The Grade Ones were presented with a Robotics challenge related to the question,

"How do we know our world?"

We learned about the important role that satellites, probes, and spacecrafts have played in developing our understandings of our solar system, other planets, and also our own planet, Earth.

These robotic structures give us information by recording images of other planets, Earth's landscape, moons, and outer space and sending them back to scientists to interpret.

When we learned about this technology, some of our students commented that it related again to our discussion on the "Power of Image". They noted that these images that return from space are also very powerful since they are the only way for us to gather information from planets that we have not been able to send people to.

Our discussion included reading recent newspaper articles about the Pluto probe, which departed for Pluto in February 2006 on a 9 year journey to Pluto, the first probe voyage there ever! Our students were amazed to know that this robot will not reach Pluto until they are 15 years old and in high school!!

The challenge that was presented to the Grade One students was to build, design and program a robot that could travel to another planet and record 6 images using a webcam to send back to earth.

Please take a look at the Planet Landscapes we created!

This project involved several steps which we took on with the help of Mr. Jessee, Mrs. Boser, Mrs. Sakamoto, and our many helpful parent volunteers.

STEP 1: Learning the difference between Robots and Machines

STEP 2: Building a Gear Train and Learning Strong Structures

STEP 3: Building a Chassis using the Boxbeam structure

STEP 4: Adding axles, wheels, and attaching the RCX box and motor

STEP 5: Beginning Programming

Our program used icons in Robolab to instruct our robot to go forward until the light sensor detected a colour 4 % darker than when it started, go slightly past it, stop for 3 seconds, and repeat 3 times. It then was instructed to reverse the program, with the motor going the opposite direction, stopping again to photograph images at the black lines and repeating 3 times to bring it back to its original position.


STEP 6: Adding on a light sensor

STEP 7: Testing our robots with the black lines

When our robots successfully completed the testing, we attached a LEGO webcam to its RCX box and connected the webcam to a wireless laptop. We ran the program and as the robot travelled alongside our planet landscape we captured and saved the images that came up on the laptop screen!

Our Webcam Images

When it worked, we knew we were ready to make our work public!


Our Demonstration of Learning!

Student presenters explaining our work!
Sharing our landscapes with parents.
We set out our research books, notebooks, and robots!
Our "students" for the day!
Showing off our space probe model! Sharing our Robotic Logs, with our Celebrations and Frustrations


Copyright J.Lambrinoudis and M.Shervey