## Crossing the Gap

*Crossing the Gap* is a free-form robotics activity that requires a minimal amount of setup. It is an excellent choice for novices, but can also present a challenge to experienced students.

Basic lesson outline is as follows:

## Age: 10 years old

## Task

Build a robot that can safely cross the gap between two desks. The gap starts at 15 cm, and will increase by 5 cm each time your robot reaches the other side.

## Props

Two desks (or other movable raised surfaces) and a soft floor! A large ruler should be on hand to set tables to specific distances.

## Design and Planning

Whilst students are not given instructions for this activity, a teacher can choose to pose the following questions to the help the design process:

- Where is the robot’s tipping point?
- Will the robot always need to support both ends during a crossing?
- Will the robot always need at least one wheel in contact with a table?
- How can the robot be designed to handle increasing gaps?
- Will the robot be all-in-one unit, or will it use a tool?

## Activity

After providing the information above, let the students begin. Teachers should display a countdown so students are aware of the remaining challenge time.

I think this is an interesting activity. I like the questions you posted to help students in their design process. I also like the idea of timing the challenge time. I think setting time limits will help students organize their thoughts more efficiently. However, I am not sure if the students are expected to build an actual robot in this activity. If so, what are the materials needed to build a robot? In addition, I would like to know an estimated time for this activity. Thank you!

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