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Robotic Search and Rescue Challenge

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Grade Levels

Grades 5-8, Informal Education


Computer Science, Physical Science, Technology, Flight and Aeronautics, Models, Robotics


Educator Guides, Lesson Plans / Activities

Teams use a programmable robotic ball to design solutions and simulate an unmanned aerial vehicle entering a disaster zone. Set in a post-natural-disaster scenario, students will find solutions to problems that first responders may face.

This standards-aligned activity will help students explore challenges engineers face throughout different phases of NASA missions as they conduct research, propose solutions, create designs, build their designs and test their solutions to a set of given problems. Students will investigate how their designs in each stage of the challenge lead to their final design solution.

With these activities, students will:

  • Apply the steps of the engineering design process to successfully complete a team challenge.
  • Conduct research, write a proposal and create a basic budget.
  • Program a spherical robot using JavaScript (JS) or block programming to complete various leveled challenges.
  • Design, build and test solutions to each problem.
  • Create a presentation and share results.

Next Generation Science Standards: MS.ESS3-2, MS-ETS1-1, MS-ETS1-2, MS-ETS1-3, MS-ETS1-4

Common Core State Standards: 6.NS.C.8

Computer Science Teacher Association Standards: 2-CS-02, 2-CS-03, 2-DA-08, 2-DA-09, 2-AP-15, 2-AP-17, 2-AP-18, 2-AP-19

Robotic Search and Rescue Challenge

Robotic Search and Rescue Challenge (Spanish Version)

This educator guide is part of the Next Gen STEM Aeronaut-X series.

Also in this series: Unmanned Aircraft Systems Educator Guide