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Creating a Mars Rover Skin


I can design and create a skin for my Mars Rover that includes shape transformations that I can describe


Look at this site:

Why would they be called ‘skins’? How could this be related to what we have just been learning in maths?

What was important to remember when making nets for 3D shapes from our lesson last week?


Create a skin for your Edison/Mars Rover.

Make the net for it to be stuck onto your Edison robot later –you each need to make one- it can be a different design each or the same design on each


Skins should be created using paper and cut out- no need to put them on the Edisons permanently- this will be done in our final presentation session.


First, create the outline of the net for your Edison- how many faces will the net have? Where will the faces join?

Make sure you measure each side of each face precisely. Can you make the net just by measuring your Edison well or do you need to trace some parts of it? – make sure you check and measure where holes should go for the wheels and any sensors you are hoping your Mars rover will use (you can remove the wheels to measure)


Then decorate it with your pattern of repeating shapes. Describe the shape transformations in your maths book. You may want to trace around any of the 2D shapes on our maths table.

Create a design for your mars rover that involves any/ some/all of these of at least 1 shape:

Tessellation/rotation, reflection, translation, enlargement

You need to describe the maths of the changes you have made to the shapes in your maths book- direction, distance, how much larger/smaller

Once you have designed the pattern with your sharp grey led you may colour it in.


After this, you can cut out the skin. Try to fold it around

Teacher should collect all nets/skins for our presentation session next week

Goal Reflection

Give feedback to the other members of your team on how well they made their skin- the pattern & how well it fits the Edison




 I can design what my rover will do



Explain what this code made the Edison do in a simple few sentences/ what was it representing as a ‘Mars rover’?



What the Edison did:

The Edison moved forward, turned left then moved forward again. It turned both of its LEDs on and waited. If it heard a clap it sent an IR message. If it didn’t, it sent a different IR message. Then it waited for 20 seconds. Then it went backwards, turned left and went forwards, returning to where it came from.

What it represented:

The Mars rover came out of its space capsule and travelled to where there were rocks suspected of having water traces. It fired its lasers. If it heard the explosion of water vapour, it sent back a message that there was water found. If it didn’t sense the explosion, it sent back a message saying no water was found. Then it waited and returned to the space capsule.


Create:  design products or processes to meet specific needs

  1. I describe something that could be better- the way a Mars rover might work on Mars
  2. I tell what it should be- design what your Edison will do
  3. I make a model- the Edison with program
  4. I listen to others tell me how to make it better-test/debug & get feedback
  5. I make it better-get feedback, debug and make improvements
  6. I publish or produce it

 New info

Protocode is when you explain in English what you hope your code will do. It is usually written in steps/instructions/procedural language. It is the English language version of the programming algorithm.



Today, you should plan what you want your Edison to do and write 2 versions of protocode. 1 will say what the Edison will do, and the other what it represents your Mars rover would do. Discuss and plan as a group together, then write separately. Remember the clearer the individual steps, the easier it will be to convert to EdScratch code/

Share your versions when you are all complete, and combine them to make your published version that you should publish on your blogs and email the link to your teacher.


Goal reflection:

What aspects of your protocode did you all have in common? What were some differences? What will be the easiest/hardest parts to convert to EdScratch?

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Beginning our Rover design



I understand what I need to know to begin designing my Mars rover


What ideas for tasks for your Mars rover could you get from these videos?


New info/Application

Thinking skill: Create:  design products or processes to meet specific needs

  1. I describe something that could be better- the way a Mars rover might work on Mars
  2. I tell what it should be- design what your Edison will do
  3. I make a model- the Edison with program
  4. I listen to others tell me how to make it better-test/debug & get feedback
  5. I make it better-get feedback, debug and make improvements
  6. I publish or produce it



What are different things that Edison does that could stand in for things the rover does? …BRAINSTORM A LIST IN THE FIRST COLUMN OF A TABLE



Make correlation-Match the things that Edison does with tasks the Mars rover might do in the second column


Design-You can model any part of Curiosity’s real tasks or your own idea of what it or a future rover could do- see lesson 2

  • You need steps designed for what it will do- PROTOCODE (procedure/ instructions/algorithms/flow chart/steps)
  • You need to code your Edison
  • You need to test/debug your code
  • Rover should move
  • You need to share your code using the ‘share’ function on EdScratch
  • You need a map of the area you want it to move through. Your map should show where the rover will go and what it will do. You could include a scale on your map and make a grid representation and give co-ordinates for locations it goes
  • You need a design for your mars rover ‘skin’ connection to maths lessons nets/tessellation
  • You need to present your Edison project


Possible ideas-

  • follow a specific path modelled on Curiosities past/possible future travels
  • Design a way for Curiosity to get to a certain place even if there are obstacles in the way
  • Design a way curiosity could go into a cave and out again
  • Send messages back to earth about something it finds
  • Pick up something (take samples)
  • communicate with another rover and tell it to meet it
  • Opportunity rover recently powered down when its solar panels were covered in dust from a dust storm- could Opportunity (or the next rover sweep the dust off?)


Goal reflection:

Our ideas for our Edison Rover are for it to…..

Explain why this task(s) would be important.


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Using a decision making matrix to decide the future of space exploration


Image result for exploring space

In what way should humans continue with space exploration?


I can use a decision matrix to evaluate the benefits of different options for the future of space exploration


discuss BTN homework video:

Humans in Space: 31/03/2015, Behind the News

Is this important? Why?

New Information:

Decide: select from among seemingly equal choices 

  1. I can describe a decision I need to make   

 The future of space program is in jeopardy- you have been tasked by the government to give recommendations on the future of the space exploration industry

2. I can identify my choices/options-brainstorm and put into our Matrix

3. I can identify features/considerations that are important to consider-brainstorm and put into our chart

 Choose from some of these resources for your research:

Robots & drones:



the future of telescopes in space exploration

The next big telescope-James Webb telescope

Government run exploration:

NASA’s future  (and more here)

China’s Government Space Program

Private companies exploring space:


Another private space exploration company- Virgin Galactic  (their site)

& a Herald Sun kids news article on Virgin Galactic 


  1. I can assign a value score to each feature/considerations based on importance –create this chart in pairs or small groups (the least important feature will be multiplied by 1- other features are given multiplicative weighting according to your personal belief of their importance. Some features may end up with identical ratings).
  2. I can score each choice/option in relation to the feature/consideration the 5 or so options you have chosen should be rated in order of how well they meet that criteria (make sure you rate the most positive outcome highest even if the consideration is framed negatively)
  3. I can multiply the feature score by the choice score– do the maths!
  4. I can identify the choice with the highest score to make my decision-What’s the total? Is it what you thought it would be?

Goal Reflection:

8. I can use what I learned to explain the best choice- write up your recommendations and reasoning for the government. Make sure you mention what you learned from your decision matrix.


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Getting to know each other


Post a comment down below with 5 things about you…..we have to guess who you are….don’t make it too easy or too hard….

  • Make sure you AREN’T logged on (normally when you comment you should ALWAYS log on- your comments will be deleted by the teacher otherwise)
  • Fill in the name with a name that won’t give away who you are (e.g. ‘someone123’)
  • Put in an email address-either one you own or ‘someone’
  • DON’T put in a website
  • Write a comment that says 5 things about you that are real.
  • Fill in the antispam word
  • Submit comment
  • Now login (if you don’t remember your login, you may ask Ant to login for you
  • Keep refreshing your page and the comments will start appearing- as they do, write a list and see if you can guess who each person is. You can post your guess as a reply to the comment if you like

Sending infrared signals with an Edison


Related image


I can program an infrared message with an Edison


How does a remote control work?

What messages need to go between earth and a Mars rover?



New info/Application:

The IR (infrared) function on Edison could be used as a model for the way a Mars rover sends and receives messages.

Show my flag example:

What can you come up with?

Brainstrorm possible messages that could be sent between Edisons that would represent information a rover might want to send

Goal reflection:

Am I going to use the IR function in my coding of my Mars rover model? If so, what might it be, if not, why not?

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I can identify the inputs and outputs on Edison and make a simple program that makes them work



In a computer system, inputs are defined as parts or places where information or messages can enter the system.

Outputs are defined as parts or places where information or actions can exit the system.

On a computer- what are the inputs (ways to put information IN to the computer)? What are the outputs (ways the computer can send something OUT of itself)?



Inputs- keyboard/ mouse/usb/Bluetooth/wifi….

Outputs- screen/speakers/printer/Bluetooth/wifi

Both input & output-usb


New Info/ Application:


Inputs: parts or places where information or messages can enter the system.

Outputs: parts or places where information or actions can exit the system.


Look at your Edisons & the diagrams from lesson 1 & and identify all the inputs/outputs of an Edison






Inputs: Infra red/ obstacle detector/ cable/ light sensors/ sound sensor/buttons

Outputs: moving wheels/ lights (LEDs)/ beeping/Infra red

List them and identify which ones you are already familiar with how to make work, and which ones you are not sure how to get to work

Explore how to get them to input or output using coding on edScratch (log on to your account)-expert students (Fin, Hamish T, Hamish C, Callum) should move around room to share knowledge/ students should explore edScratch & turn various sensors on & create and program simple code that demonstrates as many input and output functions as possible.



They should be separate stand-alone code as simple as this:


which would prove knowledge of that output (wheels drive).

Each separate coding sequence should activate 1 type of input or output.

How many can you achieve?


List what you have managed to find out & what you are yet to find out

Goal reflection:

What might different inputs and outputs be models for if we are creating a Mars rover model?




e.g- driving could be driving/ IR could be sending or receiving messages from earth/ LEDs could be lasers…..

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Space- Lesson 5- Using ANALOGY to understand what it is like to work in Outer Space



To use an analogy to explain what working in space is like


Discuss the BTN set as homework:

Mars Experiment: 08/09/2015, Behind the News

What would you like about this experience? What wouldn’t you like?

Today our aim is to encourage a new generation of space explorers.

We will try to help kids understand what it is like by creating an ANALOGY

Open the Thinking Skills sheet you have downloaded and look at the steps for:

 Analogy – the relationship or pattern between a known and unknown situation- By seeing similarities to something familiar it helps us better understand something that is unfamiliar

  1. Tell about a topic that is hard to understand-what would working in space be like
  2. Explain a story or something you already know about that seems like the new topic-                                                                    an analogy isn’t like a simile-where something has 1 characteristic in common, or like a comparison, where you look at things that have a lot that’s the same- An analogy compares a familiar thing that has lots of comparable aspects to an unfamiliar thing, so that you can understand the unfamiliar better brainstorm possibilities- what is something familiar to us kids that has a lot in common with working in space?
  3. Tell how each part of what you know can explain the new topic- Use websites and videos to help you understand how working in space can be compared to our analogy.

New Information:

Select from the following weblinks and the videos in student shared drive to continue your investigation (remember to skim an scan to find relevant info):


What’s working on the International Space Station (The ISS) Like?

Questions about working on the ISS

Practicing For Mars Travel

 Space Effects BTN


Fill in the grid with researched responses- how is working in space like our analogy?

4.  Tell what you know now (new idea) or could do with the information (new item)– design a poster encouraging people to join NASA’s space program and work on a space station using what you’ve learned. Make sure you are helping kids understand by comparing the experience with the analogy.




I can enlarge shapes


Why is this map ineffective?




Use widget from AC Year 5 > Symmetry & transformations > Enlarging & reducing- “Using a grid to enlarge”


Do Hotsheet- using a grid to enlarge.

Students who have done this last year to do Activity 2

Guiding question for both groups: When you enlarge what stays the same and what changes?

Activity 2:

In Word, go to ‘insert’ tab and choose a shape to enlarge (try quadrilaterals or triangles …..extension could be octagon or hexagon)

Enlarge it to double or 3 times the size. Copy it and lay it down so that the length of 1 side is doubled

See how many of the original shape you can fit into the original- what maths can you figure out from this?


New Information:

When you enlarge, everything about the shape stays the same except the size. The ‘proportions’ and ‘ratio’ stays the same (how big things are compared to each other), and the angles stay the same.

When you enlarge a 2D shape 3 times bigger, every LENGTH gets 3 times larger….but what happens to the area? What might happen if you enlarged a 3D shape? Why?


Goal Reflection:

When do we need to understand how to enlarge? What are your top tips?

Mapping & Cartesian Co-ordinates



I can use a Cartesian grid system for location



Discuss where the different objects are




Geometry & position
The Cartesian plane

Year 5s- work on widget:  plotting pictures then Hotsheet “Reading co-ordinates”

yr 6s work on widget: the four quadrants then Hotsheet “Join the dots”

As you work, take notes on these 2 questions:



Create a Cartesian plane on your page and create a shape (or picture using straight lines drawn between points-e.g. a house) using ruled lines

Identify the co-ordinates for all your corners (make sure they are on the corners of a square).

Share with a friend to see if they can make it- START SIMPLE


New Information

Share answers to the 2 questions

Cartesian co-ordinates pinpoint the intersection of lines….

Often maps use a similar system, but instead of pinpointing the intersection of lines they work on the gaps between an locate an ‘area’ instead of a ‘point’. Maps also often use a combination of letters and numbers

The convention is that the x or horizontal co-ordinate is always given first


Goal Reflection

What can be tricky when using Cartesian co-ordinates? What are your top 3 tips when you use them?

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