Makers Club - Range Finder Lesson 2 – Piper


Lesson Time:
45 to 60 minutes



Sensors connected to the Piper Computer Kit provide students with educational hands-on experience that integrates environmental sensory data with unparalleled coding and story adventures.

The Sensor Explorer projects and lessons feature three sensors that you wire up to the Piper Computer. Students will then be guided through character-driven story narratives while using game-like StoryMode to learn how decisions impact final outcomes within three unique StoryMode world puzzles and problems. Coupled with the game experience in StoryMode, students will have fun extending their coding skills using PiperCode while collecting real-world data using the 3 sensors.

This lesson will make observations and/or measurements of an object’s motion to provide evidence that a pattern can be used to predict future motion. Students will learn to set up and use a motion sensor with the Piper Computer. Students will complete the lesson by playing StoryMode: Starlab Mission; Post No. 34 1/2 and use units of distance, time, speed, and frequency to solve puzzles.





Security System Installer

Civil Engineer

Construction Manager

Avionics Technician


In this lesson, students will deepen their understanding of the various components of motion and extend their learning using StoryMode to solve puzzles with focused guiding questions.






Understand how waves are reflected, absorbed, or transmitted through various materials.


Make observations and/or measurements of an object’s motion to provide evidence that a pattern can be used to predict future motion.


Use Range Finder and solve puzzles and unit rate problems including those involving unit motion, distance, and speed.



Use the Piper computer and Sensor for motion to solve puzzles for rate, distance, and time in the StoryMode game of StarLab Mission.



Review lesson resources and components for 5E (Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborate, Evaluate) and student grouping.

​Read the resources yourself, and make sure you understand the basics motion, distance, rate, and wavelengths change with distance and time.

​Review grade-level standards in science and math as they relate to waveforms, measuring object motion, prediction, and solving word problems involving speed and time.

  • Review PiperCode Starlab Post No 34 1/2. Note: You may need to go to settings and unlock this level if students are completing lessons in a different order than designed.


Make sure Piper battery packs are charged before use.


Teacher-led Discussion (5 minutes)

Have students watch the following to observe how sensors allow a Tesla to drive itself:



  • What does the car use to detect objects?
  • What is the car emitting?
  • Where else have you seen these sensors used?


Responses to these questions are meant to introduce the day’s topic. Student responses don’t need to be correct or precise- just ideas. Have students record their conjectures in their Lesson 2 Graphic Organizer.


Explore: RePlay StoryMode Level: Post No. 34½ (30-40 minutes)

Have students revisit the StoryMode level but now focusing on the questions below.


Guiding questions (also found in their graphic organizer):

  • What happens to the bouncing ball when you change your hand position over the Range Finder?
  • What do you observe in the top right-hand corner of your screen as you move your hand?
  • What is the sensor detecting? How do you know this?
  • How do you think the sensor detects this?

Have students record their notes on their Lesson 2 Graphic Organizer.


Explain (10-15 Minutes)

Use slides 3-11 in the Lesson 2 Slide Deck guide students through how the sensor works using responses to the guiding questions.


[OPTIONAL] You can have students read this helpful resource:


Apply: The different uses for range finders.

Have students read the following or explain it to them:

“Echolocation is a technique used by bats, dolphins and other animals to determine the location of objects using reflected sound. This allows the animals to move around in pitch darkness, so they can navigate, hunt, identify friends and enemies, and avoid obstacles.”


[Optional]: students can watch this video and write a reflection in their journals.


Closing/Reflection Activity (10-15 Minutes)

Have students respond to these writing prompts:

What are some ways you would use a Range Finder in your everyday life?

Who do you think would benefit most from having a Range Finder?

Have students complete the summative assessment.