To Contact This Program
Alief Middle School Cub Club/CASE—21st CCLC
16327 Lynn Crest Court
Houston, TX 77072
Students participate in a robotics activity sponsored through CASE and Hewlett Packard. Students meet for nine weeks twice a week for an hour and a half to create a robot that uses light sensors to move and communicate. They use the Mindstorm Kits to create their robot. Students can decide on the shape and design of the robot and program the robot to do different challenges. Another team of students looks at the robot and decides how the robot could be marketed to companies and everyday consumers. They design a marketing presentation using Microsoft® PowerPoint® that is presented to actual Hewlett Packard executives, decide on the price, production time, what tasks the robot will be able to do, and production costs.
Number of Students Involved in This Activity: Eight to ten
Range of Student Ages: Sixth- to eighth-grade
Duration of Activity: Nine Weeks
What is the academic content of this activity?
This activity is related to several different academic areas. Students must use their engineering, math, science, and computer skills to design and build their robots. The students working on the marketing component must use their science skills to understand how the robot functions and which parts to emphasize, and their literacy skills to communicate the strengths of the robot effectively. They must also use some math and economics skills in determining a price for the robot.
How does this activity create strong relationships?
Small teams help build relationships between students and teachers. Students are also given the opportunity to work with Hewlett Packard executives as they offer tech support and feedback to the students on the day of competition. Students tour the facility where computers are made.
What opportunities are there for authentic decision making?
Students have numerous oppportunities to decide on the design of the robot, how the robot will perform, the cost of the product, where it will be sold, the design of the speech they will give to convince others to purchase their robot, and the design of the presentation.
What student leadership opportunities are there?
Students decide which team they want to join. They also choose their jobs: robot designer, presentation designer, speaker, or materials analyst. Each of the jobs requires the student to take on a specific role that is necessary for the completion of the project.