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  Lesson Ideas

Heat Rate Monitors in Elementary Physical Education

Students use heart rate monitor watches during activities, recording their resting, activity, and recovery heart rates.

Contributed by Joseph Lancaster

A Concrete Lab for Aerobic & Anaerobic Respiration

A fun lab that demonstrates ATP creation tangibly and qualitatively. Students lift dumbells and do push-ups until the point of failure, recording their heart rate and blood oxygen level afterward.  Students are able to connect their exhaustion to the theory, sensor measurements, and quantitative results.

Contributed by Joseph Lancaster

Six Day Robotics Club

This set of lessons was designed as an after school program for fifth graders where they learned how to build and program Lego NXT robots, emphasizing the programming rather than the building. They also learn about some of the engineering behind the Lego NXTs and their sensors, comparing them to real world examples such as Google's self-driving car and echo-location used by bats and navy ships.


Day 1: Build The Robots

Day 2: Program the Robots To Move Through Courses

Day 3: Program the Robots To Use Ultra-Sonic Sensors

Day 4: Work on The Challenges From Previous Days

Day 5: Work on Challenges From Previous Days and Create a Course To Show Parents on Day 6.

Day 6: Do Presentation For Parents About What the Students Did

Contributed by Paul Cain

Citizen Science: Two Lessons

Students will learn that average citizens and even students can make meaningful contributions to science through citizen science. Students will learn about some of the different types of citizen science during the lessons. In lesson one, they will learn about the Zooniverse citizen science project and try it for themselves. In lesson two, they will learn about the Fold-It citizen science project and try it out for themselves. They will also be encouraged to think of other places where citizen science could potentially be used.

Contributed by Paul Cain

The Many Uses Of NXT Programming

In this 1 hour lesson, students will learn the basics of NXT programming and what it is capable of by seeing examples of some cool and novel uses for NXT software and then programming an NXT robot to move through a series of obstacle courses.

Contributed by Paul Cain

1 Hour Scratch Programming Lesson

This lesson introduces students to basics of programming using Scratch. In this lessons they will learn what Scratch is, the different types of programs that can be made with Scratch, and have some time to try Scratch, either by following the exercises or by exploring on their own.

Contributed by Paul Cain