Robotics Elective Guidelines

Facilitator: Mr. Tice

Robots Used: Lego Mindstorms Robot Inventor (released 2020)

Learning Objectives:

Basics of programing (with Scratch): Writing commands, sequencing commands

Intermediate programming skills: Program flows, sensor commands, decision trees, command loops

Engineering Practices: Solving real-world problems, Engineering design process, collaborative learning


The robotics elective at St. John is an exploratory course. That means that once a few basic ideas are mastered, students will self-select their projects with assistance from Mr. Tice and parent volunteers. Since this is a pilot course, the specific timeline is not known. That said, the general flow of activities will be:

  • Download the app and complete the Lego Mindstorms Robot Inventor tutorial (one session)
  • Learn something about the contents and capability of the robot kits
  • Learn basic programing principles (with Scratch, unless students are ready to use Python)
  • Construct and program robots using others’ plans (i.e., people who work for Lego)
  • Modify existing robot designs for specific purposes
  • Create robots to accomplish given simple tasks (solve problems posed by the teacher)
  • Design and carry out a student-selected project
  • Prepare for local robotics events (if they become available)

Guidelines and Expectations:

  • Although this is an ungraded exploratory elective, it is still an academic course with specific learning objectives (see above).
  • You will be assigned a robotics kit with one other student; that student will be your partner for all activities (although partners will switch occasionally)
  • You are responsible for the safety and contents of your robotics kits. There are almost 1000 parts, and most of them are tiny, so be careful!
  • You are expected to be on-task throughout every class period
  • You will not usually have access to your phones during class periods
  • Regular classroom discussion and behavior norms are still in place for this course
  • Parent volunteers are to be treated with utmost respect
  • Your teacher has never done this before. Expect to learn alongside him at least as often as you learn from him.

We hope you enjoy the course and learn a lot along the way.


Mr. Tice