National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Algebraic Equations: Calculator Controlled Robots

This Web Seminar took place on January 30, 2012, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time. The presenter was Marti Phipps, NASA Explorer Schools Specialist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. In this Seminar, Ms. Phipps provided an in-depth look at a series of lessons that give students the chance to program and experiment with calculator-controlled robots.

The PowerPoint, related resources from the NSTA Learning Center, and web links from the presentation are now contained in the above resource collection. Clicking on the collection link will place it in your Learning Center, My Library, neatly organized under the My Resource Collections tab.


This was the third presentation of the Algebraic Equations: Calculator Controlled Robots program. In the seminar, Ms. Phipps talked about NASA's use of robots to explore Mars and showed teachers how they can integrate the same kind of technology into classroom activities. Ms. Phipps gave participants the chance to explore related websites, including the Just for Kids site, which features student-generated content on Mars. She also provided links to the Calculator Controlled Robots Educators' Guide and other resources.


Twenty-six (26) participants were present at the live Web Seminar in addition to the presenter and NSTA staff. Participating educators represented the states of California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia. Two people joined the program from locations outside of the United States: Turkey and Colombia.


Seminar participants received one of the NSTA SciGuides. A certificate of attendance was deposited into participants' My PD Record and Certificates area in the NSTA Learning Center for completing the evaluation form at the end of the program.


Here are some comments provided by the participants at the end of the Web Seminar:

  • "I just completed the NASA Robotics course and this will be a great addition to the robotic program I intend to implement for my students."
  • "It taught concepts to challenge students and also provides a fun activity to reinforce those concepts."
  • "Very excited about introducing a unit on robotics and this will be a great help."
  • "I think the programmable robots are a great way to incorporate math into the classroom. I'm thinking of using it for a summer middle-school program."

Thanks to the participants and the presenter for the learning opportunity, the interactions, and a job well done!


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For more information contact webseminars@nsta.org


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