Diving into the world of robotics can seem like venturing into a sci-fi universe, but guess what? Robotics impacts so many parts of our daily lives already: for example smart home devices such as Nest, our TVs, smartphones, and more. For elementary and middle school students, robotics lessons are the golden ticket to a realm where creativity meets technology. These lessons aren't just about gears and circuits; they're a passport to critical thinking, problem-solving, and a whole lot of fun. So today we'll share some of the best robotics lesson plans and live online classes led by experts to get your students started.
Teachers and educators - Book free virtual robotics classes for your students (groups of 10+) any time of the year. We serve all schools and community organizations, and have even partnered with SMASH and Meta's Engineer for the Week to teach students across the US. Just pick the activity you're interested in for your class (from these 10 fun options or any of our introduction classes) and contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Robotics Lesson Plans
By integrating robotics lessons into the classroom, we are not only unveiling the mechanics behind machines that perform surgeries or the rovers surveying Martian soil, but also we are fostering critical thinking, collaboration, and problem-solving skills. For teachers, creating robotics lessons for elementary and middle school students involves a delicate balance: lessons must be simple enough to understand yet challenging enough to engage. They must not use too much equipment, but should rely on real-world applications. It is essential to consider the varied skill levels of students, ensuring that projects are adaptable and inclusive. Incorporating tangible examples, such as how robots assist in disaster relief or environmental monitoring, can ignite students' imaginations. By doing so, educators will not only teach the fundamentals of gears and code but will also inspire the next generation of innovators who might one day engineer breakthroughs that reshape our world.
Robotics Lesson Plan for Elementary Students
Lesson Title: Navigating Robotics Virtually with VEX
One of our live expert instructors would be happy to teach this lesson for your students, following our Junior Robotics curriculum, designed by professionals from Google, Stanford, and MIT. Please email us at email@example.com to request your free session.
Grade Level: Elementary (Grades 3-5)
Duration: 1 hour
Objective: Students will learn the fundamentals of VEX Code and how coding can control robots in a virtual environment. By the end of the lesson, they will be able to command a virtual robot to navigate through a course and understand the real-world application of these skills.
- Computers or tablets with internet access
- VEX Code VR software accessible
- Worksheets with coding challenges
- Introduction slides to VEX robotics and real-world applications
Introduction to VEX Robotics (10 minutes)
- Briefly explain what VEX robotics is and its significance in learning coding and robotics.
- Show examples of physical VEX robots and their virtual counterparts.
- Introduce the VEX Code VR interface students will be using.
Coding Basics in 3-D (10 minutes)
- Discuss basic programming concepts such as commands, sequences, and loops.
- Demonstrate how to drag and drop code blocks to make the robot perform simple tasks like moving forward or turning.
Hands-on Activity: Virtual Robot Navigation (25 minutes)
- Students will use VEX Code VR to navigate their robots through a simple virtual maze.
- They will apply basic coding blocks to command the robot and complete the challenge.
- Encourage students to think critically about the sequence of commands to reach the end of the maze.
Real-World Connection (10 minutes)
- Discuss how robots navigate and solve problems in the real world (like transportation and handling obstacles).
- Show videos or case studies of robots in various industries such as logistics, healthcare, or space exploration.
Advanced Challenge: Junior Robotics 2 Concepts (5 minutes)
- Introduce the idea of sensors and how they help robots interact with their environment.
- Briefly explain how students can learn to use sensors to navigate more complex virtual worlds. Students can enroll in Junior Robotics 2 to continue advancing.
Assessment: Evaluate students based on their participation in the coding activity, their ability to complete the virtual maze, and their engagement with the real-world applications discussion.
Extensions: Offer advanced students the opportunity to learn how to make robots transport objects.
Standards Alignment: Align the lesson with educational standards, such as the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) standards for students.
- No physical robot is required for this lesson as it is based on a virtual simulation.
- Ensure that all students understand the concept of a 3-D environment and how it relates to the movement of the virtual robot.
Students start here:
Robotics Lesson Plan for Middle School Students
Lesson Title: Discovering Arduino: Building Smart Devices
One of our live expert instructors would be happy to teach this lesson for your students, following our Arduino curriculum, designed by professionals from Google, Stanford, and MIT. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to request your free session.
Grade Level: Middle School (Grades 6-8)
Duration: 1 hour
Objective: Students will learn the basics of electronics and Arduino coding to create simple electronic systems and code to control them. By the end of the lesson, students will understand circuit design and programming, enabling them to build projects like alarms and motor controls.
- Computers with internet access and Arduino simulator software installed
- Optional: Arduino starter kits for hands-on practice
- Instructional slides on electronics and Arduino basics
- Worksheets with exercises on circuit concepts and Ohm's law
Introduction to Electronics and Arduino (15 minutes)
- Introduce students to the concept of electronic circuits and their everyday applications.
- Discuss the Arduino platform and its role in robotics and smart home systems.
Circuit Design Basics (10 minutes)
- Explain the components of a simple circuit, including resistors and LEDs.
- Introduce Ohm's law and its significance in designing circuits.
Hands-on Activity: Virtual Circuit Building (20 minutes)
- Students use the Arduino simulator to create their first virtual circuit with block coding.
- Conduct a guided exercise to light up an LED using the simulator.
Arduino Coding Introduction (10 minutes)
- Explain block coding basics.
- Show how code is used to control electronic systems.
Advanced/Optional- Project Planning and Exploration (5 minutes)
- Present three new projects: Home Automation, Light Show, and Smart Cars.
- Encourage students to brainstorm how these systems work and the logic behind them.
Assessment: Evaluate students based on their participation, ability to complete virtual circuit tasks, and understanding of basic electronics and Arduino coding.
Standards Alignment: Align the lesson with educational standards such as the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) standards for computational thinking and the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) for engineering design.
- Emphasize the practical application of these skills in the real world, inspiring students to consider how they might use such systems at home.
- Encourage students who have access to a physical Arduino kit to practice the same exercises with actual hardware.
Students start here:
Enjoy Robotics Lessons
To enjoy award-winning robotics lessons anytime, anywhere, explore the best online robotics classes. Request lessons for your class, or students can enroll directly online.
- Junior Robotics - Grades 2-4: Code your robot to move, sense, lift, and more - all in virtual worlds.
- Robot Adventures - Grades 4-8: Design, build, and code robots - Mission accomplished!
- Lights & Beats with Micro:Bit - Grades 2-4: Code lights, sensors, and even radio with this powerful little device.
- Robotics & Smart Devices: Arduino for Kids - Grades 4-9: Create with circuits and Arduino - the foundation of robotics and smart devices.
You might also enjoy reading robotics books for kids.