Working together for the first time
In this lesson students will depend on the robot of another pair of students for the first time. Make sure you clearly explain to your students that they are expected to conduct experiments together and decide how they are going to load the crane.
An example of unsuccessful team cooperation:
Two pairs of students in a team solve all tasks individually as that’s the way they are used to. Their first attempt for cooperation actually happens 20 minutes before the end of the lesson. This means they have only 5 minutes to work together. It turns out one of the cables on the crane is improperly positioned. The touch sensor is on the way of the dump truck and the ultrasonic sensor cannot see the dump truck. As a result, these students cannot solve any of the tasks and spend the remaining time trying to cope with the problems. The students could have avoided these problems if they had cooperated right from the beginning.
When students start working on the tasks, you should synchronize the time they spend on each task. Some of the pairs may build their robots faster, some may solve their tasks faster. You should pay closer attention and intervene, if necessary. You may skip the first and the second dump truck tasks (reaching the crane and waiting and the dump truck may start moving from the crane directly) or may add tasks to pairs who are dealing better – such as a third ball for the dump truck or an ultrasonic sensor for the crane which should detect the dump truck and make dumping automatic.
Students have to coordinate and choose the dumping point – where the crane and the trailer meet. Students also have to plan enough space so that the dump truck can easily pass by the crane, which means there shouldn’t be any cables or additional constructions on the way.