Text Size
Lesson Title: Using Robotics
January 4, 2013

Unit: Engineering - Robotics

Grade Levels: 7-9

Connection To Curriculum: Science and Technology

Teacher Prep Time: 20 minutes

Lesson Time Needed: 3 hours

Complexity Moderate

Keywords: programming, control, remote


Narrow rubberbands
Drinking straws
Nylon cord
Centimeter ruler
Drawing compass
Colored pencils
6-ounce Styrofoam coffee cups (2 each)
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:
• Simulate operating a planetary rover and problem solve solutions.
• Work within a mission team setting to problem solve and accomplish a common goal.
• Research examples of real-world applications of robotics.

First page of Using Robotics

Lesson Guide
Using Robotics Lesson
[153KB PDF file]



Professional Development Training Module for This Lesson

Blue button with an arrow

› Robots at NASA Making the Connection training module  →
Note: Module may take a few minutes to load.
download arrow icon Download

Blue button with ? mark

› Help me! I can't see the training module.

Lesson Activities and Sequence

  1. Robotic Online Virtual Exploration Rover
    To program the rover using a series of commands to avoid obstacles and reach a target destination before battery power runs out.
    Keywords: give directions, computer

  2. Out of Sight Activity
    To operate a robotic vehicle while it is not directly in view of the driver or operations team.
    Keywords: remote control

  3. Rover Races
    To have the rover driver design and execute a series of commands that will guide a human rover through a simulated Martian surface, allowing the rover team to experience some of the challenges of teleoperating a robotic vehicle on another planet.

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.
• The 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.


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