School-Age Science: ArtBots

This past Tuesday was my first attempt to carry over the science program momentum from the summer. Three children signed up, and three children participated, so it wasn’t a failure, but not necessarily a success (if judging by participation numbers). The three children who participated had a great time, so from that perspective, it was a success. I plan on repeating this with my Girl Scouts at our next meeting.

I got the initial idea from The Show Me Librarian, and used the tutorial from the Cheshire Public Library. I won’t rehash their content, but the tutorial was easy to follow.

It artbots about an hour from start to finish. I was initially worried the children would zip through the assembling process only to wonder what do to until the program ended. It took about 10 minutes for them to assemble the motor and 10-15 minutes to customize. This left around 30 minutes for the art. I had the children create individual pictures so they could make marker adjustments, then we made a mural to hang in the library.  We discussed how different surfaces, marker placement, or marker type might affect how the robots move.

artbot1

What I learned:

*Dollar Tree in my area of greater Buffalo, NY does NOT carry the Luminart brand of electric toothbrushes. However, Family Dollar carries a comparable brand – Dr. Fresh Velocity.

*Thick rubber bands (wrapped around twice) are the best for securing the markers to the pool noodle. Duct tape does a good job holding the markers in place, but you can’t reposition them.

artbots2

 

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