1. Unit Plan
Title: Automation and Robotics
Unit Length: 3 weeks
Written by: Jim Roland
Subject/Grade: 8th Grade Technology
Standard 5: Students will apply technological knowledge and skills to design, construct, use,
and evaluate products and systems to satisfy human and environmental needs.
1: Identify needs and opportunities for technical solutions.
6: Choose and use resources for a particular purpose.
9: Process energy into other forms.
11: Access needed information from various Internet sites.
14: Use a computer to monitor and control systems.
16: Assemble, operate, and explain the operation of systems.
17: Describe how subsystems and systems interact.
18: Describe the requirements of a system control.
Rationale: To promote Technological Literacy, PLTW has justified the importance of
Automation and Robotics. Students will learn the content of this curriculum while
strengthening skills of literacy to become better learners. The application of content learned
will be the greatest learning experience for students through several activities.
Launch: Introduce gears with Fisher-Tek demonstration and then begin automation section
with Transformers video and discussion.
Essential Question: Explain the evolution of automation and robotics historically and
possibilities for the future.
Critical Thinking Skill: Decision Making
Sub Skills: , ,
Assessments: Formative: Daily Bell Ringer, Quizzes, Homework, Activity
Participation, Daily Participation
Summative: Automation and Robotics unit quiz
Vocabulary: NYS Test: Represents, Elaborate, Similar
Unit Vocab: energy, system, machines, automation, robotics, gear, gear train, torque, speed,
force, reciprocating, rotary, linear, input, output, gear ratio, teeth, bevel gear, worm gear, idler,
mechanism, universal joint, pulley, differential, work, effort, flow of power, angular range,
programming, gear box, motor, mechanical advantage
2. Guiding Questions: Explain what a gear is. Determine the mechanical advantage of a gear
train. Compare the relationship between torque and speed. Recommend a gear train for greater
torque and another for greater speed. Illustrate basic programming commands. Construct a
system for computer control. Solve the gear ratio of a complex gear train. Program a system to
function within constraints. Compare the advantages and disadvantages of robotics. Reflect
upon the concern of robotics in your future.
Student Engagement: participation in activities, observation throughout direct instruction,
accountability by asking all students for answers randomly, answer individual questions,
include students throughout instruction as helpers or assisting teachers, group or teamwork
Meaningful Use (real world application): Students will assemble several gear trains to study
the relationship of torque and speed and calculate gear ratios. They will then begin to assemble
basic computer controlled systems to program with Robo Pro. Both of these activities near
exact models of industrial gearing and programming.
Materials/Resources: gear assemblies, Fisher-Tek interface, power supplies, patch cables,
motors, gear box, track, extra interface wires for components, switches, programming problem
How did it go?: