ROBOT Science
Use LEGO Robots to teach scientific principles around speed, heat, sound, and color. Students will design and develop robotic prototypes that will use powerful features built into the NXT to collect data and report it back in the form of graphs and tables. Students will use this data to form conclusions that cement their understanding of these important and technological concepts. The culminating engineering activity is a robot bridge inspection project.

This teaching tool features five standards-based science and technology projects designed to teach scientific methodology and engineering process as students use sensors to measure speed, heat, light, and sound. Each lesson includes:



PREVIEW CONTENT Requires Adobe Flash Player

Product Overview video

Student Content
Inquiry and Data Logging  introduction video
Motion (step 2 of 10) lesson preview
Sound Sensor Stand  investigation model
Bridge Inspection  project assignment sheet

Teacher Tools
Product Guide
Light & Color Teacher Guide (Sample)
Dual Mode Operation Guide

US Standards Grids
Science (NSES)
Mathematics (NCTM)
Technology (ITEA)
Technology (NETS)
Engineering (MA)

UK Standards Grids
Design & Technology

Key educational outcomes

Data and graphs
Linear relationships
Using data
Spatial reasoning
Slope-intercept form

Math & science

Computerized data logging
Purpose of technology
Technological design
Sensor mechanisms
Technology & science


Nature of Inquiry
Hypothesis & evidence
Experimental design
Observations & predictions
Data collection & interpretation
Light and reflectivity
Color and perception
Distance, time, and speed
Heat transfer
Frequency & amplitude
Science & math
Science & technology

Reasoning with evidence
Explanation and argumentation
Scientific discussion and discourse
Documenting processes


Topics on the CD include:

  • Setup – For the teacher, a step-by-step guide on how to set up and manage robotics in your classroom.
  • Tutorial – A step-by-step guided introductory experience to Data Logging with the Temperature Sensor.
  • Motion – Investigate the relationship between distance and time using a scatterplot, then use your findings to help a mobile robot to obey the traffic speed limit.
  • Heat – Gather data about the effectiveness of heat-shielding materials to make an informed robotics design decision.
  • Sound – Analyze patterns in sound data to predict what kinds of music a dancing robot can get down to!
  • Light & Color – Propose, test, and revise hypotheses about how light and the Light Sensor work when pointed at different color strips. Use the light-detection capabilities of the sensor to locate leaks in hard-to-reach pipes.
  • Bridge Inspection – Visual inspection of bridges is a vital procedure. Can a data-gathering robot help? This is an open-ended engineering design project with lots of support for both teachers and students.

Teacher’s Guide – Includes extensive teacher tools such as notes, lesson plans, presentations, student worksheets, rubrics, evaluation guides, quizzes and answer keys for all topics covered. All lesson concepts and skills are mapped to national standards for mathematics, science and technology to support STEM standards. Prior experience teaching robotics or programming not required or assumed.

Classroom Requirements –One LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT Education Kit and one computer for every group of 2-4 students. Each computer should have access to thiis curriculum and LEGO MIndstorms Education NXT 2.0 software.

Related Products – Robotics Engineering Vol. I - Introduction to Mobile Robotics • Robotics Engineering Vol. II - Guided Research • Science Investigator

Robots  Mindstorms NXT
Programming  NXT-G 2.0
Prerequisite  None
Student level  Middle School
Media  CD-Rom for PC and Mac

System requirements:
Windows® XP, Service Pack 2 or later.
Internet Explorer 6.0 or later. Mozilla Firefox® 3 or later.
Macintosh® OSX 10.3.9 or later. Safari 3.2.1 or later.
Adobe Flash Player 10 or later (included).
Adobe Acrobat Reader (PC only, included).

Hardware requirements:
For use with LEGO® MINDSTORMS®
Education NXT 2.0 software, Base Set 9797, and LEGO MINDSTORMS Temperature Sensor (sold separately)

Product Code  4556847
Price  $225.00 for classroom license

Developed at the Robotics Academy
Carnegie Mellon University
Ten 40th St., Pittsburgh, PA 15210
412 963.7310

Robotics Education Store