  Each student is asked to complete four Rough Drawing ideas that serve as possible solutions to the problem.  Upon completion of this step, students assemble in groups consisting of two to three individuals to discuss the merits of each idea.  A final solution is selected and each individual is asked to complete a Final Drawing of the agreed upon solution.  Students are then tasked with the challenge to model their idea in either Google Sketch-Up or TinkerCAD (both free programs for download online).

        With a Design Sheet in hand and 3D model created in the computer, students enter the construction phase of their project.  Students are given between 5 and 7 days to construction and pre-test the solution that they have chosen.  Students construct their solutions in the Processing Lab where they have access to a variety of materials and a host of ways in which to process these materials.  Students are expected to actively work with their group members and productively contribute to the creation of their solution.

        Upon completion of the solution, students are tasked with testing their design.  Each testing situation is unique for each project that is constructed.  Students are graded on the testing process, not the outcome result of the test that they are conducting.  The fact of the matter is that sometimes ideas that look good on paper are not well implemented under controlled testing conditions.  Students will not be penalized for devices that fail to perform as intended. 

       With the testing phase of the project complete, students are asked to reflect on their project and the design process that they used to implement their solution.  This reflection takes places in two differing ways.  First, students are asked to access the 3D model that they created at the beginning of the project.  Given one class period, students recreate this 3D model to more accurately reflect the form and function of their finished solutions.  Students are asked to draw conclusions about the construction process and address similarities and differences.  Upon completion of this refelction, students are tasked with writing a short narrative that addresses potential changes that they could implement if they were to repeat the project.

        The process described above is a lengthy one and is designed to keep the student engaged during all aspects of design, construction, implementation, and reflection.  Generally speaking, each project that is assigned to the class consists of 10 and 15 school days.

Grading

         Students are continually assessed throughout the course of each project.  Assignments are graded based on rubrics that are available upon request. 

Typical Grading Outline:

Day #1                   Sentence Stems                                               10 points

Day #2                   Vocabulary                                                          20 Points

Day #3                   Rough Drawings                                               20 Points (5 points per)

Day #4                   Final Drawing / Materials                           30 Points

Day #5-6              3D Modeling                                                       25 points

Day #7-12           Construction                                                      50 Points (10 per day)

Day #13                 Testing                                                                 25 Points (upon completion)

Day #14                 Reflection Modeling                                    25 Points

Day #15                 Written Reflections                                     10 Points

*** Please note that assigned values for each segment are subject to change. ***

 

 

Homework and Grading

Homework:

         Due to the nature of the Robotics and Technology classes offered at MacDonald Middle School, there is no homework associated with the curriculum.  Students are not expected to record this expectation (or lack of) in their planners on a daily basis.  Once per semester students will engage in a Safety Curriculum.  Students are asked to take 15 minutes outside of class and study for this assessment. The assessment will determine if the student is cognizant about safety protocols and familiar with processing machine operation.  Failure to pass this assessment will result in the student not being able to use power equipment in class.  This assessment can be attempted as many times as needed for a successful passing grade.   This assessment does not pertain to Robotics classes.

Grading:

Robotics -  Students are assessed daily in class via a daily work grade.  Daily work grades consist of 5 points per day, 25 points per week.  Students are expected to work with their partner, activity design and program their robotics creations and provide meaningful ideas and solutions for the challenges that are presented.    Failure to do so will result in a deduction of the student’s overall daily work grade.  

Technology-  Students are continually assessed throughout the course of each project.  Assignments are graded based on rubrics that are available upon request. 

Typical Grading Outline:

Day #1                   Sentence Stems                                               10 points

Day #2                   Vocabulary                                                          20 Points

Day #3                   Rough Drawings                                               20 Points (5 points per)

Day #4                   Final Drawing / Materials                           30 Points

Day #5-6              3D Modeling                                                       25 points

Day #7-12           Construction                                                      50 Points (10 per day)

Day #13                 Testing                                                                 25 Points (upon completion)

Day #14                 Reflection Modeling                                    25 Points

Day #15                 Written Reflections                                     10 Points

*** Please note that assigned values for each segment are subject to change. ***

Expectations

Expectations:

         Expectations for Robotics and Technology are very simple and all revolve around the principle of “Respect”.  If a student is respectful to those around them, the processes that are used, and the materials that are consumed in class, there should be no problems integrating into the learning environment.  Students are presented with the following Expectations on the first day of class:

1)      Respect yourself, those around you, and the process and materials that we use.
2)     Sit in you assigned seat.  Computers are assigned via the seating chart and likewise attendance is         taken this way  
3)     Work on your assigned computer, and only your assigned computer. 
4)     Use only the software and programs that you are instructed to use
5)     Log off your computer and clean up your work area when instructed (generally at the end of class)
6)     Keep voices levels no louder than “2”.  (Students should be familiar with this scale already)
7)     Stay in your seat until the bell rings
8)     Push in your chair before leaving class.

Food and Drink:

        Due the nature of the equipment that students use in class, it is requested that no food or drink be brought into the classroom.  Students are encourage to refrain from chewing gum in class as well.  

Pencils and Noteboks:

        In order for students to be successful in class, they are going to need to record their ideas on paper.  The easiest way to record these ideas with a pencil.  Pencils allow students the opportunity erase and make corrections.  Ink pens and markers do not allow for this flexibility.  It is recommended that students arrive to class each day with a pencil in hand.  A blank paper notebook is also recommended for the class, but is not mandatory.  Notebooks allow students the opportunity record and document ideas while not in class. 

 

Christopher Dehaan

Technology Education/Robotics
Phone: 517-333-7635

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