Shape and Angles Maths Challenge: Design and Build a 3D Robot

Challenge a group of Year 5 students to design and create a 3D robot and I know what you are thinking, this is an easy task and it probably won’t take too long? You would be wrong!
This task asks students to consider 2D and 3D shapes, angles, scale, measurement and mapping and it might take 5-6 lessons…here’s why! 

We usually teach our Year 5 cohort in small Maths groups with a different teacher assigned to each group. I wanted an opportunity to teach my class all together and I thought the topic of Shape and Angles was the perfect chance.
I wanted to design a challenge that allowed each student to produce a 3D robot and challenge each student accordingly by varying the expectations.

How Did My Students Respond?

All students were asked to put pen to paper and create a 2D drawing that would soon become their 3D robot.
There were a few things discussed before that had a lot of ‘oh’ and ‘ah’ moments.

  • No sticky tape will be used
  • You must measure and draw your own 3D nets
  • You can choose whether to work alone or with a partner
  • There are no size restrictions for your final piece

As you can imagine, I got very excited to see their expressions change as they processed what this might mean for each of their robots.

Those who were up for the extra challenge had to work to scale and include this in their 2D design. Including the type of angle would be easy but measuring it was something different!


What Worked Well

✓ Some students opted to work alone while other sought out a partner, usually a friend of course.
✓ Students kept the original 3D net drawings which meant that small alterations were easy to make.
✓ My students begged for extra Math time to work on their project, they were so engrossed!
✓ The end results were amazing! I was so impressed and my students were so proud of their achievements. They reflected very well on this project.

What Were The Challenges

✓ Some students went too big with a grand design and wanted to use complex 3D nets.
✓Focus on the details such as eyes, fingers rather than the main body.
✓ Frustration when nets did not work.
✓No sticky tape provided its challenges as some students forgot tabs for their nets.

Overall, this was a great project and easily adaptable to challenge your students!

Resource Preview

Download the full project and templates below

I hope you will enjoy these investigations with your class as much as I have!

Please feel free to pop back and leave a review or feedback, much appreciated!


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