Competition and Mutualism: Interactions in an E-Cue-system!


In this lesson, students learn about the biotic and abiotic components of an ecosystem and discover the different ways in which organisms interact with one another and their environment. Students will work in pairs to complete two programming challenges. First, students program Cue to forage for food in a mutualistic relationship with the robot's “prey” (much like a plant-pollinator interaction). In the second, students program Cue to forage in competition with another Cue bot! A discussion of how ecosystems are structured by biotic and abiotic interactions will follow.


Students will:

  • be able to define ecosystem.
  • be able to describe the three main types of ecosystem interactions: mutualism, competition, and predation (including herbivory and parasitism).
  • create a program for Cue using tightly calibrated motor commands, sounds, and lights.
  • discuss how biotic interactions shape the behavior and structure of an ecosystem.

Target Grades: 6 - 8

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Cue is an incredibly clever robot with a witty attitude that’s full of interactive surprises.