Building BOTS is the perfect STEAM activity for kids!
If you're not familiar with the acronym STEAM, it stands for SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, ENGINEERING, ART and MATHEMATICS. With this drawing bot project you can:
- Talk about the SCIENCE involved in creating electricity
- Understand the TECHNOLOGY used to create a circuit
- Think about the ENGINEERING needed to create a bot that can withstand movement
- Get creative and ARTful by customising your cool bots
- Use MATH to understand battery voltage
Building your own bots is also fantastic for developing FINE MOTOR SKILLS. Stripping wires, inserting batteries or attaching small screws requires concentration and nimble fingers!
We got the components to build our bots from the awesome Australian craft supply website CLEVER PATCH, they have the art bot kits available to purchase separately or as part of a STEAM activity pack.
Here is an interesting fact for you. Why is this called a bot and not a robot?
This project is a BOT for a very simple reason: Bots have no decision making capabilities. A robot is a machine that has artificial intelligence. It can sense, think and can be programed to make decisions. Bots on the other hand are small machines that move, but have no thinking capabilities.
- Art bot kit
- 2 AA batteries
- Wire strippers
- 3 coloured markers
- Craft materials to customise your bot like pipe cleaners, paper, cardboard tubes, blu tack and glue
- A large sheet of paper or card for your bot to draw on
- Adult supervision is required when working with electronics, also the STEAM kits include a lot of small parts which could be a choking hazard for small children.
- Make sure that battery packs are switched off and batteries removed when not being used.
- The exposed ends of wires attached to a battery pack which is switched on can cause a shock or create smoke.
- Motors can get hot, be sure to monitor the motor and turn it off if it begins to get too hot.
Begin by getting all the materials tools required to make your bot. I will go through the steps here to build your bot but the STEAM kits from CLEVER PATCH also come with great easy to follow step-by-step instructions to follow.
The begin by building your circuit. Strip 1cm off the ends of the wires and attach them to the switch and motor by twisting the wires around the loops. Then attach the bot legs to the base plate with screws.
Now place the motor inside the foam cover and attach the plastic rocker to the motor shaft.
Attach the battery pack, motor and switch to the base plate using the sticky pad and screw provided.
Now add coloured markers to the bot legs using elastic bands, making sure the markers are at even heights. Then get creative and customise your bot with googly eyes and a face. If you add a cardboard tube over the motor just make sure it doesn't touch the rocker otherwise your bot won't move very well.
Now switch your bot on and watch them draw!
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