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Have your girls ever been interested in robot development? If your looking for ideas to learn how to create and design, build and program, and present and show off a robot with your girls, you have come to the right place. Using some of these activities below to learn to analyze and present robotics concepts in a number of ways.
Below are a few ideas to get you started.
We partnered with CodeSpeak Labs, which specializes in computer science education for kids, to bring you these resources.
Before jumping into some ideas, do you want to skip all the planning? If so, use the Designing Robots Activity Booklet which includes drawing design sketches, learning design methodologies, and using online design tools! With step-by-step activities, you can’t ask for an easier way to run your meeting. Learn more about this activity booklet and get yours today!
Be sure to also checkout these other activities your girls will love:
The future of robotics design will be heavily influenced by the advancement of Artificial Intelligence. Without us even knowing it, many aspects of our lives are already being influenced by AI, as computer algorithms are able to make recommendations, diagnose problems, and speed up existing processes.
Your group can watch this entertaining 6 minute video to learn more about how Artificial Intelligence works:
Here are discussion questions you can use:
If you don’t have a robot, you can still think through design principles through analyzing the design of other household objects. For example, have you ever see a door handle that begs to be pulled, but when you tried to pull on the door, you realized it was push only? That’s an example of bad design.
This would be good design:
The design is so clear that the labels are not necessary. The left is flat, which indicates to the user you should push the door, vs. the right which should be pulled. When design is done really well, users don’t need instructions to figure out how to do something.
Have the girls do a scavenger hunt through the room/building where you’re holding your meeting. First team who finds the following wins:
There’s not necessarily a right or wrong answer; the explanations are more important than the items identified. Encourage the girls to think from the user’s perspective; what is confusing or what works great about something?
With modern day demands to have super fast delivery, companies are inventing new ways to deliver goods to consumers. For example, this is a drone that delivers packages:
This robot delivers Domino’s pizzas (up to 10 at a time!):
Give the girls 10 minutes to sketch a delivery robot of their own design. Here are some considerations:
This robot kit (~$50) is an expansion kit that works with a microbit. When fully assembled, it will look like this:
What’s interesting about this kit from a design perspective is it requires the microbit, which is a device created by a completely different company. The microbit is a very popular mini hardware device used by beginner programmers. Capitalizing on the microbit’s popularity, another company (Yahboom) produced this kit. This is a fairly common practice both in the hardware and software worlds. In some cases, a whole ecosystem of new companies and products will be built off something that becomes popular.
Designing a robot that must be compatible with an existing device has benefits and challenges. After building this robot, girls can discuss:
If you don’t want to spend the money to buy a robot, our Designing Robots Activity Booklet has everything you need — no other materials required!
Additionally If you are like many leaders we want to award our girls when they complete something even beyond just the patch. One great way to show achievement is with a certificate. Don’t worry you don’t have to make them, I found a resource that has done all the work for you and all you have to do is print them and customize the certificates with each girl’s name, badge or award earned, date, and troop leader. Editable certificates perfect for awarding girls after earning a badge.
If you have a multi-level troop you may want to use one of the variations to this program that is geared toward the age of your girls.
K – 1st grade activities:
2nd – 3rd grade activities:
4th – 5th grade activities:
6th – 8th grade activities:
11th – 12th grade activities