Middle School

Introduction to Computers

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Introduction to Computers

The attached "History and Parts of a Computer" PowerPoint file is used in conjunction with this Code.org: "What Makes a Computer, a Computer?" and "CPU, Memory, Inut & Output" videos as well as   this Intel "The Journey Inside: The Computer - Introduction to Computers" video

View Mode Video

This Viewing Sensors video was developed by Dale Yocum (Catlin Gabel School, Portland, OR) as part of his NXT Tutorial series. These videos have been linked as Alternative and Supplemental Differentiated Instructional Resources to their corresponding sections in this STEM Robo101 curriculum. This NXT Viewing Sensors video covers the NXT brick's View Mode capability utilized in this lesson.  The video also goes on to explain calibration and other capabilities beyond the scope of the NXT Test Circuits lesson.

NXT Test Circuits (View Mode)

The attached  pdf file of the NXT brick menus can be used as a visual aid as students explore the various modes. 

This View Mode Worksheet Word file walks students through the functionality of the different NXT sensors in View Mode.

NXT Test Circuits (View Mode)

Powering the NXT

The lesson utilizes the "Powering the NXT" video from the "Basics" menu in the "NXT Video Trainer 2.0" product from Carnegie Mellon University's Robotics Academy.

Powering the NXT

Hands-on Circuits Lab

Four Parts of a Circuit

Ideally, students will have supplies to build their own simple circuits, or alternatively, the teacher will have one set and performance a demonstration for the class.  These supplies would include:

  • 9V battery
  • battery clip
  • alligator clip wires
  • switch
  • incandescent lamp

Build a simple circuit and allow students see to how all four parts are necessary for the circuit to function.

Insulators. Conductors. Semiconductors

The NXT Circuit (incl. Formative Assessment)

This alternative NXT Circuit PowerPoint presentation intersperses the instructional slides with multiple choice review questions.  It may also be used as a follow up Formative Assessment.

The NXT Circuit

The attached PowerPoint presentation identifies the parts of an NXT circuit and examples of insulators, conductors and semiconductors in an NXT circuit.

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