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Lesson Title: Robotics - Hands Down!
May 11, 2012

Unit: Engineering - Robotics

Grade Levels: 7-9

Connection To Curriculum: Science and Technology

Teacher Prep Time: 20 minutes

Lesson Time Needed: 3 hours

Complexity Basic

Keywords: pick up, grab, space station, glove


Narrow rubberbands
Drinking straws
Nylon cord
Centimeter ruler
Drawing compass
Colored pencils
Styrofoam coffee cups (2 each) 6 ounces
12-cm pieces string (1 each)
Cellophane tape
Plastic picnic knives (serrated)

This lesson includes a series of activities that are based on robotics applications.

Students will:
• Explain how the end effectors for the robotic arms used on the space shuttle and the International Space Station work.
• Design and construct a grapple fixture that will enable the end effector to pick up an object.
• Describe how artificial intelligence allows robots to behave more like humans.
• Provide examples of real-world applications of robotics.

First page of Robotics - Hands Down!

Lesson Guide
Robotics Hands Down Lesson
[109KB PDF file]



Professional Development Training Module for This Lesson

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› Robots at NASA Making the Connection training module  →
Note: Module may take a few minutes to load.
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› I Want to Hold Your Hand training module  →
Note: Module may take a few minutes to load.
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› Help me! I can't see the training module.

Lesson Activities and Sequence

  1. End Effector
    Students will learn how the end effectors works in the robotic arms used onboard the space shuttle and the International Space Station. Students will design and construct a grapple fixture that will enable the end effector to pick up object.
    Keywords: crane, grab

  2. I Want To Hold Your Hand
    Students will construct a robotic, human-like hand and demonstrate how grasping occurs.
    Keywords: cardboard, fingers, glove, robotic

National Standards:

National Science Education Standards, NSTA
Science as Inquiry
• Understanding of scientific concepts.
• An appreciation of "how we know" what we know in science.
• Understanding of the nature of science.
• Skills necessary to become independent inquirers about the natural world.
• Dispositions to use the skills, abilities and attitudes associated with science.
Science and Technology
• Abilities of technological design.
• Understanding about science and technology.
Science in Personal and Social Perspectives
• Personal health.
• Risks and benefits.
• Science and technology in society.
History and Nature of Science
• Science as a human endeavor.
• Nature of scientific knowledge.
• Historical perspectives.

ISTE NETS and Performance Indicators for Students, ISTE
Creativity and Innovation
• Apply existing knowledge to generate new ideas, products or processes.
• Use models and simulations to explore complex systems and issues.
• Identify trends and forecast possibilities.
Communication and Collaboration
• Interact, collaborate and publish with peers, experts or others employing a variety of digital environments and media.
• Communicate information and ideas effectively to multiple audiences using a variety of media and formats.
• Develop cultural understanding and global awareness by engaging with learners of other cultures.
• Contribute to project teams to produce original works or solve problems.
Critical Thinking, Problem Solving and Decision Making
• Identify and define authentic problems and significant questions for investigation.
• Plan and manage activities to develop a solution or complete a project.
• Collect and analyze data to identify solutions and/or make informed decisions.
• Use multiple processes and diverse perspectives to explore alternative solutions.


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Page Last Updated: July 28th, 2013
Page Editor: NASA Administrator