ROAMER, TURTLE AND MEASUREMENT 4
The previous few editions of GO have looked at some of the issues of measurement and how activities with Roamer or Turtle highlight some of the powerful and subtle ideas at the heart of the topic. So far these principles have been applied to activities involving linear measurement. Now GO looks at the measurement of turning.
The tenets outlined for linear measurement are valid for all types of measurement:
Measurement is the comparison of one thing with another.
When it comes to the measurement of turning, these ideas tend to be obscured by the predominance of the degree as a unit. One could be forgiven to think that it was the only unit of turn. However, the famous phrase "bandits at 12 o'clock" used by Battle of Britain pilots shows that this is not true. Other systems include the compass, radians used by scientists and the number of turns or revolutions.
If you start at one point and do a complete turn you should finish at the same point; this type of check does not exist in linear measurement. The absoluteness of the complete turn tends to obscure the approximate nature of measurement. Yet the principle still applies.
Fix a ring to the robot with numbers 0 to 9 clearly marked on it. Place the robot on the floor with the zero sector aligned with a pointer on the floor. Set the units of turn so that will turn the Roamer from 1 to 2. Invent a code, for example: Turn right to sector two, left to sector six, right to sector four etc. Program the robot to 'crack' the code and open the safe. Each step can be programmed separately. Older children can write a program to be executed with one press of GO.
Make the Roamer into a roundabout. One pupil secretly sets the units of turn. The others have to program the 'roundabout' to turn 10 times with one press of GO.
Make the Roamer into an angler. The 'fishing' rod should have a magnet on the end of the line and you should be able to raise and lower it. Place the Roamer on a box. Ask the children collect items that the magnet can pick up. Place these items around the 'fisher'. Program the robot to turn to positions where it can pick up the 'fish'.
You can do this manually or get older children to use the Roamer Control features to design a mechanism to do it. If you do the latter: program the lower and raise as a procedure so that the younger pupils enter a procedure, say P 1, to catch the 'fish'.
The Race to the North Pole
Make an explorer Roamer. Fit it with a compass. Set the units of turn to match the points on the compass. Make a set of cards with the compass points marked on them. Each child takes a card and programs the Roamer to face in that direction.
|© 2004. Amethyst Consultancy Ltd.|