Biobots: Communicating with Light

Overview

Essential Question: How can the engineering design process (EDP) lead to a solution to a problem or challenge?

Grade Band: 6-8

Devices: Laptops/Desktops, Arduino

Pacing: 21 hours accounting for transition time at the beginning and end of class periods.

Introduction

Engineers frequently look to nature for ideas about how to solve problems that animals have already solved.  For example, how does a bird fly?  What is special about the structure of a bird and its actions that allow it to soar through the air?  Can this information be used to build better, bigger, faster airplanes?  Biomimicry applies lessons from nature to replicate solutions and create new objects.  Biorobotics uses biomimicry tools and ideas to create robots or “Biobots.”

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/UR5NzJsXjZ2yH-pkva0oPbxmoXcxVefH5p2f-A-H687IETcb_VgpzNGMVFa4T-SFga_ds4aiAB-IV6NURK4DVA8BkEUKFKJxrqqYhIHMQgOQArjKHzficwIAOVmxFC-KIMIHxjhd

Bio•bots was developed by Iridescent. Iridescent develops curriculum that provides opportunities for students of all ages to build engineering projects. The Bio•bots curriculum explores the skills and tools necessary to build a robot inspired by nature, including basic mechanisms, basic circuitry, nature observation skills, and electrical engineering tools. The program was developed in partnership with a roboticist named Ian Ingram. Ian is a trained mechanical engineer as well as an artist, and draws from both fields in his work building robots that communicate with nature.

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/KvEQVTLuAb3j55kZOLbxJDGbxgJNHoH06d_Nm7lPhO5C-7tPs9o17zUSGdf7FgQimPaRYvzV2nB2sYXLSJxVDcyLrzJZBJOz-XFByUYaWX5_oS_88z8kuO5BnWi5KaQqoJ2PBVyc

The unit consists of resources available as Google Documents and some lab freely available by registering at the Curiosity Machine as an educator. You must be logged in order to access the student worksheets and other resources in these labs.

Materials

The materials needed for this unit have been broken down by concept. Within each concept, the materials are divided into Curiosity Machine Supplied, Curiosity Machine Membership only Resources, and School Supplied Materials.

Links for all materials are provided in the Day-by-Day Planner

Concepts

Curiosity Machine Supplied  Resources

School Supplied Materials

Curiosity Machine Membership only Resources

Nature Observations

  • Biobots video (open access)
  • Biobots Teacher Guide
  • Biobots Student Workbook
  • Mighty Machine Lesson Plan and Worksheet
  • Research materials (Internet, books, local park, zoo)
  • Materials to prototype Mighty Machine, see lesson plan for details
  • notebook

Engineering Design Practices

  • Student Biobots Workbook
  • Algorithm and Flowchart Guide
  • Student Flowchart Guide
  • Ideation Practice Worksheet
  • notebook

Circuits

  • No-Wire Circuit Lesson Plan  and Worksheet
  • Biobots Workbook
  • Electrical Circuit Teacher Guide
  • Electrical Circuit Student Guide
  • Breadboard Guide
  • Breadboards, LEDs, wires, resistors, photoresistors, potentiometers, battery packs
  • Materials to prototype No-wire circuit,  see lesson plan for details

Hardware

  • Student Biobots Workbook
  • Getting Started with Arduino Slides
  • Arduino Teacher Guide
  • Arduino Student Guide
  • Arduino, USB cable
  • Computer with Arduino IDE (students should work in pairs)
  • CM Arduino programming videos

Final Project

  • Assessment Rubric
  • Student Biobot Workbook

Student Outcomes

By the end of the unit, the student should know and be able to do the following:

  • Interpret data by retrieving, storing, transforming and visualizing it. (Innovator, Analyzing, Data)
  • Imagine & plan how to build an expressive project with specific components and characteristics. (Creator, Prototyping, Abstraction)
  • Create & test a program with the commands and rules of a programming language using a development environment. (Creator, Prototyping, Programming)
  • Plan, create & test a general procedure that provides meaningful outputs based on inputs.  (Innovator, Prototyping, Algorithm)
  • Research, imagine & create a story, visualization, or interaction based on data. (Innovator, Prototyping, Data)
  • Present how and why their algorithm provides meaningful outputs based on inputs, like an algorithm. (Innovator, Communicating, Algorithms)
  • Present the process they/I used to develop their data-driven story, visualization or interaction including sources of data, how they transformed it, and how they chose to display it. (Innovator, Communicating, Data)

The unit culminates with the student working through the engineering design process and creating a Biobot that mimics their observations of animal movement, plant movement/growth, or human facial expression. The End-of-Unit Performance Assessment (Invent a Biobot) can be found on:

Prerequisites and Pre-Assessment

It is recommended (but not necessary) that teachers have prior knowledge of the following science concepts:

  • Basic mechanisms such as the crank, cam, belt, and joint
  • Motion types: linear, rotational, translational, intermittent, oscillating, and reciprocating
  • Natural forces: gravity and magnetic force
  • Contact forces: normal, applied, frictional, tension, spring, and resisting
  • How an electrical circuit works
  • Basic hardware troubleshooting skills

Students do not need any prior knowledge as they will acquire the knowledge necessary via the activities in this unit.

Implementation Guidance and Reflection

Iridescent provides a recommendation for lesson order, but wants to emphasize that this is a suggestion, and they encourage educators or program leaders to change it as they see fit. The curriculum provides the basic tools for getting started and for finishing this particular project, but if your students would like to dive deeper into any of these topics, please give them the opportunity. If you have any questions or concerns, please send Iridescent an email to curiosity@iridescentlearning.org and they will be able to help you. They also welcome any feedback you may want to share.

Day-by-Day Planner

We provide a recommendation for lesson order, but want to emphasize that this is a suggestion, and that we encourage educators or program leaders to change it as they see fit. The curriculum provides the basic tools for getting started and for finishing this particular project, but if your students would like to dive deeper into any of these topics, please give them the opportunity.

Day

Objectives

Teachers

Students

Resources

1

Students will be introduced to the Biobots unit.

Teacher introduces students to the final project and overview of the parts.

Students complete the Mighty Machine DC.

2

Students will use Nature Observations to choose an animal interaction or behavior to model.

Teacher guides students while they evaluate animal behavior and choose an animal behavior to model.

Students evaluate how animals interact with the environment, evaluate how animals solve problems that humans also have, use Nature Observations to choose an animal interaction or behavior to model.

3

Students will write an algorithm for their animal behavior.

Teacher guides students while they finalize their project ideas and write their algorithms.

Students write an algorithm and storyboard for the animal behavior they are modeling.

4

Students will use engineering design practices to diagram electrical circuits.

Teacher introduces and monitors student progress as they complete the no-wire circuit lesson.

Students use engineering design practices, diagram electrical circuits, and identify materials for final project.

5

Students will be introduced to programming an Arduino using an LED.

Teacher presents how to use an Arduino using the getting started with Arduino slides.

Students complete LED blink activity on the Arduino Student Guide.

6

Students will prototype electrical circuits with breadboards.

Teacher presents on breadboards using the Breadboard Guide.

Students add LED-breadboard circuit to Arduino, introduce resistors, add to breadboard, and diagram electrical circuits.

7

Students will plan for programming and prototyping.

Teacher demonstrates how to convert algorithm to a flow chart. Teacher introduces control structures: sequence, selection, repetition.

Students create portfolio for LED Blink: algorithm, flowchart, electrical circuit diagram

8

Students will complete more complicated Arduino programming.

Teacher provides student guidance as they complete the activity.

Students complete the two LED Blink activities.

9

Students will complete more complicated Arduino programming.

Teacher provides student guidance as they complete the activities.

Students complete LED Traffic Lights Activity and the LED Flickering Lights Activity.

10

Students will practice flowcharts.

Teacher checks-in on understanding of skills and concepts.

Students draw a flowchart for LED Traffic Lights Blink and draw a flowchart for their animal behavior.

11*

Students will learn about voltage dividers.

Teacher provides student guidance as they learn about and try out using more advanced circuitry.

Students use photoresistors, potentiometers, and buttons with their circuits.

12*

Students will explore where to look for ideas and help related to Arduino programming

Teacher provides students with resources and allows students time to explore.

Students find other Arduinos functions to control LED behavior.

13

Students will apply what they’ve learned about the engineering design practices, hardware, and circuits to build their animal behavior.

Teacher monitors student progress, reviews materials and skills available for final projects, discusses criteria and constraints for final projects, and reviews components of final projects.

Students build, test, and redesign their animal behavior.

14

Students will apply what they’ve learned about the engineering design practices, hardware, and circuits to build their animal behavior.

Teacher monitors student progress, reviews materials and skills available for final projects, discusses criteria and constraints for final projects, and reviews components of final projects.

Students build, test, and redesign their animal behavior.

15

Students will apply what they’ve learned about the engineering design practices, hardware, and circuits to build their animal behavior.

Teacher monitors student progress, reviews materials and skills available for final projects, discusses criteria and constraints for final projects, and reviews components of final projects.

Students build, test, and redesign their animal behavior.

16

Students will share and reflect on their final project.

Teacher assesses the students using the assessment rubric.

Students present on their animal behavior, and complete the reflection.

*The material covered on these days is optional.

End-of-Unit Performance-Based Assessment

  • The End-of-Unit Performance Assessment (Invent a Biobot) can be found on:

Authors

Developed by Iridescent

curiosity-machine-logo+Iridescent.eps

Reference

The following standards are reinforced through the implementation of this unit. This unit may support and strengthen students’ proficiency of these standards; however, prior instruction is assumed.

Standards Alignment for LE Unit 1 (Scientific Inquiry) or LE Unit 8 (Human Influences on the Environment)

Unit 1 (Scientific Inquiry)

Scientific explanations are built by combining evidence that can be observed with what people already know about the world. (1.1a)

Learning about the historical development of scientific concepts or about individuals who have contributed to scientific knowledge provides a better understanding of scientific inquiry and the relationship between science and society. (1.1b)

 Science provides knowledge, but values are also essential to making effective and ethical      

decisions about the application of scientific knowledge. (1.1c)

Inquiry involves asking questions and locating, interpreting, and processing information from a variety of sources. (1.2a)

 Inquiry involves making judgments about the reliability of the source and relevance of information. (1.2b)

 Scientific explanations are accepted when they are consistent with experimental and observational evidence and when they lead to accurate predictions. (1.3a)

 All scientific explanations are tentative and subject to change or improvement. Each new bit of evidence can more questions than it answers. This leads to increasingly better understanding of how things work in the living world. (1.3b)

 Well-accepted theories are ones that are supported by different kinds of scientific investigations often involving the contributions of individuals from different disciplines. (1.4a)

One assumption of science is that other individuals could arrive at the same explanation if they had access to similar evidence. Scientists make the results of their investigations public; they should describe the investigations in ways that enable others to repeat the investigations. (3.5a)

Scientists use peer review to evaluate the results of scientific investigations and the explanations proposed by other scientists. They analyze the experimental procedures, examine the evidence, identify faulty reasoning, point out statements that go beyond the evidence, and suggest alternative explanations for the same observations. (3.5b)

Unit 8 (Human Influences on the Environment)

The Earth has finite resources; increasing human consumption of resources places stress on the natural processes that renew some resources and deplete those resources that cannot be renewed. (7.1a)

Natural ecosystems provide an array of basic processes that affect humans. Those processes include but are not limited to: maintenance of the quality of the atmosphere, generation of soils, control of the water cycle, removal of wastes, energy flow, and recycling of nutrients. Humans are changing many of these basic processes and the changes may be detrimental. (7.1b)

Human beings are part of the Earth’s ecosystems. Human activities can, deliberately or inadvertently, alter the equilibrium in ecosystems. Humans modify ecosystems as a result of population growth, consumption, and technology. Human destruction of habitats through direct harvesting, pollution, atmospheric changes, and other factors is threatening current global stability, and if not addressed, ecosystems may be irreversibly affected. (7.1c)

Societies must decide on proposals which involve the introduction of new technologies. Individuals need to make decisions which will assess risks, costs, benefits, and trade-offs. (7.3a)

The decisions of one generation both provide and limit the range of possibilities open to the next generation. (7.3b)

NGSS: (in red)

http://www.nextgenscience.org/sites/ngss/files/Appendix%20G%20-%20Crosscutting%20Concepts%20FINAL%20edited%204.10.13.pdf

Crosscutting Concepts

 1. Patterns. Observed patterns of forms and events guide organization and classification, and they prompt questions about relationships and the factors that influence them.

2. Cause and effect: Mechanism and explanation. Events have causes, sometimes simple, sometimes multifaceted. A major activity of science is investigating and explaining causal relationships and the mechanisms by which they are mediated. Such mechanisms can then be tested across given contexts and used to predict and explain events in new contexts.

 3. Scale, proportion, and quantity. In considering phenomena, it is critical to recognize what is relevant at different measures of size, time, and energy and to recognize how changes in scale, proportion, or quantity affect a system’s structure or performance.

 4. Systems and system models. Defining the system under study—specifying its boundaries and making explicit a model of that system—provides tools for understanding and testing ideas that are applicable throughout science and engineering.

5. Energy and matter: Flows, cycles, and conservation. Tracking fluxes of energy and matter into, out of, and within systems helps one understand the systems’ possibilities and limitations.

6. Structure and function. The way in which an object or living thing is shaped and its substructure determine many of its properties and functions.

 7. Stability and change. For natural and built systems alike, conditions of stability and determinants of rates of change or evolution of a system are critical elements of study

Science and Engineering Practices:

1. Asking questions (for science) and defining problems (for engineering).

2. Developing and using models.

3. Planning and carrying out investigations.

4. Analyzing and interpreting data.

5. Using mathematics and computational thinking.

6. Constructing explanations (for science) and designing solutions (for engineering).

7. Engaging in argument from evidence.

8. Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information.

Disciplinary Core Idea

Engineering Design

ET S1.A: Defining and Delimiting Engineering Problems

ET S1.B: Developing Possible Solutions

ET S1.C: Optimizing the Design Solution

HS-ETS1-1. Analyze a major global challenge to specify qualitative and quantitative criteria and constraints for solutions that account for societal needs and wants.

HS-ETS1-2. Design a solution to a complex real-world problem by breaking it down into smaller, more manageable problems that can be solved through engineering.

HS-ETS1-3. Evaluate a solution to a complex real-world problem based on prioritized criteria and trade-offs that account for a range of constraints, including cost, safety, reliability, and aesthetics, as well as possible social, cultural, and environmental impacts.

 HS-ETS1-4. Use a computer simulation to model the impact of proposed solutions to a complex real-world problem within and between systems relevant to the problem.

Life Science

HS-LS1-2. Develop and use a model to illustrate the hierarchical organization of interacting systems that provide specific functions within multicellular organisms.

HS-LS1-3. Plan and conduct an investigation to provide evidence that feedback mechanisms maintain homeostasis.

HS-LS1-5. Use a model to illustrate how photosynthesis transforms light energy into stored chemical energy.

MST:

Standard 2: Information Systems

 Key Idea 1: Information technology is used to retrieve, process, and communicate information as a tool to enhance learning.

Key Idea 2: Knowledge of the impacts and limitations of information systems is essential to its effective and ethical use.

Key Idea 3: Information technology can have positive and negative impacts on society, depending upon how it is used.

Standard 6: Interconnectedness: Common Themes

Key Idea 1: Through systems thinking, people can recognize the commonalities that exist among all systems and how parts of a system interrelate and combine to perform specific functions.

Key Idea 2: Models are simplified representations of objects, structures, or systems used in analysis, explanation, interpretation, or design.

Key Idea 3: The grouping of magnitudes of size, time, frequency, and pressures or other units of measurement into a series of relative order provides a useful way to deal with the immense range and the changes in scale that affect the behavior and design of systems.

Key Idea 5: Identifying patterns of change is necessary for making predictions about future behavior and conditions.

Key Idea 6: In order to arrive at the best solution that meets criteria within constraints, it is often necessary to make trade-offs.

Standard 7: Interdisciplinary Problem Solving

Key Idea 1: The knowledge and skills of mathematics, science, and technology are used together to make informed decisions and solve problems, especially those relating to issues of science/ technology/society, consumer decision making, design, and inquiry into phenomena.

Common Core State Standards Connections:

http://www.corestandards.org/wp-content/uploads/ELA_Standards.pdf

http://www.corestandards.org/wp-content/uploads/Math_Standards.pdf

ELA /Literacy

RST.11-12.7 Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and media (e.g., quantitative data, video , multimedia) in order to address a question or solve a problem.

RST.11-12.8 Evaluate the hypotheses, data, analysis, and conclusions in a science or technical text, verifying the data when possible and corroborating or challenging conclusions with other sources of information.

RST.11-12.9 Synthesize information from a range of sources (e.g., texts, experiments, simulations) into a coherent understanding of a process, phenomenon, or concept, resolving conflicting information when possible. (HS-ETS1-1), (HS-ETS1-3)

WHST.9-10.2: Write informative/explanatory texts, including the narration of historical events, scientific procedures/experiments, or technical processes.

WHST.9-10.6: Use technology, including the Internet, to produce, publish, and update individual or shared writing products, taking advantage of technology’s capacity to link to other information and to display information flexibly and dynamically.

Mathematics –

MP.2 Reason abstractly and quantitatively.

MP.4 Model with mathematics.