Teacher Talk: Fourth Grade LEGO Mindstorms

April 15, 2021

Mater Christi School fourth graders were assigned a specific biome: tundra, coniferous forest, desert, deciduous forest, grasslands, or tropical rainforest. Students then researched at least five animals that have adapted to the unique conditions of their assigned biome. From their list, students chose an animal and researched survival adaptations of that animal to model with the LEGO® Mindstorms® EV3 robot. Students were asked to create a “Survival Plan” for the robot model of the chosen animal consisting of three survivalchallenges. The challenges corresponded to one survival adaptation for the following purposes: avoid death from predation; obtain food, and maximize progenation. Students used Technic LEGO® pieces to build physical and functional adaptations to the robot, and they used Scratch in EV3 Classroom to code the adapted robot. Finally, the fourth graders demonstrated “Survival!” of their adapted robot by successfully completing the challenges they outlined in the Survival Plan and presenting Google Slides describing their project. Featured animals included: sperm whale, bobcat, crocodile, marten, scorpion, ptarmigan, and ocelot.

Tricia Finkle
Makerspace Teacher