Fifth Grade PLTW Curriculum Overview

Robotics and Automation

Students explore the ways robots are used in today’s world and their impact on society and the environment. Students learn about a variety of robotic components as they build and test mobile robots that may be controlled remotely. Angelina, Mylo, and Suzi are tasked with designing a mobile robot that can remove hazardous materials from a disaster site. Students are then challenged to design, model, and test a mobile robot that solves this design problem.

Robotics and Automation: Challenge

Students expand their understanding of robotics as they explore mechanical design and computer programming. This module focuses on developing skills needed to build and program autonomous robots. Angelina, Mylo, and Suzi are tasked with designing an automatic-guided vehicle to deliver supplies to a specific area in a hospital without being remotely controlled by a person. Inspired by this design problem, students work with a group to apply their knowledge to design, build, test, and refine a mobile robot that meets a set of design constraints.

Infection: Detection

Students explore transmission of infection, agents of disease, and mechanisms the body uses to stay healthy. Through a simulation, they compare communicable and non-communicable diseases. In the design problem, Suzi comes down with a fever and sore throat, and her friends wonder how this illness might have spread across the school. Students tackle the design problem by examining evidence to deduce the agent of infection, the likely source of the outbreak, and the path of transmission through a school. They design and run an experiment related to limiting the spread of germs and apply results to propose appropriate prevention methods.

Infection: Modeling and Simulation

In this module, students investigate models and simulations and discover powerful ideas about computing. The design problem – related to the Infection: Detection module – is introduced as Mylo and Angelina look to model an infectious disease to simulate how an illness spread through their class. Applying their new understandings, students program their own models and collect data by running simulations with different parameters.

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