• Stability and Motion: Forces and Interactions – Students explore simple machines such as wheel and axles, levers, the inclined plane,
and more. They investigate the effects of balanced and unbalanced forces on the motion of an object. Angelina, Mylo, and Suzi go on
a field trip to the zoo and are faced with the design problem of how to rescue a trapped tiger. Students then apply their knowledge of
forces and devise a way to rescue a heavy zoo animal while keeping it safe throughout the process.
• Programming Patterns – This module introduces students to the power of modularity and abstraction. Starting with computer-free
activities and progressing to programming in a blocks-based language on a tablet, students learn how to think computationally about
a problem. Angelina, Mylo, and Suzi set the stage for the design problem as they discuss their desire to create video games on their
tablet. Students then create a tablet game using modular functions and branching logic.
• Energy: Collisions – Students explore the properties of mechanisms and how they change energy by transferring direction, speed,
type of movement, and force. Students discover a variety of ways potential energy can be stored and released as kinetic energy. They
explain the relationship between the speed of an object and the energy of that object, as well as predict the transfer of energy as a
result of a collision between two objects. The design problem is introduced by Angelina, Mylo, and Suzi watching amusement park
bumper cars collide. As students solve the problem for this module, they apply their knowledge and skills to develop a vehicle restraint
• Input/Output: Computer Systems – In this exploration of how computers work, students are encouraged to make analogies between
the parts of the human body and parts that make up a computer. Students investigate reaction time as a measure of nervous system
function. After Mylo suffers a concussion, his friends become interested in how to diagnose concussions and create a reaction-time
computer program to assess a baseline before a concussion occurs. Students apply what they have learned to build their own reactiontime
measurement devices on tablets. This module has strong connections to the fourth-grade Human Brain module.
• Robotics and Automation – Students explore the ways robots are used in today’s world and their impact on society and the environment.
Students learn about a variety of robotic components as they build and test mobile robots that may be controlled remotely. Angelina,
Mylo, and Suzi are tasked with designing a mobile robot that can remove hazardous materials from a disaster site. Students are then
challenged to design, model, and test a mobile robot that solves this design problem.
• Robotics and Automation: Challenge – Students expand their understanding of robotics as they explore mechanical design and
computer programming. This module focuses on developing skills needed to build and program autonomous robots. Angelina, Mylo,
and Suzi are tasked with designing an automatic-guided vehicle to deliver supplies to a specific area in a hospital without being
remotely controlled by a person. Inspired by this design problem, students work with a group to apply their knowledge to design, build,
test, and refine a mobile robot that meets a set of design constraints.