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Droid Race

by Chris Kunkel

Published on August 31, 2017



Lesson Overview

The lesson begins by holding a Droid race through student-created obstacle course. Students will familiarize themselves with the controls of the Droid. Students record and analyze the race results using age appropriate statistical techniques. Students then hold a ‘blindfolded’ Droid race where the driver cannot see the Droid and must rely on the directions given by teammates. The lesson closes with a discussion of importance of iterative improvement.

Essential Questions:

  • How do our Droids controls work?
  • How can we improve our Droid’s performance in a race?
  • How can we communicate e ectively to describe a set of actions?

Lesson Objectives

  • Students will analyze data collected by racing a Droid through an obstacle course.
  • Students will understand engineering as an iterative process.
  • Students will understand the role that sensors play in robotics.
  • Students will perform statistical analysis of race data.

Assessment Strategies

Collect student made statistical analysis. Teacher observation and discussion.


Age appropriate statistical terms. Generally for 6th grade or above:

  • Measures of Center - mean, median
  • Measures of Variability–range, interquartile range, mean absolute deviation
  • Statistical displays - box plot, histogram, dot plot
  • Iteration



Lesson Outline

  • INTRO: Lay out the obstacle course project. Make sure students understand what they need to do.
  • CREATE: Students create and test their own obstacle course.
  • PLAY: Students test out each other’s obstacle courses keeping time. Students can mathematically analyze the race results.
  • REMIX: Students do another race, this time with the driver blindfolded. The teammates who can see need to guide the verbally guide the driver to get the Droid through the courses.
  • SHARE: Students discuss successes and challenges from the lesson.
  • EXTENSION: Students give written directions for the blindfolded operator challenge.



The pacing listed is very tentative. The lesson can take much more time if you opt to do more with statistics or it can be short if you do only the basic challenge.


15 minutes set up before the lesson Day 1– Introduce, Create, Play Day 2 – Remix, Share, Close

Day 3 – Extension (optional)



4.MD.B.4–Make a line plot to display a data set of measurements in fractions of a unit (1/2, 1/4, 1/8).

5.MD.B.2–Make a line plot to display a data set of measurements in fractions of a unit (1/2, 1/4, 1/8).

6.SP.A.1–Recognize a statistical question as one that anticipates variability in the data related to the question 


MS-ETS1-4–Develop a model to generate data for iterative testing and modi cation of a proposed object, tool, or process such that an optimal design can be achieved.

3-5-ETS1-3–Plan and carry out fair tests in which variables are controlled and failure points are considered to identify aspects of a model or prototype that can be improved.