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Monday, 10 December 2018
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The Algebra of Lego Go Carts
Short Description: Students create Lego go carts and use scatter plots and equations to predict where the cart will land
Duration of Lesson: 1 Class Period
Grade Levels: High 9-12
Subjects: Mathematics
Technologies used in Lesson: Robotics
Online Tutorial:
Lesson Plan
 
Aim: To show how scatter plots and linear equations can be used to build further traveling go carts and familiarize students with the Lego Mindstorm Invention kits.
 
Background Knowledge: Students should have some basic understanding of linear equations and graphing.
 
Preparation: Lego Mindstorm Kits, scale and a ramp.
Note: Students will work in groups and will need space to freely build and become acquainted with the Lego kits.
 
Procedure: 1- Students are split up into groups of two.
2- Each group is given a Lego Mindstorm kit and asked to just take the time to build a go cart and explore the pieces of their kits.
3- A ramp is set up where students can see how their carts handle going down a ramp and marks are made using tape where students’ carts land.
 
                                
4- Once students have become comfortable with the Lego kits and their go carts, ask them to try placing varying amounts of weight on their carts and record their data as “weight vs. distance.”
 
Follow-up Questions: 1- What happened when you placed more weight on your go cart?  
 2- Did you ever put “too much” weight on your go cart?
                                      3- How did you determine the optimal weight for your cart on the
   ramp?
  4- How can you use math to make your cart go ANY desired  
  distance on this ramp?
 
Homework:   Students should take their recorded data and create a scatter plot.  Using
weight as the independent variable and distance as the dependent variable, students should find a best-fit line for their scatter plot and write the equation of their line. 

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