Activity Introduction

Quick summary: This is a STEAM lesson, which adds the Arts to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). To find out more about STEAM and STEM click here. In this lesson, students continue to develop ideas for their project to engage their local community in robotics. They will conduct initial testing in collaboration with their peers and plan for testing with end-users and key stakeholders.

This lesson forms part of the Ideate and Prototype phases of the Design Thinking unit focusing on robotics.

This STEAM lesson demonstrates how science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics are interrelated. The lesson requires students to draw on and develop skills from all areas to complete their project.

Learning intention:

  • Students are able to develop ideas for robotics education activities based on peer and user-feedback.

21st century skills:

CommunicatingCommunity EngagementCreative ThinkingCritical ThinkingDigital LiteracyEntrepreneurshipProblem FindingProblem SolvingSocial SkillsTeam Work


Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions: 

Year 5 and 6 Digital Technologies

  • Examine the main components of common digital systems and how they may connect together to form networks to transmit data (ACTDIK014)
  • Design, modify and follow simple algorithms involving sequences of steps, branching, and iteration (repetition) (ACTDIP019)
  • Implement digital solutions as simple visual programs involving branching, iteration (repetition), and user input (ACTDIP020)

Year 5 Mathematics

  • Pose questions and collect categorical or numerical data by observation or survey (ACMSP118)
  • Construct displays, including column graphs, dot plots and tables, appropriate for data type, with and without the use of digital technologies (ACMSP119)
  • Describe and interpret different data sets in context (ACMSP120)

Year 6 Mathematics

  • Interpret and compare a range of data displays, including side-by-side column graphs for two categorical variables (ACMSP147)
  • Interpret secondary data presented in digital media and elsewhere (ACMSP148)

Year 5 English

  • Understand that patterns of language interaction vary across social contexts and types of texts and that they help to signal social roles and relationships (ACELA1501)
  • Understand how to move beyond making bare assertions and take account of differing perspectives and points of view (ACELA1502)
  • Clarify understanding of content as it unfolds in formal and informal situations, connecting ideas to students’ own experiences and present and justify a point of view (ACELY1699)
  • Use interaction skills, for example paraphrasing, questioning and interpreting non-verbal cues and choose vocabulary and vocal effects appropriate for different audiences and purposes (ACELY1796)
  • Plan, rehearse and deliver presentations for defined audiences and purposes incorporating accurate and sequenced content and multimodal elements (ACELY1700)
  • Plan, draft and publish imaginative, informative and persuasive print and multimodal texts, choosing text structures, language features, images and sound appropriate to purpose and audience (ACELY1704)
  • Use a range of software including word processing programs with fluency to construct, edit and publish written text, and select, edit and place visual, print and audio elements (ACELY1707)

Year 6 English

  • Understand that strategies for interaction become more complex and demanding as levels of formality and social distance increase (ACELA1516)
  • Participate in and contribute to discussions, clarifying and interrogating ideas, developing and supporting arguments, sharing and evaluating information, experiences and opinions (ACELY1709)
  • Use interaction skills, varying conventions of spoken interactions such as voice volume, tone, pitch and pace, according to group size, formality of interaction and needs and expertise of the audience (ACELY1816)
  • Plan, rehearse and deliver presentations, selecting and sequencing appropriate content and multimodal elements for defined audiences and purposes, making appropriate choices for modality and emphasis (ACELY1710)
  • Use a range of software, including word processing programs, learning new functions as required to create texts (ACELY1717)

Syllabus outcomes: MA3‑1WM, MA3‑3WM, MA3-18SP, EN3-1A, EN3-2A, EN3-8D.

General capabilities: Literacy, Numeracy, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Capability, Critical and Creative Thinking, Personal and Social Capability.

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability.

Relevant parts of Year 5 and 6 Digital Technologies Achievement Standards: Students explain how the features of technologies influence design decisions and how digital systems are connected to form networks. Students describe a range of needs, opportunities or problems and define them in terms of functional requirements. They collect and validate data from a range of sources to assist in making judgements. Students generate and record design ideas for specified audiences using appropriate technical terms, and graphical and non-graphical representation techniques including algorithms. They plan, design, test, modify and create digital solutions that meet intended purposes including user interfaces and a visual program.

Relevant parts of Year 5 Mathematics Achievement Standards: Students pose questions to gather data, and construct data displays appropriate for the data.

Relevant parts of Year 6 Mathematics Achievement Standards: Students compare observed and expected frequencies. They interpret and compare a variety of data displays including those displays for two categorical variables. They interpret secondary data displayed in the media.

Relevant parts of Year 5 English Achievement Standards: Students listen and ask questions to clarify content. They make presentations which include multimodal elements for defined purposes. They contribute actively to class and group discussions, taking into account other perspectives. They select specific vocabulary and use accurate spelling and punctuation. They edit their work for cohesive structure and meaning.

Relevant parts of Year 6 English Achievement Standards: Students understand how the use of text structures can achieve particular effects. They listen to discussions, clarifying content and challenging others’ ideas. They make presentations and contribute actively to class and group discussions, using a variety of strategies for effect. They use accurate spelling and punctuation for clarity and make and explain editorial choices based on criteria.

Topic: STEAM. 

Unit of work: Learning Robotics – Years 5 & 6.

Time required: 120 mins.

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – some students may require support to sort and analyse their findings.

Resources required: Device capable of displaying video to class. Student Worksheet (one copy per student). Sphero SPRK+ (or alternative programmable robot), minimum one per 3 students. Device capable of running Sphero Edu App, e.g. iPad, iPod Touch (or required software for your robot), one for each robot. A variety of reusable construction materials and additional equipment to create contexts/challenges for robots (e.g. Duplo, blocks, rulers, tennis balls, small hoops, or craft construction materials).


Keywords: define, ideate, prototype, Design Thinking, robotics, end-user, feedback, programming, coding, robot, robotics, Sphero, SPRK+, digital technology, STEAM, STEM.

Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum.


Teacher Worksheet

Teacher Preparation

Learning intention:

  • Students are able to develop ideas for robotics education activities based on peer and user-feedback.

Success criteria: Students can…

  • ... create prototypes to share with others.
  • ... adapt their prototypes based on feedback.

Teacher content information:


Why should you teach robotics, you ask?
In his article Five reasons to teach robotics in schools, Leon Sterling suggests reasons to be:

  • Children find it fun.
  • It is an effective way to introduce programming.
  • Skills developed are useful to future employment.
  • It suits children with a range of abilities.
  • It demystifies complex technology.

These factors are also reiterated by the Digital Technologies Hub, developed to support Australia’s teachers to implement quality Digital Technologies programs in schools.

While it is hard to define exactly what a robot is, the fact is that robotic devices are now all around us. We have robots vacuuming our carpet, buildi

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Student Worksheet

Prototyping your Robotics Activity 

1. Initial Prototype Activity

You (and your group) will have 15 minutes to revisit your ideas from the last lesson and ensure you have an example of the idea you wish to create to share with others in your class.

  • Your prototype can be a sketch/picture or a simple written example of what you wish to create.
  • Once you have developed your prototype, find a place in the room to display it for others to view.
  • Select a group member to stay with your prototype during the feedback time to receive feedback from others.
  • During the feedback time, observe the ideas of others, considering their 'How Might We...?' statement and giving them feedback.
  • Once the feedback time is finished, returned to your group to discuss the input from other students. Record suggestions below and discuss how the prototype could be changed.
  • Record suggestions and discuss how the prototype could be changed.

Peer Feedback:

Ideas for changes to the prototype:

2. E

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