Lego Algorithm and Other Learning Activities

With Lego Masters doing so well on TV, maybe it is a good opportunity to capitalize and also include some Digi Tech / algorithm fun: and

Lego Building Challenge
Lego Algorithmics
Lego Building Algorithm Activity

Lego Algorithm Duck Activities

Lego Challenge Cards


Provide students with grid paper. Provide tape measures. Students draw room to scale, including doors and windows. Scale is 1:100 When students finish, they can start designing a sustainable house in pairs.

Passive Solar Design Lesson

A. Sustainable housing: The Power of the SUN – Observation outside

• Go outside with class. Where are student shadows? Where does the sun rise and set? Where does the sun travel across the sky? Are shadows the same all year? How do they differ at different times if the year? Why?
• Where is it hotter? What is the effect of shaded areas? How does the sun affect different parts of a building?
• Look at school buildings – design of eaves, verandahs, awnings. What is the impact of this?

Assign roles to students, groups of 6 (can double up roles – could be done groups of 3 see brackets)
1. Sun (a)
2. Earth– collect a globe (b)
3. Clockwise/Tilt Checker – check angles and movement (leave out if group of 3)
4. Torch (a)
5. House Box (b)
6. Photographer/ Collaborator (c)

• Photographer/ Collaborator takes photos and saves to Onenote Collaboration space

B. Globe
• Sun, Earth and Checker out front of group, rest sit down. Student as earth, rotates around sun. What direction? How long does this take? How are night and day created?
• How do we get seasons? How long? Checker checks as earth rotates around – do winter and summer.
• Put globe back, sun, earth and checker sit down

C. Look at house model: see photos below

Make a house with photocopier box and windows cut in. Need box lid and torch.

• Photographer/ Collaborator takes photos and saves to Onenote Collaboration space
• Torch and House Box students use torch; demonstrate angle of sun in summer and winter with open living area door. What is the difference summer and winter on heat entering living areas?
• How can the summer sun be excluded, but winter sun included using roof?
• How can we improve this design?
• How can we use natural light more effectively – back of house?
• How can we best situate windows?
• Which parts of the house should be located where to best use natural light?
• Good image of clerestory windows and sun angles different seasons

D. Check understanding – Kahoot quiz
1. Sun rises in …. and sets in ….
2. Living areas should ideally face….
3. Most windows should face… and few windows face …. and …..
4. Why have windows on the south?
5. How can we reduce heat in houses in summer?
6. How can we increase heat in houses in winter?

E. Other resources
Seasons: Australian 5 mins 38
Passive Design principles 2 mins
Building design with simulations of shadows different seasons 5 mins

House Model

Term Unit on Sustainable Housing

Term 2 2018
Lesson planning Year 8 STEM Fix IT – Engineering a Greener Future
With the world population predicted to reach nine billion by 2050, solutions are needed around affordability, sustainability and energy efficiency. This unit promotes future skills, spatial skills and new careers directions in STEM fields, including Energy Engineering, Resource Management, and 3D printing. This unit also contains a focus on STEM careers for females.

1: Small Problem: Introduction to Unit, Careers focus and Project Management, and Design Thinking Model .

2 Apply design model to “Small Problem:” school bags getting mixed up. Allocate students to groups. Explore problem in group. Learn 3D printing design skills using Tinkercad
3 Explore career of Project Manager. Design name tag using Design Thinking Model. Reflect on solutions.
4 Big Problem: Sustainable Housing What is sustainable housing? Introductory PPT (See, Think, Wonder on Film Shorts about dystopian futures). Explore difference between needs and wants. Idea of aesthetic Outline key Careers: Renewable Energy Engineer, Materials Engineer, Environmental Engineer
5 Introduction to concept of eco-village. Watch Kevin’s Grand Design Episode 2 . What problems does he face building an eco-village? Consider why it is hard to change people’s thinking.
6 Look at Eco-village examples. Allocate new groups. Assign careers to each group member. Check students can install Minecraft. Give back 3D printed tags. Reflect on careers in 3D printing. and past student Maureen Ross

7 In groups research sustainability online using research template. Research headings: Energy and efficiency: products; Energy and efficiency: design, Building materials:new; Building materials – renewable, recyclable; Construction methods and design. Each student in group takes on different career role for research.

8 Review group research from own group and rest of class. Groups identify list of sustainable features they will apply to own eco-village. Review terminology and concepts e.g. net zero, ventilation, insulation, composting toilets etc.
9 Group research using print books and online resources. Focus on small sustainable houses. Reflect again on needs and wants. List of feature to consider e.g. energy, waste, water, space management etc.
10 Explore passive solar design. Do activity using torches and boxes to consider effect of sun and shading at different times of the year.
11 Further exploration of passive solar design options including thermal mass, ventilation, orientation.
12 Class discussion of ‘sustainable house design rules’ for individual houses (eg. Two stories max, only contain necessary areas, passive solar design etc.
Groups develop eco-village rules and rules for individual houses in the eco-village.
13 Explain scale. Each student sketches up individual house design. Then design this on grid paper to scale 1cm =.75 metres
Students place their house design on the tables. Then divide into careers and rotate around each table to give peer review of houses using post it notes to comment on one positive and one improvement of a peer’s design.
14 Look at Vicker Ridge Reduce individual house scale by half so 1 cm = 1.5 metres. Make walls thicker for Minecraft – if full blocks – walls will be 1 cm so need some adjustment on grid paper. Cut out house. Show how to use this scale for eco-village.
15 Eco-village design. Groups receive paper layout of housing plot using grid paper (45.9 cm by 49.5 cm). Students design eco-village in groups and should be able to justify their decisions.
16 Look at each eco-villages that groups have designed. Review design and improve. Plan design process – who does what in minecraft
17 Explore resources on “Throwaway Society.” Stimulus activity in groups
This lesson, students who are inexperienced with Minecraft skills receive peer training from another student.
18 Look at recent recycling challenges Sweden (also Denmark) Burning rubbish to generate power and
Look at changing careers and
Revise online rules for behaviour in Minecraft. Design eco-village in Minecraft
19 Design eco-village in Minecraft. Check each groups progress and provide feedback.
21 Design eco-village in Minecraft. Apply Council checklist. Revise
22 Design eco-village in Minecraft
23 Install signposts in Minecraft of sustainable features.
24 Apply checklist for eco village

25 Create presentation, write script in groups
25 Create presentation, write script in groups, practice.
26 Presentation of Minecraft world to class in groups. Students play role of one of the key careers and justify their choices in the design of their houses and their development
27 Reflect on presentations. Reflect on Careers with STEM
28 Unit evaluation and reflection
Reflect on collaboration skills, housing design, peer review etc.29 Reflect on Cognitive Verbs, Future Proof skills, Design Model and Spatial Thinking. Reflect on careers. Sustainable House Building game: may only work in Internet Explorer
30 Guest speaker

Number of lessons usually closer to 25 in most terms, so adapt according to term length. The unit is for one term, 3 Lessons per week each about 50 minutes long.
Unit uses MinecraftEDU flat world. Stored on school’s own servers. Accessible at home and school. Has teacher monitoring and control functions.