Robotics is gaining popularity in classrooms across the country, moving from an old sci-fi concept to a way to engage students in STEM learning by solving real-world problems.

One of the hurdles, though, is in finding the right resources to introduce robotics. Sometimes, it all starts with a video and a simple lesson. You can find a variety of robotics-related videos on TED-Ed Lessons.

The TED-Ed platform is especially cool because educators can build lessons around any TED-Ed Original, TED Talk, or YouTube video. Once you find the video you want to use, you can use the TED-Ed Lessons editor to add questions, discussion prompts, and additional resources.

Related content: Off-the-wall TED-Ed Lessons for your classroom

Here are 5 robotics videos and lessons to get you started in your classroom:

1. Making a car for blind drivers: Using robotics, laser rangefinders, GPS and smart feedback tools, Dennis Hong is building a car for drivers who are blind. It’s not a “self-driving” car, he’s careful to note, but a car in which a non-sighted driver can determine speed, proximity and route–and drive independently.

Related Content:

eSchool News Robotics Guide

The eSchool News Robotics Guide is here! It features strategies to help you effectively integrate robotics into instruction, along with tips to find the right robotics resources to successfully teach key concepts. A new eSchool News Guide will launch each month–don’t miss a single one!


2. Can robots be creative? People have been grappling with the question of artificial creativity–alongside the question of artificial intelligence–for over 170 years. For instance, could we program machines to create high quality original music? And if we do, is it the machine or the programmer that exhibits creativity? Gil Weinberg investigates this creative conundrum.

3. Mysteries of vernacular: Robot: In 1920, Czech writer Karel Čapek wrote a play about human-like machines, thereby inventing the term robot from the Central European word for forced labor. Jessica Oreck and Rachael Teel explain how the science fiction staple earned its name.

4. Can you solve the multiverse rescue mission riddle? It was a normal Tuesday at the superconductor, until a bug in the system caused your team to be trapped in 11 separate dimensions. Fortunately, there’s a half-finished experimental teleportation robot that may be able to get you all home… if you can figure out how to work it. Can you work out the robot’s design quirks and get your team back home safely? Dan Finkel shows how.

5. The Turing test: Can a computer pass for a human? What is consciousness? Can an artificial machine really think? For many, these have been vital considerations for the future of artificial intelligence. But British computer scientist Alan Turing decided to disregard all these questions in favor of a much simpler one: Can a computer talk like a human? Alex Gendler describes the Turing test and details some of its surprising results.

Laura Ascione
About the Author:

Laura Ascione

Laura Ascione is the Managing Editor, Content Services at eSchool Media. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland's prestigious Philip Merrill College of Journalism. Find Laura on Twitter: @eSN_Laura


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