May 02, 2022 2022-05-02
Developed by researchers at TERC and Tuft University’s Center for Engineering Education and Outreach (CEEO), the Designing Biomimetic Robots curriculum challenges middle school students to learn about biomimicry by interweaving engineering, biology, robotics, and computer programming concepts through a series of engaging and practical tasks.
The curriculum engages students in using ideas from animal structure and function to build a biomimetic robot. Students study the natural world to learn how animals accomplish different tasks and then design and build a robot inspired by what they learned. In the process, students practice computational thinking, scientific reasoning, and engineering design skills, as they learn how to build and program their robot.
The curriculum includes approximately 15 hours of classroom activities, as well as building guides, links to multimedia resources, printable student worksheets, lists of materials needed, and teacher tips. An introduction for the teacher discusses problem-based learning; suggests instructional approaches, including formative assessment; and provides information on alignment with the Next Generation Science Standards. Lesson plans support student engagement in disciplinary practices such as developing and using models, and generating design solutions.
Visit the TERC website to download the curriculum, resources, and a one-hour activity.