Exploring Robotics Curriculum for Cubelets

(for Grades K-5)

Use Cubelets to present STEM concepts in your classroom.

Students can build robots that drive around on a tabletop, respond to light and other objects, move, detect change in temperature, make chirp sounds, and have surprisingly lifelike behavior. No programming required. Instead of programming behavior, students snap the Cubelets together and watch the behavior emerge like with a flock of birds or a swarm of bees. They are controlled with simple actions such as hand motions or blowing on the temperature cubelet. Cubelets are small blocks that can be snapped together to make an endless variety of robots with no programming, no small parts to track, and no wires.

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Cubelets Curriculum Outline

We have broken the curriculum out into three sections. Each section is for a different type of class.

Section 1: Lesson Plans for Clubs and 1 Hour of Getting Started with Cubelets

  • Basic Robotics with Cubelets – What to do if you just have one hour
  • Document: 1 Hour Basic Robotics with Cubelets (PDF)
  • Part 1: Hands on with the Sense and Act components (15 min)
    Part 2: More complicated robots (15 min)
    Part 3: Robot Thinking (15 min)
    Part 4: Special Challenges (15 min)
    Additional 40 minutes of Activities for Clubs
  • Document: Basic Robotics with Cubelets part 2 (PDF)
  • Part 1: Hands on with the Think component of robots (20 min)
    Part 2: An extended robotics challenge (20 min)
 

Section 2: Cubelets Robotics Lessons K thru 5th Grade (ages 6-9)

For classes, clubs, and after school programs

  • Video Inspiration: Building 7 Robots with just 3 cubes (youtube video)
  • Teamwork - become familiar with the cubes and how to interact with them as a team (1 lesson of 20 to 30 minutes)
  • Unit 1 Robot Creatures (4 lessons of 20 minutes each with 2 optional lessons)
  • Unit 2 Cubelets Robot Building Challenges (5 lessons of 30 minutes each)
  • Unit 3 Characteristics and Categories (4 lessons of 20 minutes each - can extend an additional 60 to 120 minutes)
  • Unit 4 Cause and Effect (4 lessons of 20 minutes each – can extend an additional 60 to 120 minutes)
  • Unit 5 Easy Cubelets Robots (4 lessons of 15 minutes each – can extend an additional 60 to 90 minutes. )
  • Unit 6 More Robot Building Challenges (6 lessons of 20 minutes each) (Requires 20 piece kits)
 

Section 3: Cubelets Engineering and Robotics Lessons for 4th thru 8th Grade (ages 9-11)

This unit is designed to explore engineering and design principles, innovation and making as a way to solve problems, and to practice designing robotic solutions with Cubelets.

Each lesson focuses on different aspects of engineering’s unique problem-solving strategies, and throughout the whole unit students learn, “Engineers are a kind of scientist that use their skills and creativity to solve problems or change a situation by designing or making something innovative." 

  • Inspiration Video - Building Robots with Cubelets - Play for class - Youtube Video
  • Lesson 1 – Introduction to Engineering.
  • Lesson 2 – How Does it Work?
  • Lesson 3 – Reverse Engineering
  • Lesson 4 – Criteria and Constraints
  • Lesson 5 – Design Thinking
  • Lesson 6 - Collecting and Recording Data
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Cubelets Engineering Design Lessons 

Engineers work in lots of fields and follow a similar process and ask the same questions: 

  • First – What is the problem? What situation would we like to change?  
  • Second – What kinds of solutions could make this better? What could we make that would change this situation?
  • Third – When we try our solution – how well does it work? How do we know if this solution was successful?”

Lesson 1 – Introduction to Engineering.
Students are introduced to defining a problem or challenge, proposing solutions, and assessing success and also consider different kinds of engineering. Students also practice problem solving and designing solutions with Cubelets.

Lesson 2 – How does it work? 
Students begin with working robots. By interacting and investigating these robots, students gain understanding of robotic components. As they explore how Cubelet components combine to form robots, they practice making and understanding design decisions.

Lesson 3 – Reverse Engineering 
Students begin with working robots and by reverse engineering them learn how these Cubelet components are pieces that combine to form a whole robot. Students are guided to investigate reverse engineering and to comprehend components by reorienting individual components while keeping them in the same sequence, resequencing components before adding or changing any, and finally making design decision to add, subtract, or change components and robotic functions.

Lesson 4 – Criteria and Constraints 
Students work to design robots with respect to criteria and constraints, deepening their understanding of the Engineering Design Process while tackling interesting challenges.

Lesson 5 – Design Thinking 
Often Engineers need to consider who will use the solutions they make and design. Student engineers continue to: define what the problem is, propose solutions, now keeping in mind any constraints or user requirements, and then ask, “Is it successful?” by looking at who is using it and how it’s being used. Students will consider how different users might use the same thing differently, or might need different solutions altogether and also explore how designing solutions should take into account who will use the solution, and how they will use it.

Lesson 6 – Data Collection and Recording
Students explore how collecting and recording data can assist them in defining and remembering the robots they build and what each robot is capable of doing.  They also record data about the sensors that are used and information they sense.

Related:

Cubelet Robots

Cubelets Lesson Plan Outlines

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Cubelets Box with Cubelet Robots

 

 

 

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Engaging learning for both boys and girls!

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