Tuesday, June 24, 2014

STEM Activity: Drawbots

This one is a fun build, and it's so exciting to watch the kids faces when they connect the last wire and make their robot go!
I highly recommend that once you build the robot, roll out some paper on a table, tape it down and just play...Try different sizes of batteries, motors, vary the arrangement of the markers, attach a magnet to your cup and see if you can get your bot to pick up paper clips! There isn't a wrong way to do it, It's important to allow plenty of time after the build to experiment and see what you can make happen.

Supplies needed:
Plastic cups - Solo cups work great
Batteries-  you can use AA, AAA, or a nine volt..
Motor ( radio shack- ask for a 1.5 hobby motor like this one: ( http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2102828)
small lengths of wire - it's nice to have have two different colors, but not necessary
electrical tape or duct tape
Colored markers

1. Attach a 4" length of wire to your motor. on both contact points, one piece of wire to each contact point.
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2. Attach a piece of glue stick, wad of tape or clay to the pointy top of the motor..this makes the motor vibrate. ( you can also find vibrating motors at RadioShack).

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3. Now tape your motor on to your cup - the side or top, or even inside.

4. Tape your battery onto your cup, close to your motor.
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5. Attach each wire to one end of the battery. You can attach a paper clip to the wire and use it as a switch to make it easier to turn on and off. leave one wire off of the battery while you put on your markers.

6. Attach 3-4 markers to your cup

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7. Attach the one loose wire back to the battery and watch your drawbot go! It might scoot around in circles, or hop a little, it might go in a straight line.. Now have fun with it!
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