Space inspired STEM activities using the LEGO® MINDSTORMS® Education EV3 Core Set

Space evokes wonder in pupils of all ages. Topics such astronomy, using satellites, space exploration and even sustaining a human outpost in space all present STEM based education opportunities. 

Learning about STEM concepts related to space, such as energy, motion and forces, waves, matter and space physics can be made easy with a series of fun space themed challenges and research projects with the LEGO® MINDSTORMS® Education EV3 Core Set

We’ve chosen our top three learning space inspired STEM learning experiences from the LEGO MINDSTORMS Education EV3 Space Challenge

How does a rocket launch work?

Getting a rocket to launch from Earth to Mars involves lots of motions and forces. To escape the Earth’s gravitational pull and break through the atmosphere needs an escape velocity of over 11km per second. And that is before the journey to Mars starts, taking between 150 and 300 days.

Start the lesson by showing rocket launch videos, to demonstrate the amount of fuel and energy needed to reach escape velocity. Then design, build and program a robot to navigate to the rocket launch site to press the launch button, ready for lift off.

Life on Mars: A human space outpost

We have travelled to the moon and sent rovers to Mars, but would it take to successfully live on the red planet? This module can be done as single user experiments, or in group work.

Encourage pupils to discuss what they think is needed for a human outpost to survive on Mars, Then assign each pupil a model from a list of essential items to build from the , such as communications station, satellite, solar panel and rocket launcher, then encourage then to discuss their models. You could even ask the students to prepare for their first mission to Mars.

Communication systems from space

Imagine living on Mars. How would you keep in touch with friends, family and colleagues back on earth? The answer is satellite communication systems, which rely on radio waves to transmit and receive data. Radio waves are a kind of electromagnetic radiation and therefore travel at the speed of light, over 186,000 miles per second!

Build a communications satellite and get the robot to manoeuvre the satellite into an upright position for optimum transmission. You could use the lesson to discuss satellite communications and other types of electromagnetic waves used in everyday life too: x-ray, ultraviolet and microwave.

What is LEGO MINDSTORMS?

LEGO MINDSTORMS is aimed at KS3 and KS4 learners,but has a huge fan base in older age groups too (who doesn’t love LEGO?).  The LEGO MINDSTORMS Education EV3 Core Set takes students on a coding journey like no other, with challenges and research projects across the Mathematics, Computing, Science and Design and Technology curriculums.

Within the LEGO MINDSTORMS Education EV3 Core Set, you will find an array of LEGO bricks and the LEGO MINDSTORMS Education EV3 Intelligent Brick. Build the models and then bring them to life by coding the LEGO Intelligent Brick using either the LEGO MINDSTORMS Education EV3 Software or LEGO MINDSTORMS Education EV3 Programming app. Both use the Python coding language. There are 48 projects to try in the Core set and the possibilities are only limited by your imagination!

The LEGO MINDSTORMS Education EV3 Core Set can be expanded with additional sets, to provide even more learning opportunities.

What do I need to complete the LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 Space Challenge Curriculum?

The LEGO MINDSTORMS Education EV3 Core Set is accompanied by the LEGO MINDSTORMS Education EV3 Software, which contains full teacher resources, documentation tool data logging, instructions and tutorials. The LEGO MINDSTORMS Education EV3 Space Challenge Curriculum also requires the LEGO MINDSTORMS Education EV3 Space Challenge Set

How can I learn more about LEGO MINDSTORMS?

Philip Harris, part of Findel Education Resources, is a reseller of LEGO Education products. If you have any questions about LEGO MINDSTORMS, call our technical support team on 0345 120 4521 or e-mail techsupport@philipharris.co.uk. 

Check out the Philip Harris Twitter and Facebook for more fun experiments to try.

Further useful resources for LEGO MINDSTORMS:

 

LEGO MINDSTORMS Education EV3 Space Challenge Curriculum Resources and Software Download

https://education.lego.com/en-gb/support/mindstorms-ev3/space-challenge

LEGO MINDSTORMS Education EV3 Space Challenge Curriculum Grid

https://le-www-live-s.legocdn.com/sc/media/files/curriculum/space_challenge_curriculum_grid-58e34ca50617bcf5ebbf00fc15e47b40.pdf

LEGO MINDSTORMS Education EV3 Teacher Introduction

https://le-www-live-s.legocdn.com/sc/media/files/teacher-guides/mindstorms/ev3-space-teacher-introduction-engb-acf511d1602effb513ab49f21012d842.pdf

Easy to Use STEAM Lessons and Unit Plans

https://education.lego.com/en-gb/lessons

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