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 STEAM Education

Cubit Racer Kit

Racers in Motion Unit

Curriculum Guide

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Every aspect of Cubit is designed with education in mind because our curriculum is developed and used by teachers. Each unit is created, reviewed and revised based on real world classroom experience and best practices in STEAM education. We do the heavy lifting of creating formal lesson plans so you can focus your time on doing what you love - teaching.  

Each Cubit Curriculum Unit consists of a cohesive framework that allows students to unpack big ideas through a series of highly engaging lessons that are aligned to content standards.  The projects create the opportunity for students to explore key concepts through hands-on experiences, grapple with misconceptions, and develop a STEAM growth mindset through an infusion of design thinking elements that rewards creative risk taking.  

Cubit Curriculum is designed as a flexible, modular system so educators can choose which format works for their needs.  Cubit Curriculum Unit Plans include a PDF format for easy downloading and sharing, creating a compact layout to reduce printing demands and ensuring clear pictures when handouts are photocopied in black and white.  Unit plans are comprised of simple setup guides, detailed lessons along with at a glance guides, student worksheets, and specific Cubit Workshop plan files that can be used collectively or separately.


Racer Kit - Middle School

Racers in Motion Unit Plan

Table of Contents

Unit Standards Mapping        3

Unit Concept Connections        6

Unit Curriculum Thematic Framework        9

Lesson 1:  How Much Motion?        11

Standards and Conceptual Snapshot        11

Setup, Preparation and Clean Up        13

Lesson Detail        15

Understanding Frames of Reference Task Card        20

Exploring Forces Challenge Worksheet        21

Lesson 2:  Motion and Stability: When and Why Do Objects Change Velocity?        26

Standards and Conceptual Snapshot        26

Setup, Preparation and Clean Up        28

Lesson Detail        30

Push and Pull Challenge Task Card        34

Lesson 3:  Mass, Motion, and Designing the Forces Investigation        38

Standards and Conceptual Snapshot        38

Setup, Preparation and Clean Up        40

Lesson Detail        42

Mass and Friction Challenge Data Collection Sheet        46

Forces Investigation Planning Worksheet        47

Mass and Friction Challenge Task Card        49

Lesson 4:  The Forces Investigation        51

Standards and Conceptual Snapshot        51

Setup, Preparation and Clean Up        53

Lesson Detail        54

Lesson 5:  Designing Aerodynamic Racer        59

Standards and Conceptual Snapshot        59

Setup, Preparation and Clean Up        61

Lesson Detail        63

Aerodynamic Racer Net Force Worksheet and Data Table        68

Unit Standards Mapping

Unit Title  

Racers in Motion


Tags
:  Science, Engineering, Physical Science, Motion and Stability, Forces and Interactions, Middle School, NGSS

Cubit Kit:  Racer Car (Cubit, 2 DC Motors, Color LED Strip, Buzzer, IMU (Motion Sensor), Ultrasonic Distance Sensor)

Grade Level:  Middle School

Next Generation Science Standards

MS-PS2  Motion and Stability: Forces and Interactions

MS-PS2-2: Plan an investigation to provide evidence that the change in an object’s motion depends on the sum of the forces on the object and the mass of the object.

MS-ETS1 Engineering Design

MS-ETS1-1: Define the criteria and constraints of a design problem with sufficient precision to ensure a successful solution, taking into account relevant scientific principles and potential impacts on people and the natural environment that may limit possible solutions.

MS-ETS1-2: Evaluate competing design solutions using a systematic process to determine how well they meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.

MS-ETS1-3: Analyze data from tests to determine similarities and differences among several design solutions to identify the best characteristics of each that can be combined into a new solution to better meet the criteria for success.

NGSS Dimensions

Science and Engineering Practices

Disciplinary Core Ideas

Crosscutting Concepts  

Planning and Carrying Out Investigations

 Forces and Motion

Stability and Change

Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions

Defining and Delimiting Engineering Problems

Cause and Effect

Analyzing and Interpreting Data

Developing Possible Solutions

Structure and Function

Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating Information

Scale, Proportion, and Quantity

Engaging in Argument from Evidence

Influence of Science, Engineering, and Technology on Society and the Natural World

Using Mathematics and Computational Thinking

K-12 Computer Science Framework Standards:

Practices

Core Concepts

Crosscutting Concepts 

Collaborating Around Computing

Computing Systems
Devices

System Relationships

Recognizing and Defining Computational Problems

Computing Systems

Hardware and Software

Creating Computational Artifacts

Computing Systems

Troubleshooting

Testing and Refining Computational Artifacts

Data and Analysis

Collection

Algorithms and Programming
Algorithms

Algorithms and Programming
Control

Algorithms and Programming
Modularity

Algorithms and Programming

Program Development


Unit Concept Connections  

Unit Title  

Racers in Motion

Theme:  

How Can We Design A Self-Driving Robot?

Big Ideas:  

  1. Forces Cause the Motion of Objects to Change Velocity
  2. The Motion we Observe Depends on What We Compare It To
  3. The Direction and Strength of a Force Determines the Change in Motion
  4. Motion Occurs when One Force is Stronger Than its Opposing Force
  5. The Mass of an Object Determines How Much a Force can Change its Motion
  6. Many Forces Can Act on an Object at the Same Time
  7. The Sum of the Forces on an Object (Net Force) Determines The Motion We Observe

Essential Questions:

STEAM Components

Design Thinking Focus

Vocabulary Definitions

  1. Acceleration - (noun) The amount an object’s speed and direction (velocity) changes.
  2.  Average Speed - (noun) The speed in the middle of all the speeds traveled, computed by adding together speeds the object traveled and divided by the number of speeds added together. Average speed is the speed an object would have traveled if it traveled that distance in that time, but never changed speed.
  3.  Balanced Forces - (noun) Forces of equal strengths in opposite directions, resulting in no change in motion
  4. Force - (noun) A push or a pull that can cause a change in the motion of an object
  5. Friction - (noun) A force that occurs when two things move past each other and rub against each other
  6. Gravity - (noun) A force that pulls two objects towards each other without the objects touching. All things exert this force on other things, but it is usually not strong enough to notice unless unless a very large things (such as a whole planet) pulls on smaller things.
  7. Inertia -  (noun) The tendency for the motion of an object to not change. Moving objects keep moving in the same way after a force is applied, and stopped objects to stay stopped. Objects with more mass usually have greater inertia (objects with more mass take more force to start or stop moving).
  8. Instantaneous Speed - (noun) The speed of an object an exact moment.
  9. Mass - (noun) The amount of matter (stuff) in an object (not the same as weight, which is a measure of mass that also depends on gravity)
  10. Motion - (noun) A change in position of an object (observed from a reference point)
  11. Net Force - (noun) The sum of all of the forces acting on an object (all the forces added together)
  12. Newton’s 1st Law of Motion - (noun) If forces acting on an object are balanced, the object will continue what it is doing (stay at rest or stay in motion). Also known as the Law of Inertia.
  13. Reference Point - (noun)  An object or system of objects used to compare the observed motion of an object.
  14. Speed - (noun) How fast an object is moving (its rate of motion)
  15.  Unbalanced Force - (noun)  Forces of different strengths in opposite directions that cause the motion of an object to change
  16. Velocity - (noun)  How fast an object is moving and the direction of the object’s motion
  17. Weight - (noun) A measure of the gravitational force acting on an object. Objects with more mass have a greater weight.


Unit Curriculum Thematic Framework

Unit Title  

Racers in Motion

Theme:  

How Can We Design A Self-Driving Robot?

Conceptual Flows

Lesson 1 - How Much Motion?

Lesson 2 - Motion and Stability: When and Why Do Objects Change Velocity?

Lesson 3 - Mass, Motion, and Designing the Forces Investigation

Lesson 4 - The Forces Investigation

Lesson 5 - Designing Aerodynamic Racers

Lesson Duration:  60 minutes/lesson

Learning Objective:

  Students will be able to...

Connections

Vocabulary

Lesson 1

How Much Motion?

Consider and compare different frames of reference when describing an object’s motion

Use scientific language to characterize the motion of the Racer and other objects

Identify forces in collisions and from motors in Racer

Forces Cause the Motion of Objects to Change Velocity

The Motion we Observe Depends on What We Compare It To

Acceleration

Force

Inertia

Motion

Momentum

Point of Reference

Speed

Velocity

Lesson 2

Motion and Stability: When and Why Do Objects Change Velocity?

Explain that stronger forces cause a greater change in velocity

Construct a scenario in which force is being applied but there is no motion

Explain the concepts and terms “Balanced Forces” and “Unbalanced Forces”

The Direction and Strength of a Force Determines the Change in Motion

Balanced Forces

Newton’s First Law of Motion

Unbalanced Forces

Lesson 3

Mass, Motion, and Designing the Forces Investigation

Explain the difference between the force needed to push objects of different mass

Identify multiple forces acting on an object

Design an experiment to provide evidence that mass, direction, and strength of forces affect the motion of the Racer

The Mass of an Object Determines How Much a Force can Change The Object’s Motion

Many Forces Can Act on an Object at the Same Time

Mass

Weight

Friction

Gravity

Lesson 4

The Forces Investigation

Calculate and qualitatively describe the motion of an object given values for force strength and direction

Analyze data from the IMU (motion sensor) and use it as evidence for claims about the impact of different variables on the motion of the Racer.

Write or present an explanation of how their investigation demonstrates how forces and mass determine the observed motion of the Racer.

The Sum of the Forces on an Object Determines The Motion We Observe

Changes in Velocity can be Predicted by Considering All Forces Acting on an Object

Average Speed

Instantaneous Speed

Net Force

Lesson 5

Prototyping Aerodynamic Racers

Design and build a Racer hood modification

Create a diagram with labels and clear explanations of form and function

Understand and conduct product testing involving baseline (control) testing

Calculate the net force exerted on the Racer by summing opposing forces

Changes in Velocity can be Predicted by Considering All Forces Acting on an Object

The Sum of the Forces on an Object Determines The Motion We Observe

 

Average Speed

Instantaneous Speed

Net Force


Lesson 1:  How Much Motion?

Standards and Conceptual Snapshot


Unit Theme:  

How Can We Design A Self-Driving Worker Robot?

Big Ideas:  


Essential Question:  
How do pushes and pulls affect the motion of an object?


Learning Objectives - Students will be able to...

Design Thinking Connection:

Next Generation Science Standard:

MS-PS2  Motion and Stability: Forces and Interactions

MS-PS2-2: Plan an investigation to provide evidence that the change in an object’s motion depends on the sum of the forces on the object and the mass of the object.

Science and Engineering Practices

Disciplinary Core Ideas

Crosscutting Concepts  

Planning and Carrying Out Investigations

 Forces and Motion

Stability and Change

Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions

Scale, Proportion, and Quantity

Using Mathematics and Computational Thinking

K-12 Computer Science Framework Standards:

Practices

Core Concepts

Crosscutting Concepts 

Collaborating Around Computing

Computing Systems
Devices

System Relationships

Recognizing and Defining Computational Problems

Computing Systems

Hardware and Software

Creating Computational Artifacts

Algorithms and Programming
Modularity

Testing and Refining Computational Artifacts

Algorithms and Programming

Program Development

Important Terms:

  1. Acceleration
  2. Force
  3. Inertia
  4. Motion
  5. Momentum
  6. Point of Reference
  7. Speed
  8. Velocity


Lesson 1:  How Much Motion? 

Setup, Preparation and Clean Up

Materials:

Resources:

Preparation

  1. Obtain one cardboard cylinder per student group. Consider asking students to bring them from home, a few days in advance.
  2. Make copies of Frames of Reference Task Cards and Exploring Forces Worksheet, one per student group.
  3. Designate spaces for each group of students to test Racer plans (floor or large tables)
  4. Designate an area of floor to demonstrate the functionality of the Racer in the Warm-Up where all students can see it.
  5. Load the plan in Workshop for the Warm-up and test it on the demonstration surface.
  6. Adjust the Warm-Up Plan file to fit your surface by changing the motor speeds or length of time the motors run.


Agenda

  1. 5 min: Warm-up: Racer demonstration
  2. 5 min: Introduce the Unit Theme and Essential Questions
  3. 5 min: Introduction to Cubit Racers
  4. 10 min: Understanding Frames of Reference
  5. 30 min: Exploring Forces Challenge
  6. 5 min: Reflection on Big Ideas

Clean up

  1. Halt Program, Clear from Cubit, and Save Cubit Workshop Plan File to Drive (if desired)
  2. Disconnect from Cubit Controller and Exit Workshop
  3. Turn off or disconnect power
  4. Put away Racer Kit and Smartware  
  5. Return investigation materials
  6. If necessary, return 4 AA Batteries to the designated space for storage and charging


Lesson 1:  How Much Motion?   

Lesson Detail

Duration:  60 minutes

Essential Question:  How can we control changes to an object’s motion?


Learning Objectives:  

Common Misconceptions to Address

Differentiation


Activity 1

Warm-up: Racer Demonstration (5 min)

Activity 1 Brief

Demonstrate a Cubit Racer in action using the provided plan file. Solicit student ideas about programming and robotics.

Activity 1 Detail

  1. Place a Cubit Racer on the floor  in an open area where all students can see.
  1. Orient the Racer in the middle of the space.
  1. Load the Lesson 1 Warm-up plan file in Workshop.
  1. Motors: Ports 1 and 2
  2. LED Strip: Port 3
  1. Call students’ attention to the Racer and Launch the plan. Allow the Racer to run for several moments.
  2. Use the Stop button in Workshop to halt the Racer.
  3. Prompt students to discuss ideas.
  1. Ask volunteers to share out their ideas.

Activity 2

Introduce Unit Theme and Essential Questions (5 min)

Activity 2 Brief

Introduce the Theme of the unit. Pose the Lesson 1 Essential Questions.

Activity 2 Detail

  1. Tell students the unit Theme:  “How Can We Design A Self-Driving Worker Robot?” Say,
  1. Introduce the Lesson 1 Essential Questions.
  1. Transition to the Frames of Reference activity.

Activity 3

Introduction to Cubit Racers (5 min)

Activity 3 Brief

Set up Racers to prepare for the Exploring Forces Challenge.

Activity 3 Detail

  1. If necessary, provide extra time for students to assemble their Racers.
  2. If necessary, introduce students to the basics of using the Racer Car and Workshop. Say,
  1. Guide students through connecting to their Cubit controller.


 

Activity 4

Understanding Frames of Reference (10 min)

Activity 4 Brief

Students use the Frames of Reference Task Cards to observe the Racer’s motion from different perspectives. Introduce the idea of Frames of Reference.

Activity 4 Detail

  1. Distribute the Frames of Reference Task Card and prompt students to follow the steps on their task card with their group.
  2. Circulate to provide assistance.
  3. When there are 2 minutes left, ask students to volunteer their ideas on the phrase “frame of reference”. Convene the class on a definition as as a thing or system of objects that describe the motion of another thing by comparing the two.
  4. Ask students to consider the system of the Earth and the Sun. Tell students the speed of Earth’s orbit around the sun: approximately 30 km/second.
  5. Ask students how they would describe the motion of a stopped Racer within the frame of reference of the Earth’s motion around the Sun.

Activity 5

Exploring Forces Challenge (30 min)

Activity 5 Brief

Students set up starting and target zones for the Exploring Challenge, then program Racers to complete objectives on the Exploring Forces Challenge Worksheet.

Activity 5 Detail

  1. Explain the guidelines of the Exploring Forces Challenge.
  1. Distribute one Exploring Forces Worksheet, masking tape, and a cardboard cylinder to each group.
  2. Prompt students to mark their starting zone and target zones using the diagram as a model.
  3. Provide time for students to complete the challenges on the worksheet. Circulate to provide support and ask Questions for Understanding.
  4. Reserve time at the end to ask students to evaluate their success in meeting the challenge in their group, and discuss the idea of the Racer exerting a force on the cardboard cylinders.
  1. Use this discussion as an opportunity to address any misconceptions from students answers to the Questions for Understanding.
  2. Have students halt, save, and clear their Racer programs, return cardboard and tape, put away Racer kits

Activity 5 Questions for Understanding


Activity 6

Reflecting on Big Ideas (5 min)

Activity 6 Brief

Review Lesson 1 Big Ideas.

Activity 6 Detail

  1. Ask students to reflect on what they learned about the ideas of Force, Velocity, and Frames of Reference. Solicit 1-2 student volunteers.
  2. Introduce the Lesson’s Big Ideas and write them on the board.


Lesson 1:  How Much Motion? 

Understanding Frames of Reference Task Card

Goal:

Observe and describe the motion of the Racer from different frames of reference.

Different Frames of Reference

  1. Write a Workshop plan for your Racer to move forward in a straight line for at least 3 seconds, and then stop.
  2. Everyone observes the Racer complete its motion.
  3. Taking turns, allow each person on your team to observe the Racer in the following conditions:
  1. Walking/moving next to the Racer at the same speed.
  2. Walking/moving faster than the Racer.
  3. Walking/moving slower than the Racer.
  1. After each of your team members has made all three observations, discuss:
  1. Did the Racer move at the same speed each time?
  2. Did the Racer look like it was moving at the same speed each time?
  3. Why or why not?
  1. You have just experienced changes in your frame of reference. The word “frame” can mean a set of objects you think about at one time. What could the scientific term “frames of reference” mean? What changed each time you observed differences in how the Racer appeared to move?


Lesson 1:  How Much Motion? 

Exploring Forces Challenge Worksheet

Goal:

Program your Racer to move cardboard rollers into two zones, using different

Set up Challenge Course

  1. Set up your starting zone. Make sure your starting zone is at least twice the length of your Racer.
  2. Set up your target zones. One target zone should be further than the second target zone. Don’t put your target zones too close to your starting zone. Use the diagram below as an example.

  1. Measure the distances between each zone:

Complete Trial #1

Goal: Create a plan to move your roller into Target #1. You can program the Racer any way you’d like to achieve your goal.

  1. Include a stopwatch in your plan. You can find the Stopwatch block under Utilities → Time → Start Stopwatch.
  2. Before beginning the trial, launch your plan to test whether the Racer works as you expected. Revise your plan until it achieves your goal.
  3. Have one person watch the timer and write how much time it took for the roller to reach Target Zone A:

  1. Motor 1 Speed: _________________
  2. Motor 2 Speed: _________________
  3. Time to reach Target zone A: _____________ seconds
  4. Distance between the Starting Zone and Target Zone A _________________
  1. Use your answers from Step 4 to compute the velocity of the cardboard roller:
    __________________________in a _______________ direction
  1. Hint: velocity is speed plus direction. Units of speed are written as distance divided by time. This is also how you compute velocity.

Complete Trial #2

Goal: Create a plan to move your roller into Target A at a different velocity than in Trial #1. You can program the Racer any way you’d like to achieve your goal.

  1. Include a stopwatch in your plan. You can find the Stopwatch block under Utilities → Time → Start Stopwatch.
  2. Before beginning the trial, launch your plan to test whether the Racer works as you expected. Revise your plan until it achieves your goal.
  3. Have one person watch the timer and write how much time it took for the roller to reach Target Zone A:

  1. Motor 1 Speed: _________________
  2. Motor 2 Speed: _________________
  3. Time to reach Target zone A: _____________ seconds
  4. Distance between the Starting Zone and Target Zone A _________________
  1. Use your answers from Step 4 to compute the velocity of the cardboard roller:
    __________________________in a _______________ direction
  1. Hint: velocity is speed plus direction. Units of speed are written as distance divided by time. This is also how you compute velocity.
  1. How much did the velocity of your roller change? _______________________________
  2. Why did the roller’s velocity change? ________________________________________
    ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Complete Trial #3

Goal: Create a plan to move your roller into Target A, but the Racer cannot leave the starting zone..

  1. Include a stopwatch in your plan. You can find the Stopwatch block under Utilities → Time → Start Stopwatch.
  2. Before beginning the trial, launch your plan to test whether the Racer works as you expected. Revise your plan until it achieves your goal.
  3. Have one person watch the timer and write how much time it took for the roller to reach Target Zone A:

  1. Motor 1 Speed: _________________
  2. Motor 2 Speed: _________________
  3. Time to reach Target zone A: _____________ seconds
  4. Distance between the Starting Zone and Target Zone A _________________
  1. Use your answers from Step 4 to compute the velocity of the cardboard roller:
    __________________________in a _______________ direction
  1. Hint: velocity is speed plus direction. Units of speed are written as distance divided by time. This is also how you compute velocity.
  1. How much did the velocity of your roller change? _______________________________
  2. Why did the roller’s velocity change? ________________________________________
    ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Complete Trial #4

Goal: Create a plan to move your roller into Target Zone B, but the Racer still cannot leave the starting zone. You can program the Racer any way you’d like to achieve your goal.

  1. Include a stopwatch in your plan. You can find the Stopwatch block under Utilities → Time → Start Stopwatch.
  2. Before beginning the trial, launch your plan to test whether the Racer works as you expected. Revise your plan until it achieves your goal.
  3. Have one person watch the timer and write how much time it took for the roller to reach Target Zone B:

  1. Motor 1 Speed: _________________
  2. Motor 2 Speed: _________________
  3. Time to reach Target zone B: _____________ seconds
  4. Distance between the Starting Zone and Target Zone A _________________
  1. Use your answers from Step 4 to compute the velocity of the cardboard roller:
    __________________________in a _______________ direction
  1. Hint: velocity is speed plus direction. Units of speed are written as distance divided by time. This is also how you compute velocity.
  1. How much did the velocity of your roller change? _______________________________
  2. Why did the roller’s velocity change? ________________________________________
    ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Complete Trial #5

Goal: Create a plan to move your roller into Target B where the Racer does not leave the starting zone. Additionally, the roller must also move at almost the same velocity as in Trial #3 (when the Racer did not leave the Starting Zone, but pushed the roller into Target Zone A). In other words, program the Racer to push the roller to the further zone at the same velocity that it pushed it to the closer zone, without letting the Racer leave the Starting Zone.

  1. Include a stopwatch in your plan. You can find the Stopwatch block under Utilities → Time → Start Stopwatch.
  2. Before beginning the trial, launch your plan to test whether the Racer works as you expected. Revise your plan until it achieves your goal.
  3. Have one person watch the timer and write how much time it took for the roller to reach Target Zone B:

  1. Motor 1 Speed: _________________
  2. Motor 2 Speed: _________________
  3. Time to reach Target zone B: _____________ seconds
  4. Distance between the Starting Zone and Target Zone B _________________
  1. Use your answers from Step 4 to compute the velocity of the cardboard roller:
    __________________________in a _______________ direction
  1. Hint: velocity is speed plus direction. Units of speed are written as distance divided by time. This is also how you compute velocity.
  1. How much did the velocity of your roller change? _______________________________
  2. Why did the roller’s velocity change? ________________________________________
    ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


Lesson 2:  Motion and Stability: When and Why Do Objects Change Velocity?

Standards and Conceptual Snapshot


Unit Theme:  

How Can We Design A Self-Driving Worker Robot?

Big Ideas:  


Essential Questions:  


Learning Objectives - Students will be able to...

Design Thinking Connection:

Next Generation Science Standard:

MS-PS2  Motion and Stability: Forces and Interactions

MS-PS2-2: Plan an investigation to provide evidence that the change in an object’s motion depends on the sum of the forces on the object and the mass of the object.

Science and Engineering Practices

Disciplinary Core Ideas

Crosscutting Concepts  

Planning and Carrying Out Investigations

 Forces and Motion

Stability and Change

Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions

Scale, Proportion, and Quantity

K-12 Computer Science Framework Standards:

Practices

Core Concepts

Crosscutting Concepts 

Collaborating Around Computing

Computing Systems

Hardware and Software

System Relationships

Recognizing and Defining Computational Problems

Computing Systems

Troubleshooting

Testing and Refining Computational Artifacts

Algorithms and Programming
Algorithms

Algorithms and Programming

Program Development

Important Terms:

  1. Balanced Forces
  2. Newton’s First Law of Motion
  3. Unbalanced Forces


Lesson 2:  Motion and Stability: When and Why Do Objects Change Velocity? 

Setup, Preparation and Clean Up

Materials:

Resources:

Push and Pull Challenge Worksheet copymaster

Preparation before class:

  1. Make copies of Push and Pull Challenge Worksheets, one per pair of student groups.
  2. Designate spaces for each group of students to test Racer plans (floor or large tables)
  3. Write the following Warm-Up instructions on board or in a projection:
  1. “Why do the motors change the velocity of the Racer?”
  2. “Do the motors exert a force? How do you know?”
  3. “Do the motors exert a push or pull? Describe how they do or do not.”
  1. Optional: locate an online video of tug of war, in which there is motion (unbalanced forces) and no motion (balanced forces)

Agenda

  1. 5 min: Warm-up: Why do Motors Make the Racer Move?
  2. 5 min: Theme and Essential Questions
  3. 45 min: Push and Pull Challenges
  4. 5 min: Reflection on Big Ideas

Clean up

  1. Halt Program, Clear from Cubit, and Save Cubit Workshop Plan File to Drive (if desired)
  2. Disconnect from Cubit Controller and Exit Workshop
  3. Turn off or disconnect power
  4. Put away Racer Kit and Smartware
  5. Return investigation materials
  6. If necessary, return 4 AA Batteries to the designated space for storage and charging
  7. Put away Racer Kit and Smartware  
  8. Return investigation materials
  9. If necessary, return 4 AA Batteries to the designated space for storage and charging


Lesson 2:  Motion and Stability: When and Why Do Objects Change Velocity?   

Lesson Detail

Duration:  60 minutes

Essential Question:  


Learning Objectives:  

Agenda

  1. 5 min: Warm-up: Why do Motors Make the Racer Move?
  2. 5 min: Theme and Essential Questions
  3. 45 min: Push and Pull Challenges
  4. 5 min: Reflection on Big Ideas

Common Misconceptions to Address

Differentiation


Activity 1

Warm-up: Why do Motors Make the Racer Move? (5 min)

Activity 1 Brief

Students discuss whether and how motors exert forces.

Activity 1 Detail

  1. Direct students to discuss the questions on the board with their group.
  1. In the last 1-2 minutes, ask student volunteers to share highlights from their discussions.



Activity 2

Review Unit Theme and Essential Questions (5 min)

Activity 2 Brief

Introduce the Theme of the unit. Pose the Lesson 2 Essential Questions.

Activity 2 Detail

  1. Remind students of the unit Theme:  “How Can We Design A Self-Driving Worker Robot?” Say,
  1. Introduce the Lesson 2 Essential Questions.
  1. “Do forces of the same strength affect all objects the same way?”
  2. “How can a force act on an object without changing its motion?”
  1. Transition to the Push and Pull Challenge activity.


Activity 3

Push and Pull Challenge

Activity 3 Brief

Pairs of student groups work together complete the Push and Pull Challenges, in which one Racer exerts a balanced or unbalanced force on a second Racer.

Activity 3 Detail

  1. Direct students to join a second group so there are two Racers. If necessary, make a group of three Racers.
  2. Distribute the Push an
  3. Review the goals of the two challenges

Activity 3 Questions for Understanding


Activity 4

Reflecting on Big Ideas (5 min)

Activity 4 Brief

Review vocabulary “Balanced Forces” and “Unbalanced Forces”. Review Lesson 2 Big Ideas. Optional: show tug-of-war video.

Activity 4 Detail

  1. Ask students to think about the terms Balanced and Unbalanced Forces. Ask volunteers to share their ideas about how those terms apply to the investigation they just completed.
  2. Introduce the Lesson’s Big Ideas and write them on the board.
  1. Introduce Newton’s 1st Law of Motion:
  1. (optional) Show video of tug-of-war demonstrating balanced forces (from the internet) and discuss balanced versus unbalanced forces.


Lesson 2:  Motion and Stability: When and Why Do Objects Change Velocity?

Push and Pull Challenge Task Card

Challenge 1

Goal:

Work with another team to determine how much one Racer can change the speed of another Racer while both Racers are moving.

Push Challenge

Measure initial velocity

  1. Mark the starting line for your Racers. You will measure their velocity from this point.
  2. Write a Workshop plan for each Racer to move forward in a straight line for an amount of time.
  3. Add a stopwatch to your plan. You can find the Stopwatch block under Utilities → Time → Start Stopwatch.
  4. Calibrate the two Racers so they move at the same velocity (move the same amount of distance in the same amount of time). Use the stopwatch and measure the distance traveled to compute the velocity. Adjust each Racer’s workshop plan until the two move at the same velocity. DO NOT CONTINUE until they both move at the same velocity.
  1. Initial velocity and motor speeds:
    (Hint: measure your velocity in centimeters per second, and specify the direction.)

Trial #1: Push with Same Starting Velocity

  1. Position one Racer in front of the other Racer. The Back Racer will push the Front Racer. Do not change your Workshop Plan
  2. Hit Launch and measure each Racer’s velocity while the Back Racer pushes the Front Racer.
  1. How did the velocities of the two Racers change from the initial velocity?
  2. Why did this happen? Use the term “force” in your explanation. ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Trial #2: Small Difference in Starting Velocity

  1. Position one Racer in front of the other Racer. The Back Racer will push the Front Racer while the Front Racer is moving.
  2. Revise your Workshop Plan so there is a small difference in the starting velocities.
  3. Prepare to measure the velocity of the two Racers.
  4. Hit Launch so both Racers move forward at the same time. Measure each Racer’s velocity and record their motor speeds:
  1. How did the velocities of the two Racers change from the initial velocity?
  2. Why did this happen? Use the term “force” in your explanation. ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Trial #3: Large Difference in Starting Velocity

  1. Position one Racer in front of the other Racer. The Back Racer will push the Front Racer while the Front Racer is moving.
  2. Revise your Workshop Plan so there is a large difference in the starting velocities.
  3. Prepare to measure the velocity of the two Racers.
  4. Hit Launch so both Racers move forward at the same time. Measure each Racer’s velocity and record their motor speeds:
  1. How did the velocities of the two Racers change from the initial velocity?
  2. Why did this happen? Use the term “force” in your explanation. ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Challenge 2

Goal:

Program Racers to exert different strengths of force on each other through a pull.

Pull Challenge

  1. Position the Racers so they are facing away from each other.
  2. Tape a pen so that each end is securely taped to the back of the each Racer chassis. The two Racers should be connected to the pen.
  3. Write a Workshop plan to achieve the following objectives:
  1. The Racers pull on each other, but only one Racer’s wheels spin
  2. The Racers pull on each other, but neither Racer’s wheels spin
  1. Describe the forces that were acting on each Racer when only one Racer’s wheels spun.

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  1. Describe the forces that were acting on each Racer when neither Racer’s wheels spun.  

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


Lesson 3:  Mass, Motion, and Designing the Forces Investigation

Standards and Conceptual Snapshot


Unit Theme:  

How Can We Design A Self-Driving Worker Robot?

Big Ideas:  


Essential Question:  


Learning Objectives - Students will be able to...

Design Thinking Connection:

Next Generation Science Standard:

MS-PS2  Motion and Stability: Forces and Interactions

MS-PS2-2: Plan an investigation to provide evidence that the change in an object’s motion depends on the sum of the forces on the object and the mass of the object.

MS-ETS1 Engineering Design

MS-ETS1-1: Define the criteria and constraints of a design problem with sufficient precision to ensure a successful solution, taking into account relevant scientific principles and potential impacts on people and the natural environment that may limit possible solutions.

Science and Engineering Practices

Disciplinary Core Ideas

Crosscutting Concepts  

Planning and Carrying Out Investigations

 Forces and Motion

Stability and Change

Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions

Defining and Delimiting Engineering Problems

K-12 Computer Science Framework Standards:

Practices

Core Concepts

Crosscutting Concepts 

Collaborating Around Computing

Computing Systems

Hardware and Software

System Relationships

Recognizing and Defining Computational Problems

Computing Systems

Troubleshooting

Testing and Refining Computational Artifacts

Algorithms and Programming
Algorithms

Algorithms and Programming

Program Development

Important Terms:

  1. Mass
  2. Weight
  3. Friction
  4. Gravity


Lesson 3:  Mass, Motion, and Designing the Forces Investigation

Setup, Preparation and Clean Up

Materials:

Resources:

Mass and Friction Challenge Task Card copymaster

Mass and Friction Challenge Data Collection Worksheet copymaster

Forces Investigation Planning Worksheet copymaster

Preparation before class:

  1. Obtain cardboard. Find corrugated cardboard if possible.
  2. If possible, locate a video of astronauts in zero gravity for the Warm-up discussion.
  3. Designate spaces for each group of students to test Racer plans (floor or large tables)
  4. Select objects to demonstrate mass -- refer to materials list for specifications.
  5. Identify a folder or other location to keep students’ Forces Investigation planning worksheets.

Agenda

  1. 5 min: Warm-up: Gravity is a Force
  2. 5 min: Theme and Essential Questions
  3. 25 min: Mass and Friction Challenge
  4. 5 min: Reflection on Big Ideas
  5. 20 min: Designing the Forces Investigation

Clean up

  1. Halt Program, Clear from Cubit, and Save Cubit Workshop Plan File to Drive (if desired)
  2. Disconnect from Cubit Controller and Exit Workshop
  3. Turn off or disconnect power
  4. Put away Racer Kit and Smartware
  5. Return investigation materials

If necessary, return 4 AA Batteries to the designated space for storage and charging


Lesson 3:  Mass, Motion, and Designing the Forces Investigation   

Lesson Detail

Duration:  60 minutes

Essential Question:  


Learning Objectives:  

Agenda

  1. 5 min: Warm-up: Gravity is a Force
  2. 5 min: Theme and Essential Questions
  3. 25 min: Mass and Friction Challenge
  4. 5 min: Reflection on Big Ideas
  5. 20 min: Designing the Forces Investigation

Common Misconceptions to Address

Differentiation


Activity 1

Warm-up: Gravity is a Force (5 min)

Activity 1 Brief

Students discuss gravity.

Activity 1 Detail

  1. Solicit student ideas about gravity and its relation to forces.
  1. Ask students what kinds of forces are acting on people in zero gravity.
  1. Identify a small object and drop it. Ask,
  1. Introduce the idea of multiple forces acting on an object. Say,

Activity 2

Review Unit Theme and Essential Questions (5 min)

Activity 2 Brief

Remind students of the Theme of the unit. Pose the Lesson 3 Essential Questions.

Activity 2 Detail

  1. Remind students of the unit Theme:  “How Can We Design A Self-Driving Worker Robot?” Say,
  1. Introduce the Lesson 3 Essential Questions.
  1. “Do forces of the same strength affect all objects the same way?”
  2. “What happens when more than one force acts on an object?”
  1. Transition to the Mass and Friction activity.

Activity 3

Mass and Friction Challenge (25 min)

Activity 3 Brief

Student groups complete the Mass and Friction Challenge using Worksheets and Data Collection Sheets.

Activity 3 Detail

  1. Distribute a copy of the Mass and Friction Challenge Worksheet to each group.
  2. Review the goal of the challenge:
  1. Distribute cardboard, paper, and tape.
  2. Provide time for students to complete the challenge. Circulate to provide assistance and ask Questions for Understanding.

Activity 3 Questions for Understanding


Activity 4

Reflecting on Big Ideas (5 min)

Activity 4 Brief

Review Lesson 3 Big Ideas.

Activity 4 Detail

  1. Ask students volunteers to share what they learned about how mass affects the amount of force needed to move an object at a given velocity.
  2. Ask students volunteers to share what they learned about how the amount of friction on a surface affects the amount of force needed to move an object at a given velocity.
  3. Ask whether or not friction is a force. Accept all student ideas.
  4. Introduce the Lesson’s Big Ideas and write them on the board.
  1. Transition to the Forces Investigation

Activity 5

Designing the Forces Investigation (20 min)

Activity 5 Brief

Students begin planning their Forces Investigation on the Forces Investigation Worksheet.

Activity 5 Detail

  1. Introduce the Forces Investigation.
  1. Provide students time to design their Forces Investigation Worksheets.
  2. At the end of the lesson, collect Forces Investigation Worksheets and store for the next lesson.


Lesson 3:  Mass, Motion, and Designing the Forces Investigation

Mass and Friction Challenge Data Collection Sheet

Goal

Program the Racer so it pushes each object at a target velocity.

Steps

  1. Set your Target Velocity as the velocity of the object in your first trial. Write your Target Velocity in the space below.
  2. Run the trials, revising your programs as needed until your Racer moves the object at the Target Velocity.
  3. When your Racer moves the object at the Target Velocity, record the motor speeds in the table below, for each trial.

The Length of our Low-Friction Surface is: _______________________

The Length of our High-Friction Surface is: _______________________

Our Target Velocity is: _____________________________

(don’t forget units of velocity!)

Low-Friction Surface

High-Friction Surface

Low-Mass Object

Trial 1

Motor Speed at
Target Velocity:

Motor Speed at
Target Velocity:

Trial 2

Motor Speed at
Target Velocity:

Motor Speed at
Target Velocity:

High-Mass Object

Trial 3

Motor Speed at
Target Velocity:

Motor Speed at
Target Velocity:

Trial 4

Motor Speed at
Target Velocity:

Motor Speed at
Target Velocity:

Lesson 3:  Mass, Motion, and Designing the Forces Investigation

Forces Investigation Planning Worksheet

Goal:

Provide evidence that the change in an object’s motion depends on all the forces on the object and the mass of the object. Program a sequence

Investigation Criteria

Your investigation demonstration must…

  1. Include an example of unbalanced forces.
  2. Include an example of balanced forces
  3. Show the relationship between mass and an object’s velocity when force is applied.
  4. Use data from the IMU (motion sensor) to provide evidence
  5. Include a control trial.
  6. Bonus: Design your investigation so the Racer could serve a useful purpose as a “Worker Robot”.

Part 1: Planning the Forces Investigation

Use the Investigation Criteria above to design an investigation that will demonstrate what you have learned about force, mass, and motion. Write your ideas in the space below. Think of what materials you will use, and how you will design your Workshop plan.

If needed, continue your planning on the next page.

Part 1: Planning the Forces Investigation (continued)

If needed, continue planning your Forces Investigation below.


Lesson 3:  Mass, Motion, and Designing the Forces Investigation

Mass and Friction Challenge Task Card

Challenge 1

Goal:

Use the Racer to make objects with different mass move at the same velocity on surfaces with different amounts of friction.

Prepare for the Challenge.

  1. You should have several pieces of paper. Tape the pieces of paper together in a line. This is one of your surfaces.
  2. You should have a piece of cardboard. If it is smooth, fold it up and down so it has a bumpy texture when placed on the floor or table. This is your second surface.
  3. Measure the length of each surface. Record this on the table in your Data Collection Sheet. You will use this to compute the Racer’s velocity.
  4. You should have two objects of different mass. For each trial, you will place each object inside the box, or on top of the piece of cardboard.

Conduct Low-Mass Trial #1

  1. Write a Workshop plan that will make your Racer move forward in a straight line until it reaches the end of your test surface, either forward or backward.
  2. Add a stopwatch to your plan. You can find the Stopwatch block under Utilities → Time → Start Stopwatch.
  3. Set up the low-friction surface and measure its length. Record this on the table in your Data Collection Sheet. You will use this to compute the Racer’s velocity.
  4. Position the Racer at one end of the surface.
  5. Place the low-mass object in the box and put it directly in front of the Racer.
  6. Prepare to observe the stopwatch.
  7. Launch your plan and use the stopwatch to help you compute the velocity of the low-mass object.
  8. This is your target velocity for this investigation. You will try to make the objects move at this same speed in all of the next trials.
  9. Write down this velocity at the top of your Data Collection Sheet. Don’t forget units!
  10. Record the motor speed you used in the table on the Data Collection Sheet.

Conduct Low-Mass Trial #2

  1. You will be trying to make the same low-mass object move at the target velocity (same as in the last trial), but on the high-friction surface.
  2. Set up the high-friction surface.
  3. Position the Racer at one end of the surface and put the low-mass object directly in front of the Racer, as in the previous trial.
  4. Prepare to observe the stopwatch.
  5. Launch your plan and use the stopwatch and the length of your surface to help you compute the velocity of the low-mass object.
  6. Is the velocity the same as your target velocity from the previous low-mass trial? If not, revise your Workshop plan until it moves at approximately the same velocity.
  7. When it reaches the target velocity, record the motor speed you used on the Data Collection Sheet.

Conduct High-Mass Trial #1

  1. You will be trying to make the high-mass object move at the target velocity (same as in the last two trial), on the low-friction surface.
  2. Set up the low-friction surface and position the Racer at one end of the surface.
  3. Place the high-mass object in the box and place it directly in front of the Racer.
  4. Prepare to observe the stopwatch.
  5. Launch your plan and use the stopwatch and the length of your surface to help you compute the velocity of the high-mass object.
  6. Is the velocity the same as your target velocity from the low-mass trials? If not, revise your Workshop plan until it moves at approximately the same velocity.
  7. When it reaches the target velocity, record the motor speed you used on the Data Collection Sheet.

Conduct High-Mass Trial #2

  1. You will be trying to make the high-mass object move at the target velocity (same as in the last two trial), but on the high-friction surface.
  2. Set up the high-friction surface and position the Racer at one end of the surface.
  3. Place the high-mass object in the box directly in front of the Racer.
  4. Prepare to observe the stopwatch.
  5. Launch your plan and use the stopwatch and the length of your surface to help you compute the velocity of the high-mass object.
  6. Is the velocity the same as your target velocity from the low-mass trials? If not, revise your Workshop plan until it moves at approximately the same velocity.
  7. When it reaches the target velocity, record the motor speed you used on the Data Collection Sheet.


Lesson 4:  The Forces Investigation

Standards and Conceptual Snapshot


Unit Theme:  

How Can We Design An Self-Driving Worker Robot?

Big Ideas:  


Essential Questions:  


Learning Objectives - Students will be able to...

Design Thinking Connection:

Next Generation Science Standard:

MS-PS2  Motion and Stability: Forces and Interactions

MS-PS2-2: Plan an investigation to provide evidence that the change in an object’s motion depends on the sum of the forces on the object and the mass of the object.

MS-ETS1 Engineering Design

MS-ETS1-1: Define the criteria and constraints of a design problem with sufficient precision to ensure a successful solution, taking into account relevant scientific principles and potential impacts on people and the natural environment that may limit possible solutions.

Science and Engineering Practices

Disciplinary Core Ideas

Crosscutting Concepts  

Planning and Carrying Out Investigations

 Forces and Motion

Stability and Change

Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions

Defining and Delimiting Engineering Problems

Scale, Proportion, and Quantity

Analyzing and Interpreting Data

Structure and Function

Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information

Using Mathematics and Computational Thinking

Engaging in Argument from Evidence

K-12 Computer Science Framework Standards:

Practices

Core Concepts

Crosscutting Concepts 

Collaborating Around Computing

Computing Systems

Hardware and Software

System Relationships

Creating Computational Artifacts

Computing Systems

Troubleshooting

Testing and Refining Computational Artifacts

Data and Analysis

Collection

Algorithms and Programming
Algorithms

Algorithms and Programming
Control

Algorithms and Programming

Program Development

Important Terms:

  1. Average Speed
  2. Instantaneous Speed
  3. Net Force


Lesson 4:  The Forces Investigation

Setup, Preparation and Clean Up

Materials:

Preparation before class:

  1. Designate spaces for each group of students to test Racer plans (floor or large tables)
  2. Read through the Warm-Up IMU explanation to prepare to field student questions.
  3. Become familiar with how to take screenshots on student devices.
  1. Know the keystroke students must use, and where the screenshot is saved. An internet search may be helpful for details.
  1. Design a plan file to record IMU data from the Racer for X and Y Acceleration:
  1. Create a plan to drive a Racer forward for
  2. Log the IMU data using the “Get IMU Data” and “Log Values over Time” blocks
  3. Run the plan to record data, and take a screenshot of graphs

Agenda

  1. 10 min: Warm-up: Interpreting IMU data
  2. 5 min: Theme and Essential Questions
  3. 30 min: Conducting the Forces Investigation
  4. 15 min: Supporting Force and Mass Arguments with Data Evidence

Clean up

  1. Halt Program, Clear from Cubit, and Save Cubit Workshop Plan File to Drive (if desired)
  2. Disconnect from Cubit Controller and Exit Workshop
  3. Turn off or disconnect power
  4. Put away Racer Kit and Smartware
  5. Return investigation materials
  6. If necessary, return 4 AA Batteries to the designated space for storage and charging

Lesson 4:  The Forces Investigation   

Lesson Detail

Duration:  60 minutes

Essential Questions:  


Learning Objectives:  

Agenda

  1. 10 min: Warm-up: Interpreting IMU data
  2. 5 min: Theme and Essential Questions
  3. 30 min: Conducting the Forces Investigation
  4. 15 min: Supporting Force and Mass Arguments with Data Evidence

Common Misconceptions to Address

Differentiation


Activity 1

Warm-up: Interpreting IMU Data (5 min)

Activity 1 Brief

Students learn how the IMU motion sensor works and review how to read graphs and the graph output in Workshop.



Activity 1 Detail

  1. Project the screenshot of IMU data prepared before the lesson, and guide students through interpreting the graphs.
  1. The horizontal line is called the X-axis, and it shows time
  2. Data is plotted along the vertical Y-axis
  3. The red line graphs the speed change data along the Y-axis, which is vertical
  4. Positive Y values (above the X-axis) indicate an increase in speed in that direction, negative Y-values indicate a decrease in speed in that direction
  1. Check for understanding. Ask:
  1. Project Workshop and review how to get IMU data. Place a Get IMU Data block. Say,
  1. “The Get IMU Data block lets you choose which data to send to the Log Values Over Time, which will then graph that data.”
  2. “The IMU makes three types of measurements: the position of the IMU in space (Gyro), the change in the IMU’s speed (Acceleration), and the strength of magnetic fields around the IMU (Magnetometer). You will only be gathering Acceleration data, because the change in speed can tell us about the Racer’s velocity.”
  3. “The Accelerometer of the IMU can tell you the change of speed in three directions. If the wire port on the IMU is on the side closest to the back of the Racer...
  1. Review how to log data from the IMU using the Log Values Over Time block. Place a Log Values Over Time block in Workshop. Say,
  1. “Connect the two blocks with a purple wire. Use a blue wire to tell the Log Values Over Time block which data you want to graph. Connect the type of Accelerometer Data to the Y-Value line on the logging block.
  2. “If you want to graph more than one type of data from the IMU, press the + button next to the Y Value data pin on the Log Values Over Time block. This adds another Y Value line in a different color.”
  1. “The Log Values block will only graph a line if the Get IMU Data block keeps sending it data over and over again. So, you need to connect the purple output wire to the “Get” input pin of the Get IMU Data block.”


Activity 2

Theme and Essential Questions (5 min)

Activity 2 Brief

Remind students of the Theme of the unit. Pose the Lesson 4 Essential Questions.

Activity 2 Detail

  1. Remind students of the unit Theme:  “How Can We Design An Self-Driving Worker Robot?” Say,
  1. Introduce the Lesson 4 Essential Questions.
  1. “What evidence shows how forces affect velocity?”
  2. “How can we figure out how much a force affects an object’s velocity?”
  1. Transition to Forces Investigation

Activity 3

Conduct the Forces Investigation (30 min)

Activity 3 Brief

Student groups implement their plans for the Forces Investigation

Activity 3 Detail

  1. Prepare students to conduct the Forces Investigation.
  1. Explain how students will screenshot their data evidence so they can present later. Say,
  1. Distribute students’ completed Forces Investigation Planning sheets from the previous lesson.
  2. Make the objects of different mass available to students.
  3. Students complete their planned investigation
  4. Circulate to provide assistance as necessary and ask Questions for Understanding.

Activity 4 Questions for Understanding


Activity 4

Supporting Force and Mass Arguments with Data Evidence (15 min)

Activity 4 Brief

Students engage in the practice of argumentation to present their investigations as evidence of force and motion concepts to another group

Activity 4 Detail

  1. Introduce the presentation activity.
  1. Allow 5 minutes for groups to decide their claim and interpret their evidence.
  1. Direct students to pair with another group and decide which group will present first.
  2. Allow 5 minutes for the first group to present, then ask groups to switch.


Lesson 5:  Designing Aerodynamic Racer

Standards and Conceptual Snapshot


Unit Theme:  

How Can We Design An Self-Driving Worker Robot?

Big Ideas:  


Essential Questions:  


Learning Objectives - Students will be able to...

Design Thinking Connection:

Next Generation Science Standard:

MS-PS2  Motion and Stability: Forces and Interactions

MS-PS2-2: Plan an investigation to provide evidence that the change in an object’s motion depends on the sum of the forces on the object and the mass of the object.

MS-ETS1 Engineering Design

MS-ETS1-1: Define the criteria and constraints of a design problem with sufficient precision to ensure a successful solution, taking into account relevant scientific principles and potential impacts on people and the natural environment that may limit possible solutions.

MS-ETS1-2: Evaluate competing design solutions using a systematic process to determine how well they meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.

MS-ETS1-3: Analyze data from tests to determine similarities and differences among several design solutions to identify the best characteristics of each that can be combined into a new solution to better meet the criteria for success.

Science and Engineering Practices

Disciplinary Core Ideas

Crosscutting Concepts  

Defining Problems

 Forces and Motion

Stability and Change

Designing Solutions

Form and Function

K-12 Computer Science Framework Standards:

Practices

Core Concepts

Crosscutting Concepts 

Collaborating Around Computing

Computing Systems

Hardware and Software

System Relationships

Recognizing and Defining Computational Problems

Computing Systems

Troubleshooting

Creating Computational Artifacts

Algorithms and Programming
Algorithms

Testing and Refining Computational Artifacts

Algorithms and Programming

Program Development

Important Terms:

  1. Average Speed
  2. Instantaneous Speed
  3. Net Force


Lesson 5:  Designing Aerodynamic Racers

Setup, Preparation and Clean Up

Materials:

Resources:

Net Force Student Worksheet copymaster

Preparation before class:

  1. Designate spaces for each group of students to test Racer plans (floor or large tables)
  2. Identify and gather materials for students to use in building designs
  1. Obtain a fan
  1. Designate a common space to conduct testing with the fan
  2. Make copies of the Net Force Worksheet and Data Tables for each group
  3. Draw aerodynamic vehicle diagrams with wind flow lines on the board

Agenda

  1. 5 min: Air as a Force In Vehicle Design
  2. 15 min: Measuring baseline speed and drafting designs
  3. 40 min: Building Prototypes and Computing Net Force

Clean up

  1. Halt Program, Clear from Cubit, and Save Cubit Workshop Plan File to Drive (if desired)
  2. Disconnect from Cubit Controller and Exit Workshop
  3. Turn off or disconnect power
  4. Put away Racer Kit and Smartware
  5. Return, recycle, or dispose of building materials (depending on the extent to which students modify materials)
  6. If necessary, return 4 AA Batteries to the designated space for storage and charging


Lesson 5:  Designing Aerodynamic Racers

Lesson Detail

Duration:  60 minutes

Essential Questions:  


Learning Objectives:

Agenda

  1. 5 min: Warm-Up: Air as a Force In Vehicle Design
  2. 15 min: Measuring baseline speed and drafting designs
  3. 40 min: Building Prototypes and Computing Net Force

Common Misconceptions to Address

Differentiation


Activity 1

Warm-up: Air as a Force In Vehicle Design (5 min)

Activity 1 Brief

Students think about air as matter that can exert force, and consider the utility of flow lines in diagrams of aerodynamic designs.

Activity 1 Detail

  1. Discuss aerodynamic car diagrams.
  1. Focus on airflow and dispel misconception that air does not have mass.
  1. Remind students of the Unit Theme:  “How Can We Design An Self-Driving Worker Robot?
  2. Introduce the Essential Question: “How can we create designs that will respond to forces in specific ways?”
  1. Introduce the design challenge and guide students to think about airflow lines as a way to think about forces on the car.


Activity 2

Measuring Baseline Speed and Drafting Designs (15 min)

Activity 2 Brief

Student groups conduct baseline testing of the Racer’s velocity in wind conditions, prior to adding hood modifications. Other groups plan and draft design diagrams of their Racer modifications in preparation for prototyping.

Activity 2 Detail

  1. Prepare students for the baseline speed activity.
  1. Students create their Workshop plan. Set up the fan so it points low enough to push a Racer, and mark a starting point with masking tape.
  2. Distribute Data Collection Sheets.
  3. Identify the first group that finishes and call them up for the with-wind test. Mark their starting point, launch the plan while the wind is on at maximum speed. Mark their ending point and measure it for students to record on their Data Collection sheets.
  4. Call up groups.
  5. When you get the first “Finished!” note, call the class’ attention and prepare students for the design drafting activity. It is not necessary to wait for all groups to finish.
  1. Students brainstorm. Continue calling up groups for with-wind baseline testing. Use remaining time to allow students to make sufficient progress on their diagrams, then introduce the next activity; not all groups need to finish before moving on.

Activity 3

Building Prototypes and Computing Net Force (40 min)

Activity 3 Brief

Student groups implement their plans to build prototypes, and begin computing the net force on their Racer modification.

Activity 3 Detail

  1. Direct students’ attention to the materials and introduce testing logistics
  1. Ensure building materials are available. Students begin building.
  2. When you get the first “Finished!” note, review the students’ diagram and prompt them to explain their design. For each group,
  1. When all groups have moved on to the worksheets, circulate to provide support. If many groups are struggling with the math, call the class’ attention to provide support to all groups at once by soliciting and answering individual questions.
  2. During the last few moments of class, congratulate students on their prototyping efforts.

Activity 3 Questions for Understanding


Lesson 5:  Designing Aerodynamic Racers

Aerodynamic Racer Net Force Worksheet and Data Table

Write a simple Workshop program to drive your Racer for several seconds. Answer the questions below, then fill out the data collection table as you conduct your tests.

Velocity of Racer

Racer with
no hood prototype

Racer with
hood prototype added

No

Wind

Trial 1

Trial 2

Average

With

Wind

Trial 1

Trial 2

Average

Remember: to find an average, add the two numbers in each column together,
Then divide by 2 (the number of numbers you are averaging)

Positive and Negative Forces

More than one force can act on something at the same time. Think about the last time you tried to walk against a strong wind. Your legs pushed you forward (a positive amount of force), and the wind pushed you backward (a negative amount of force, relative to the other force). You move forward if the positive force from your legs was greater than the negative force of the wind. The difference is the net force: the total amount of force that makes you move at the velocity you do. We find net force by adding together the positive and negative forces on a moving thing.

Is there such a thing as a negative force? Not really, when we think of a single force by itself. We can think of all forces as positive on their own, but when we think of multiple forces acting on the same object, we can represent opposing forces as positive and negative numbers, to show that they oppose one another. This means that when all the forces are added together, we get a number that accounts for the opposing forces. This is a way to show mathematically that when equal forces are directly opposed to each other, the object does not change velocity; that is, when equal forces, one negative and one positive, are added together, the positive and negative cancel out and the net force equals 0.

Measuring Net Force on Aerodynamic Racer Prototypes

When you program the Racer, its “speed” is actually a measure of how strong the motors are pushing the wheels (this is why Workspace does not show a speed unit like kilometers per hour). We will call this number the Racer’s “Racer Force”. Because we can’t measure the force of the wind, we will also use “Racer Forces” to measure the strength of the wind’s force.

Determining your “Racer Force”

  1. What speed did you set for the motors of your wheels? _____________________
  1. We will call this a unit of measurement called your “Racer Force”. We are calling it a force because the number on the Workshop motor blocks is a measure of the strength of the motors -- the force they use to push the wheels. We will measure the force of the wind in terms of “Racer Forces”, since we cannot use other ways of measuring force in the classroom.

Determining How Racer Force Contributes to Speed

  1. Before you added the hood prototype to your Racer, what was your average velocity when you ran your baseline trial with no wind?______________________________ (don’t forget your units!)
  2. You can determine how much each unit of Racer Force affects the velocity of your Racer by dividing the velocity by the Racer Force.
  3. Divide no-wind baseline average (step 1) by your Racer Force (from the previous section). Write your answer here: ______________________________________
  1. This represents 1 unit of Racer Force. It uses the same units of velocity you used before in Step 1.
  2. Every time you add one more unit of Racer Force, the velocity will increase by this amount.


Determining the Force of the Test Wind

  1. Before you added the hood prototype to your Racer, what was your average velocity when you ran your baseline trial with wind?______________________________ (don’t forget your units!)
  2. Subtract this number from the velocity of the Racer in your no-wind trial. Write your answer here: ______________________________________(don’t forget units)
  1. We will call this the Windspeed. This is the difference in velocity between the two trials. This represents how much the wind affected the speed of your Racer.
  1. Divide the Windspeed by the velocity of 1 Racer Force.
  1. Write your answer here: ________________________ (in units of Racer Forces)
  2. This is the amount of force the wind exerts on the Racer, in terms of Racer Forces.
  3. In English we could say, “How many Racer Forces would we get if we divided the Windspeed into increments of velocity that are the same amount as 1 Racer Force?”

Determining How the Prototype Changes Forces on the Racer

  1. Now let’s determine how much additional force the wind exerts on the Racer with your Hood prototype added.
  2. After you added your prototype to your Racer, what was your average velocity when you ran your trial with wind?______________________________ (don’t forget your units!)
  3. Subtract this number from the velocity of the Racer in your no-hood wind trial. This is the difference with and without your prototype. Write your answer here: ______________________________________(don’t forget units)
  1. We will call this the Force Added. This is the difference in velocity between the hood and no-hood trials. This represents how much the addition of the hood affected the speed of your Racer in the wind.
  1. Divide the difference in velocity by the velocity of 1 Racer Force.
  1. Write your answer here: ________________________ (in units of Racer Forces)
  2. This is the additional amount of force the wind exerts on the Racer with the hood, in terms of Racer Forces.
  3. In English we could say, “How many Racer Forces would we get if we divided the Force Added into increments of velocity that are the same amount as 1 Racer Force?”