Week 3

Session 1

Part 1

Guiding Question

  • How can we detect life on Mars using a robot?

Subquestions

  • What does life look like on Mars?

  • How to detect life on Mars

Outcomes

  • Explain the environment of Mars.

  • Explain why water is an indicator of life.

CT Components

Data Collection

  • Student collect data on the conditions needed for life to thrive and ways to look for life on of Mars.

Abstraction

  • Students identify main conditions needed for life Mars.

Communication

  • Students discuss and present their findings of their research.

Entry Event

5 minutes

Teacher asks the follow questions to help students recall what they did/learned in the past weeks related to the topics about Mars.

1. What does Mars look like and what is the ground like on Mars? (red sand/dirt and rocks).

2. What is life?

3. What does life consist of?

4. How do we detect life on Mars? (Water is an indication of life on Mars)

How to detect life on Mars?

Small-group Hands-on Scientific Inquiry (30 minutes)

Students research about how to determine if life ever arose on Mars and how to detect life on Mars. They produce a group oral report or a PowerPoint Presentation on their research question(s).

Research Questions

  • What are the conditions needed for life to thrive?

  • How does NASA look for life on Mars?

  • Why is water an indication of life?

  • How do we use a robot to detect life on Mars?

10 minute break

Part 2

Guiding Question

  • How can we detect life on Mars using a robot?

Subquestions

  • How do we build a Lego robot to detect life?

Outcomes

  • Explain the functions of different sensors.

  • Properly assemble and wire sensors on the Lego robot.

CT Components

Algorithms

  • Students follow instructions and figure out how to assemble a Lego robot.

Communication

  • Students discuss how to teamwork to assemble a Lego robot.

How do we build a Lego robot to detect life?

Small-group Hands-on Scientific Inquiry (30 minutes)

  1. Distribute laptops to the students.

  2. Open up the instructions for robot building.

Students add sensors to the Lego robot by following the instructions:

  1. Add Color sensor, steps 1-6

  2. Add Touch sensor, steps 1-6

  3. Add Ultrasonic sensor, steps 1-8

  4. Finish building the robot – Gyro sensor, steps 1 - 9

End of Session Reflection and Debriefing

5-10 minutes

Teacher briefly explains the computational thinking (CT) skill embedded in the Problem Solving Process Diagram. Using the problem solving process diagram, the teacher will ask students to identify what kind of problem solving skills/process/computational thinking they used in this session and explain how they used it. The following are some sample questions that can guide the debrief.

  • What did I learn today?

  • What problem solving skills/processes or CT components in this diagram did I use today?

  • How did I use the problem solving skills/processes/CT components?