LEGO Mindstorm Robots have taken over the eighth grade science lab! Mr. Noon’s science classes are using the robots to perform STEM related tasks. First, students have to complete an inventory to make sure they have all necessary pieces in their kit. Then, they have to build a chair for Chair Bear. The chair they build has to fit the bear comfortably, have arm rests, be sturdy, pass a shake test, and pass an impact test. There are no instructions given. This task provides an opportunity for students to become familiar with the LEGO pieces, plan, build, and get immediate feedback. The next task is to build a LEGO car. For this task, there are instructions, in the form of pictures. After building, students then program the car to move around a racetrack without crossing over the inside line and without hitting any desks or furniture around the perimeter of the room. Students are constantly using the engineering design process to design, redesign and program, and then reprogram, until they finally accomplish the task. Though it is not a true race, students will calculate the speed at which their car made it around the track. Upon completion of the race car activity, they will tackle the next tasks which include; parking lot, velociraptor, and golf shot. These more complex tasks require use of and programming of touch, light, and distance sensors. Watch out…these robots are very “sens-itive”. Ask your eighth grader about this!