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A.M.11. | Criteria and Constraints
Created by: Modular Robotics
Students work to design robots with respect to criteria, constraints, and consideration of the user – thus, deepening their understanding of the Engineering Design Process. They will be using their critical thinking skills as they collaborate with their team to re-evaluate and solve problems. They will also be using reverse engineering, tinkering, and rebuilding skills.
The Basics:Ages: 10 – 12 years (grades 4-6)
Time: 30 – 45 minutes
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Lesson Goal (for the educator): Students will learn to solve problems with criteria and constraints and evaluate their success.
Lesson Objectives (for the students): My team will build robots and evaluate their success based on the given criteria and constraints.
Essential Questions: What are criteria and constraints? How do we measure the success of a robot?
21st Century Skills: Creativity and Innovation, Critical Thinking and Problem Solving, Communication and Collaboration, Adapt to Change, Be Flexible, Manage Projects, Produce Results, Work Effectively in Diverse Teams
Concepts: Evaluating designs, assessing success, naming criteria and constraints
Vocabulary: Criteria, constraints, objective
Required Cubelets: Distance, 2 Drive, Battery, Brightness, Flashlight, Rotate, Passive, Inverse, Blocker, Knob, Bar Graph – enough for each group of 2-5 students to have one of each
Additional Materials: A.M.11.WS, Student Robotics Journals, a plate, or tray – and cupcakes if you want to add a bit of fun to the lesson!
The Standards:ISTE: International Society for Technology Education
- Creativity and Innovation 1.a, 1.b, 1.c, 1.d
- Communication and Collaboration 2.d (2.c)
- Research and Information Fluency 3.
- 3.d Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making
- 4.a, 4.b, 4.c, 4.d Digital Citizenship
- 5.a, 5.b Technology Operations
- Concepts 6.a, 6.b, 6.c, 6.d
CCSS: Common Core Standards
NSTA: National Science Teachers Association
Prior Knowledge Necessary for the Student:Prior Knowledge Necessary: Practice using the Engineer Design Process
Prior Knowledge for the Educator:Try building your own steering robot using the criteria and constraints described in the worksheet students will use for this lesson.
Educator Tips:Make a small poster with the definitions for criteria and constraint and post it in the classroom.
- Build the Cupcake Server: Make a square of four cubes – the Battery, Passive, Drive, and Brightness cube facing upward (see photo above). Be sure the Drive is facing the correct way to allow the robot to spin.
- Divide the class into groups of 2-5 students
- For each group, place in a container the Cubelets they will need.
- Print out the worksheet for each team. A.M.11.WS
Lesson Plan Assets and Resources:
Click the button to download the Criteria and Constraints Posters
Click the button to download A.M.11.WS
Click the buttons to download the Robot Journal and Extra Journal Pages
“In our last few lessons we have been using the Engineering Design Process to solve problems. As you have noticed, you follow a continuous loop brainstorming, designing, building, testing, evaluating, and starting over again reworking things to better the design.”
Time: 10-15 Minutes
- “What did you learn about the Engineering Design Process from the Hug It Forward Bottle School video we watched?”
- Allow students to comment and see if they talk about the constraints the villages encountered and how they worked with these constraints in their design. See if they notice the criteria they set in meeting the needs of the users and their situation.
- “Remember, too, that engineers ask themselves three basic questions when they are designing solutions to solve problems. What are these three questions?” See if the students can come up with them and write them out for all to see:
- What is the problem or situation we would like to change?
- What can we design and build to help solve this problem?
- How will we know our design succeeded? How can we test or measure success?
Closure/EvaluationTime: 3-5 Minutes
Students will develop an understanding of criteria and constraints and how we use them in designing, building, testing, evaluating, and measuring the success of a robot.
Extension Activities:In your own words, define criteria and constraints and give examples in your description.
What to go to Next:For More Review:
- Repeat Criteria and Constraints A.M.11
- Computational Thinking A.M.12
- Computational Thinking A.M.12
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.