LERO101-2: Lego, and not-so-Lego, Robots

Course Syllabus

Instructor Information[1]

Child safety and rules for everyone to be aware of

House Safety[2]

No secrets[3]

Body autonomy[4]

Safe touch[5]

Course Information

Course Description

  • This class is designed to serve as a continuation into the magical world of LEGO (and not so LEGO) Robotics. We will be using LEGO Mindstorms & Technic robotic parts. We will use Lego EV3 microcontrollers to control our creations!


  • Ages 7+

  • Express interest in STEM

Course Materials

All class materials will be supplied, students are always welcome to bring a creation from home to show and tell!

Student Learning Outcomes & Objectives

Student Learning Objectives[6]

Course Objectives[7]

Class expectations[8]

Engineering Design Process

Course Outline/Schedule

**Note: schedule is subject to change based on group interests/speed. The flow is vital.

Week 1: Structures and statics (building a Lego bridge)

Day 1 (parents encouraged to join for the beginning of class)

  • Welcome!!!

  • Get acquainted with “the lab”

  • Introduction to the Engineering Design Process

  • Lego structural integrity “best practices”

  • Designing and build a simple bridge

  • Test bridges!

Week 2: Circular motion and gears (building a Lego tractor)

  • What is a gear?

  • Introduction to gear ratios

  • Introduce the 1-motor tractor challenge

  • Start building tractors!

Week 3: It’s electric… (introducing motor control)

  • Finish tractor builds and wiring.

  • Test tractors!

  • How cars turn: different approaches

  • Introduce bilateral motor control VIA Discovery Bot controller

  • Start building simple dual-motor cars that can turn!

Week 4: Twists and turns... (introducing Discovery Bot microcontrollers)

  • Finish dual-motor cars

  • Test cars

  • Explore Discovery Bot features

  • Light sensors and Discovery Bot applications

Week 5: Brainey (introducing coding with Scratch and the EV3)

  • Welcome new students:

    • Lab overview

    • Review basic Lego components

    • Review bridges, gears and dual-motor cars

  • Introduce EV3 microcontrollers

  • Introduction to Scratch coding environment

  • Motors in Scratch

    • Timing

    • Rotation feedback

  • Program cars to drive in a square

Week 6: toxic waste cleanup challenge (3-week project)

  • Introduce and play //code game

  • Introduce ultrasonic sensors

  • Challenge introduction[9]

  • Individual brainstorms

  • Present ideas to group

  • Delegate components

  • Start building

Week 7: project build day

  • Review design and components

  • Present current progress

  • Continue building

Week 8: Finish toxic waste project (last class of session)

  • Finish builds and coding

  • Test bots and debug

  • Parents come for final demo (last 20 minutes of class)

- May the Force be with you! -


Instructor: Alex Milewski

Location: 3371 Hickok Pl. Boulder, 80301. **Please either park in the spot #8 (second from the end on the left) or in a "Visitor" spot: we cannot park in any other spot numbers without sad neighors.

Office Hours: Whenever

Office Telephone: 7205158455



Open Door Policy:

All inside doors will always be open during classes. My front door is always "open" as well, and all parents are encouraged to stop by (or stay) for class whenever possible!

Substances & guns:

There are no illegal substances of any sort in my home. Any legal & prescription substances are kept out of sight and not in "public" spaces. This is a gun-free home: there are no firearms or other dangerous weapons (beyond kitchen knives) here.


I will never ask students to keep secrets from eachother or parents.


All children have a right to physical autonomy and to feel comfortable. If they feel uncomfortable in their body, they are encouraged to honor that and I will always support them in that autnomy.


I will only initiate consensual, safe touch like high fives. If a student initiates a casual hug, I will reciprocate that...

I also ask students to limit rough-housing and maintain their body autonomy with eachother in class, and will support students if they seem uncomfortable with physical play from peers (and communicate with parents if this happens).

  • Knowledge and implementation of the Engineering Design Process

  • Basic understanding of how motors and gears work, including worm & rack gears

  • Introductory programming concepts (if statements, loops, etc)

  • Using Technic parts to build a simple “tractor” car using a single motor and gear train

  • Understanding how an electrical motor works

  • Basic understanding of structural integrity and building sturdy machines

  • Using sensors, motors, coding and a microcontroller, to allow a machine to respond to stimuli in its environment

  • Working in a group to solve a problem

  • Having fun

  • Sparking curiosity

  • Teamwork

  • Learning basic problem solving skills and the Engineering Design Process

  • Understanding what makes a robot a robot, vs just an electrical machine

  • Deeper understanding of building/prototyping machines with LEGO

  • Basic understanding of what programming is

  • Attend

  • Engage

  • Communicate

  • Work together

  • Ask constructive questions

  • Be respectful and kind to others

    • Must build a robot (or multiple) to clear contaminated area of toxic waste

    • Robot must detect "cliff" edges

    • Robot location and orientation will be random

    • Area must be cleared in less than 2 minutes