Monday, 1 April 2013

Middle School Math Project - Geometric Robot

I was looking for a way to build things with my kids because I had a few students who were quite skilled at it.  I don't remember if I made this one up or if I got the idea from somewhere but I know for sure that if I did borrow this idea I changed some things for the kids in my class.  The general idea is that we are sending up a robot to a different planet and need to build something with storage.  I had the students build robots by either giving them some nets or they designed it themselves.  Paper or cardboard was used by most of the students but a few also went to the school's  shop and built their ideas with wood.  They learned about different geometric solids, area and volume.  They had to draw out their plans and then try to build it.  The students really enjoyed this project and it was pretty easily adaptable for advanced learners as well as struggling learners. 

Here is the criteria sheet that I gave them:

Geometric Robot


You and a partner have been chosen to design a robot that will be sent to a distant planet.  Your robot must be designed to carry the elements of the earth so that others can begin designing a liveable earth-like planet.  Your robot must be able to carry water, soil and oxygen.  You will be drawing and building a model that will be made of geometric solids.

The solids you have that are available are: cube, rectangular prism, cylinder, cone, square pyramid, triangular pyramid, and a triangular prism.

You don’t have to use all the solids but you must use at least 3 different ones. 

The design of your robot must show that it is moveable (maybe wheels) but the model doesn’t need to be able to move.


The robot will be marked by the following criteria:


  • Shows all the measurements of the robot. (Height, width, depth of each part and the total of the robot.
  • Uses 3 different solids
  • Labelled with any special features of your robot.
  • Labelled where the storage containers are
  • Neat lines


  • Solid construction
  • Accurate to drawing
  • Originality of design.


  • Properly calculated the volume of the 3 storage containers
  • Able to calculate how much water, soil and oxygen can be transferred
  • Realistic measurements
Again if you try it and enjoy it, please let me know or even if you made any changes that would be great information too.


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