Build a Better Bulldozer Activity
At the end of January, I did a post about using Dash and the Bulldozer attachment to collect snow. A friend mentioned they were getting a robot, but was sad they wouldn't have the bulldozer attachment to try the activity.
This got me to thinking, could the kids build attachments out of LEGOs? Every Dash robot comes with a set of two Building Brick Connectors for attaching LEGOs. Suddenly, the Build a Better Bulldozer challenge was born!
I have amassed quite a collection of LEGOs . I've had kids use them for everything from movie making to depicting vocabulary to Red Ribbon Week posters. Kids love LEGOS and they are so versatile for projects. I can't say enough good things about using LEGOs in the classroom!
I had my 4th graders break into groups of 4 students and gave each group a random selection of LEGOs. I asked them to collaborate to create a new plow attachment for Dash. Groups were then given time to discuss, sketch, and create.
Once groups were done with their initial construction, they were given some cotton balls to use a snow. Groups then used an iPad and the Blockly app to code their Dash to collect some snow. It was fun to watch groups discover if their plow worked or not. Almost every group made changes after their first test.
We had a final sharing time when each group showed their plow in action. The groups cheered for each other and offered ideas to improve designs.
We did this activity in one 50 class period. This could easily take 2-3 class periods. It would be great if groups could write or share a diagram of how to re-create their plow and what their findings were.
I have a feeling this activity will lead to many more just like it! Have your students used LEGOs with Dash and Dot? I would love to hear about it!