Thursday, April 13, 2017

Buzzz...BristleBots in Motion

Have you heard of Bristlebots?  They are made up of toothbrush heads, a battery and page motor. And the best part, they are super easy for students to assemble. Not only do these tiny microrobots fit with math and science standards, but the soft skills such as perseverance, problem solving, collaboration, communication, team building abound. #growthmindset

As I have just began exploring the resources and curricular connections these buzzing bots bring to education, there are a ton of them. Here are just a few thoughts and ideas.  Feel free to share ways you plan to use them with your students.

Curricular Connections:
  • Science Connection:  How does a circuit work?  By designing the bristlebot students discover the secret to circuitry to make it go.  How can I design the bot to go faster? Slower? Design race challenges.
  • PBL Connection - Robotic Mop - My colleague, Kristin Siembieda, suggested painting to find volume and area.  A great hook, roll out the bulletin board paper and let students experiment before designing a prototype.  To bring in authentic learning and the PBL components, she suggests to local elementary teachers, students design an robotic mop.  Using graph paper, place their buzzing bot to the test to see how much area it could cover in so many minutes.  What changes could be made to the bot to cover more surface area?  Longer brush end?  Smaller brush end? Less decoration?
  • ELA STEAM Connection - 

This image from LearnOBots has lots of creative character. Students could design book characters.  The bot could run across an ELA story map

  • Math and Measurement: Measuring how far the bot travels.

  • Extensions:  Take your bot home and see what your students create?  Post pics and share with the class.

How you will use these STEAM gadgets, mighty microrobotics or mighty vibrobotics?  You decide.