SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING OF THE 2014 OLYMPIC WINTER GAMES: Olympic Movement and Robotic Design - Integration Guide (Grades 4-12) Print

Objective:

Students synthesize science, technology, engineering design, and math concepts involved in the the relationship of programming robots to practice and learning by athletes and apply their understanding to other curricular areas.


Introduction Notes:

Science AND ENGINEERING OF THE 2014 OLYMPIC WINTER GAMES

Olympic Movement & Robotic Design

 

INTEGRATION GUIDE

Middle School Focus / Adaptable for Grades 4–12

Lesson plans produced by the National Science Teachers Association.

Video produced by NBC Learn in collaboration with the National Science Foundation.

 

Background and Planning Information............................................................ 1

About the Video........................................................................................................................... 1

Video Timeline ............................................................................................................................ 2

 

Promote STEM with Video............................................................................. 2

Connect to Science...................................................................................................................... 2

Connect to Technology................................................................................................................ 3

Connect to Engineering............................................................................................................... 4

Connect to Math.......................................................................................................................... 4

 

Incorporate Video into Your Lesson Plan........................................................ 6

Integrate Video in Instruction...................................................................................................... 6

            Bellringer......................................................................................................................... 6

            Compare and Contrast.................................................................................................... 6

            Homework....................................................................................................................... 6

            As Part of a 5E Lesson Plan.............................................................................................. 6

Connect to … Language Arts........................................................................................................ 7

Connect to … Art.......................................................................................................................... 7

Use Video as a Writing Prompt................................................................................................... 7

 

Connect Video to Common Core ELA.............................................................. 7

Common Core State Standards for ELA/Literacy........................................................................ 7

Facilitate Inquiry through Media Research................................................................................. 8

Make a Claim Backed by Evidence............................................................................................. 8

Present and Compare Findings.................................................................................................... 8

Reflect on Learning..................................................................................................................... 9

Inquiry Assessment...................................................................................................................... 9

 

 

 

Background and Planning

 

About the Video

Olympic Movement & Robotic Design discusses precision and the practice needed to achieve it in Olympic athletics and how a type of robotic flyer called a quadrocopter can mimic Olympic athletic tasks. The quadrocopter was developed through a robotics program led by robotics

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engineer, Dr. Raffaello D’Andrea. Dr. D’Andrea and his team identify a task for the robot and then program it with algorithms that use feedback from the quadrocopter’s control system to enable the robot to not only perform the task, but also improve upon its performance each time it performs the task. In this way, it is much like Olympic athletes, such as skier Ted Ligety, hockey player Julie Chu, and figure skaters Charlie White and Meryl Davis, who learn from their mistakes and improve their performance with practice.

 

Video Timeline

0:00     0:14     Series opening

0:15     0:36     Introducing Ligety, Chu, and Davis and White

0:37     0:53     Pushing the boundaries of robotic abilities

0:54     1:35     Introducing D’Andrea

1:36     1:52     The quadrocopter’s innovative ability to learn from practice

1:53     2:54     How the quadrocopter learns from practice

2:55     3:27     Ball bouncing demonstration

3:28     4:09     Comparing ice dancing pairs with pairs of quads

4:10     4:31     Practice is important in both athletics and robotics

4:32     4:52     Summary

4:53     5:07     Closing credits

 

Language Support: To aid those with limited English proficiency or others who need help focusing on the video, click the Transcript tab on the side of the video window, then copy and paste the text into a document for student reference.

 

 

Promote STEM with Video

 

Connect to Science

Science concepts described in this video include all of the physical concepts associated with each type of movement described, as well as the concepts related to the robotic movements that mimic those of the Olympic athletes. These physics concepts include friction that resists downhill motion for a skier or the glide of a hockey player or figure skater. Gravity gives weight to a skier moving downhill, a hockey player and puck on the ice, and figure skaters ice-dancing around each other. In addition, lift and air drag work against gravity to lift the robotic fliers in the air. The physics of objects that collide can be studied through the examination of a hockey puck colliding with a stick. The momentum of each body in these systems can be studied by examining these processes.

 

Related Science Concepts

         force

         motion

         weight and gravity

         lift

         drag

         friction

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         collision

         momentum

 

Take Action with Students

         After watching the video, have students consider the physical activities they are involved in. Examples might include basketball, ballet, skateboarding, or throwing a ball for a dog. If they are able, students might engage in the activity (throwing a ball or running around the block) to think about their movements, why each movement is required, and what they have to make their bodies do to make each movement. For each activity, consider the Related Science Concepts listed above. Have students name which of these concepts (and more that they can think of on their own) are at work on them or on another body participating in their activity as they are engaged in it and how that concept is at work. Then, have students describe how a robot might mimic the tasks the students are engaged in within their activity. What would the machine have to do to be successful? For example, when walking a dog, a person has to stand up against the force of gravity. One’s feet and shoes use friction against the ground to move forward. The dog’s leash is held with muscle control. The force of friction against the ground and the dog walker’s muscles pull against the dog that is, in turn, pulling back. A robot created to walk a dog would have to mimic all of these tasks and motions, so it would have to create enough resistance, either by using friction and force created against the ground, or enough lift and drag to resist the force of the dog pulling and to move forward at an appropriate pace.

         Have students watch the video and pick one of the quadrocopter's maneuvers to consider in smaller groups. This might be the rotation stunt performed in the beginning, the slalom motion that mimics skiers, the ball passing back and forth mimicking hockey players or the rotation with another quadrocopter, mimicking figure skaters working together. For each activity students should identify three different positions or activities that the robot engages in for each task. For example, the hockey player movement means the quadrocopter has to pass the ball, move to catch the ball, and catch the ball. For each of the three positions or activities, students can draw free body diagrams that depict the forces acting upon that object in a given position or task. Use the diagrams to highlight and discuss how the robots have to change their behavior to accommodate each of the forces to accomplish a given task.

 

Connect to Technology

The design and function of the robotic quadrocopter is the main technology focus of the video. The machine is not only able to move in ways that other robots have not been able to move before, but because of a major technological innovation quadrocopters are actually able to learn from their surroundings to improve upon a task they are programmed to perform. The video describes the process by which the robots learn to move, from planning robotic movement using simulations, to the initial instruction in the form of algorithms they are programmed with, to the repetition that enables their learning and perfection of the task.

 

Take Action with Students

         Olympic Movement & Robotic Design describes the various movements and tasks that a quadrocopter can accomplish that mimic Olympic movements, but it does not discuss what

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implications this might have for the future uses of the quadrocopter. A technology is only as good as the purpose it serves. Have students think through the purpose of the quadrocopter technology and discuss as a class or in small groups how abilities that quadrocopters are programmed with can advance the sports they mimic. How might these abilities serve Olympic athletes in terms of practice for improvement? How might the technology and its ability to improve with each successive practice session be similar to or better than the way that athletes currently train? This question might require a bit of additional Internet research on the current training habits of athletes in a given sport.

         There are three Olympic sports showcased in the video. For each of these sports, technology already plays a role in athletic performance and safety. Have students watch the video, perhaps pausing it after each sport is highlighted. Have students identify the technology already involved in the sport and describe how that technology serves both the sport and the athlete.

 

Connect to Engineering

The video clearly describes the engineering design process used to enable the quadrocopter robot to accomplish a new task. Engineering design uses human ingenuity to draw from science, math, and technology to solve a problem. In this case, the problem is a new task for the robot. Designers and programmers use this as their starting point and then use it to develop algorithms or instructions for the robot. They simulate the algorithms to test what the robot will do, test it with the robot, and repeat the task, so that the quadrocopter might perfect the task. If the algorithmic programming is insufficient to perform a given task, engineers revise the programming until the robot is able to sufficiently practice and improve performance.

 

Take Action with Students

         Use the ENGINEERING DESIGN Inquiry section of the Olympic Movement & Robotic Design Inquiry Guide as a hands-on approach for applying engineering design principles.

         Place slips of paper, with a physical task written on each of them, in a container. Tasks may or may not be related to a sporting event. Examples might include throwing a ball, batting a puck back and forth, or riding a bicycle. Small groups of students should draw a task out of the container. For that task, students should first break down what the task entails (balancing, throwing, judging distance, etc.) Then, using their knowledge of engineering and science, they should design and draw a robot that can accomplish the task. Students should justify and be able to explain each design decision. After they have completed one design, slips get drawn again, until each group has a chance to design each task in the container. Finally, groups share with the whole class and discuss competing designs with other groups, including design decisions and justifications given for them.

 

Connect to Math

While the video does not discuss the nature of the calculations, math formulas are the basis for the algorithms that cause the quadrocopter to perform a task. On the basis of the tasks that are demonstrated in the video, the robots have to be able to calculate distances from other objects at rest and in motion, angles to negotiate spaces and pass objects to a partner, and velocities to be able to move from one location to another in a set amount of time.

 

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Take Action with Students

         Students might imagine that they are a quadrocopter, needing to move to a particular location to catch a ball. In small groups, students could write math equations to instruct each other to get from Point A to Point B on a plane. Sidewalk chalk could be used to draw a 10-foot by 10-foot grid (or larger/smaller depending on space). One student would stand on a point in the grid space while another student throws a ball in the air to land somewhere on the grid. It is the job of the group to write mathematics equations that might be used to move the student on the grid from Point A to Point B, where they would catch the ball. This is a simplified representation of the math that might be used to get the quadrocopter to a point where it would intercept the ball. Students can create the command equations themselves, but guide them to understand they will need an equation to convey distance and an equation to convey direction. The equation for the slope of a line (y = mx + b) might be helpful for direction and the Pythagorean Theorem (a2 + b2 = c2) for distance. After they test their commands within their group, they can give the commands to members of other groups to have them move from Point A to Point B on the grid.

         In order for the quadrocopter to interact with another object, it has to be in a certain place at a certain time. Most of the time this reaction has to happen in a fraction of a second, in which the robot calculates the distance it has to travel and in what direction. Part of that includes determining how quickly it had to move to get there, or the velocity at which it must travel. The equation for velocity is:

velocity = distance x time in a certain direction

The map below traces the path of a quadrocopter, noting the amount of time it took for the robot to get to each position. Each square on the grid is 1 square meter. For each movement of the quadrocopter, have students calculate the velocity at which the quadrocopter must have traveled to get to each location on the map in the amount of time given. Because their answers will be a velocity, they should include a direction. Depending on students' ability levels, they can either calculate the distance between each point using the Pythagorean Theorem (a2 + b2 = c2), or you can provide the distances for them. Students should use the table below the image to record their results. To take this activity one step further, students can graph the velocity increases and decreases from point to point, to note when the quadrocopter is speeding up or slowing down.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Position move

Time (seconds)

Distance (meters)

Velocity (meters/second)

Direction

1 to 2

3

 

 

 

2 to 3

4

 

 

 

3 to 4

3

 

 

 

4 to 5

2

 

 

 

5 to 6

6

 

 

 

 

 

 

Incorporate Video into Your Lesson Plan

 

Integrate Video in Instruction

As Part of the Day

         Bellringer Show the first 46 seconds of Olympic Movement & Robotic Design, which depicts the movements and abilities of various Olympic athletes. At 46 seconds stop the video and ask students to imagine what a robot would look like that could mimic the movements of each one of the athletes shown on the video. What would this robot be made of? What features would it have? What would cause it to move? What would be the source of its power? How would it practice to perfect its skills? Would it be as fun to watch as Ted Ligety or Julie Chu? Do you think Olympic athletes could learn from the robots? After students have discussed their ideas with the group, show the remainder of the video, so that they can compare their ideas to the quadrocopter, which can roughly mimic many tasks.

         Compare and Contrast In the video, the learning and practice process of an Olympic athlete is compared to the learning process for a quadrocopter. Have students compare and contrast the learning processes for both. Some things to consider might be amount of practice needed, kind of feedback each requires to learn, what senses are used to judge performance, and any outside input that might improve overall abilities.

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         Homework Discuss with students the notion described in the video that when engineers come up with something they can program the quadrocopter to do, they start with the task. Ask students to consider, until the next class meeting, the tasks they perform in their everyday lives. Examples might include getting the mail, walking the dog, or brushing their teeth. Ask students to describe each task and how the quadrocopter might assist with, or perform that task for them. Would the quadrocopter have to be redesigned to do the task? What sorts of feedback would it need in order to perform the task properly? Compare student ideas in the following class period.

 

As Part of a 5E Lesson Plan

If you use a 5E approach to lesson plans, consider incorporating the video in these Es:

         Explain Use the resources in the video that describe robotic movement to engage your students in your lessons on friction, gravity, lift, and drag. Student can see each at work as the quadrocopters change position and direction. Use this depiction to explore the changes in these forces as the quadrocopter moves.

         Elaborate Use the video to encourage students to do research about robots and robotic design, current uses for robots, how robots learn from practicing and experiences, where the emphasis is in robotics research currently, and what the plans are for robots that might be useful to human beings in the future.

 

Connect to … Language Arts

         Ad Campaign Have students imagine themselves as writers in an advertising firm. Use persuasive writing to design an advertising campaign targeting athletes who want to improve their performance. The advertisement should extol the benefits of the quadrocopter as a powerful aid to athletes that will help them practice, improve their performance, and increase their efficiency. Students should be sure to highlight the tasks the robots can complete that could be of use to athletes in practice and describe how athletes might practice with the robots.

         Grant Campaign Have students imagine themselves as engineers who are writing a grant to promote the use of robots to assist athletes with practice. Each engineer will write a portion of the grant that explains why robots will be useful for this purpose.

 

Connect to … Art

Artistic Interpretation A comparison is made in Olympic Movement & Robotic Design between the learning process of Olympic athletes and the learning process of the quadrocopters. The comparison of, or relationship between, human beings and robots has been a source of fascination as long as robots have been a reality. Have students create an art project (in any medium or one of the instructor’s choosing) expressing their ideas on the relationship between humans and robots. Students could consider a representation that depicts the hidden science forces that are not obvious when observing a robot. Another approach might focus specifically on the quadrocopter and Olympic athletes. Students should be encouraged to go off at any tangent that interests them.

 

 

 

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Use Video as a Writing Prompt

         Use the video as a prompt for students to think about the relationship between human beings and the robots that mimic them. Have students summarize the relationship between the two as depicted in the video and then describe how what the robots are doing might benefit the human beings being mimicked.

         Have students consider other areas in life (besides sport)—education, work, government, and so on—where robotic engineering could be of use. Ask them to identify circumstances in which robots would be helpful, and circumstances in which they might be detrimental or dangerous, while explaining the criteria by which their judgments were made.

 

 

 

Connect Video to Common Core ELA

Encourage inquiry via media research. Student work will vary in complexity and depth depending on grade level, prior knowledge, and creativity. Use prompts liberally to encourage thought and discussion.

 

Common Core State Standards Connections: ELA/Literacy –

RST.6-8.1 Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of science and technical texts, attending to the precise details of explanations or descriptions

RST.6-8.3 Follow precisely a multistep procedure when carrying out experiments, taking measurements, or performing technical tasks.

WHST.6-8.1 Write arguments focused on discipline-specific content.

WHST.6-8.7 Conduct short research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question), drawing on several sources and generating additional related, focused questions that allow for multiple avenues of exploration.

WHST.6-8.8 Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, using search terms effectively; assess the credibility and accuracy of each source; and quote or paraphrase the data and conclusions of others while avoiding plagiarism and following a standard format for citation.

 

Facilitate Inquiry through Media Research

Show the video Olympic Movement & Robotic Design and encourage students to jot down notes about the similarities between what the Olympic athletes and robots are doing while they watch. Elicit questions from group members and help them determine which are best explored using print media and online resources. Then, students should brainstorm to form a list of key words and phrases they could use in Internet search engines that might result in resources that will help them answer the question. Review how to safely browse the Web, how to evaluate information on the Internet for accuracy, and how to correctly cite information found. Suggest students make note of any interesting tangents they find in their research efforts for future inquiry. Encourage students with prompts such as the following:

         Words and phrases associated with our question are….

         The reliability of our sources was established by….

         The science and math concepts that underpin a possible solution are….

         Our research might feed into an engineering design solution such as….

         To conduct the investigation safely, we will….

 

Related Internet Resources

         Olympic sports: http://www.olympic.org/sochi-2014-winter-olympics

         Dr. D’Andrea’s TED talk on the quadrocopter: http://www.ted.com/talks/raffaello_d_andrea_the_astounding_athletic_power_of_quadcopters.html

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         National Geographic: Robot Revolution: Scientists teach robots to learn: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2013/07/130719-robot-lfd-pr2-artificial-intelligence-crowdsourcing-robotics-machine-learning/

 

Make a Claim Backed by Evidence

As students carry out their media research, ensure they record their sources and findings. Students should analyze their findings in order to state one or more claims. Encourage students with this prompt: As evidenced by… I claim… because….

 

Present and Compare Findings

Encourage students to prepare presentations that outline their inquiry investigations so they can compare findings with others. Students might do a Gallery Walk through the presentations and write peer reviews as would be done on published science and engineering findings. Remind students to credit their original sources in their comparisons. Elicit comparisons from students with prompts such as:

         My findings are similar to (or different from) those of the experts in the video in that….

         My findings are similar to (or different from) those of my classmates in that….

         My findings are similar to (or different from) those that I found on the Internet in that….

 

Reflect on Learning

Students should reflect on their understanding, thinking about how their ideas have changed or what they know now that they didn’t before. Encourage reflection, using prompts such as the following:

         I claim that my ideas have changed from the beginning of this lesson because of….

         My ideas changed in the following ways….

         When thinking about the claims made by the experts, I am confused about....

         One part of the investigation I am most proud of is….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Inquiry Assessment

 

Assessment Rubric for Inquiry Investigations

Criteria

1 point

2 points

3 points

Initial question or problem

Question or problem had had a yes/no answer or too simple of a solution, was off topic, or otherwise was not researchable or testable.

Question or problem was researchable or testable but too broad or not answerable by the chosen investigation.

Question or problem was clearly stated, was researchable or testable, and showed direct relationship to investigation.

References cited

Group incorrectly cited all of the references used in the study.

Group correctly cited some of the references used in the study.

Group correctly cited all of the references used in the study.

Claim

No claim was made or the claim had no evidence to support it.

Claim was marginally supported by the group’s research evidence.

Claim was well supported by the group’s research evidence.

Presentations

Groups neither effectively nor cooperatively presented findings to support their stance.

Groups effectively or cooperatively presented findings to support their stance.

Groups effectively and cooperatively presented findings to support their stance.

Findings comparison

Only a few members of the group constructively argued their stance.

Most members of the group constructively argued their stance.

All members of the group constructively argued their stance.

Reflection

None of the reflections were related to the initial questions.

Some reflections were related to the initial questions.

All reflections were related to the initial questions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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