In this super fun robot design challenge, kids are challenged to think about how robots could actually be used in today’s world to solve problems that our society faces. This challenge would be particularly useful on Earth Day or when studying conservation efforts. Kids will have a lot of fun thinking about how their robots could help the world and you may be surprised at how creative and innovative their solutions are!
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This robot design challenge is so much fun, you might like to make your own version too!
Robot Design Challenge: Solving Real-World Problems with STEM
What you’ll need for the robot design challenge:
- Building supplies (cardboard tubes, pipe cleaners, straws, aluminum foil, etc)
- Hot glue gun and glue sticks
- Googly eyes (just for fun!)
Before starting on the designs, talk with kids about what problems robots might be able to help with. Perhaps a robot could help prevent kids from falling into the water at the pool, or robots could complete gardening tasks so farmers don’t have to work in the field. My kids decided that their robot needed to pick up trash.
This particular design has rolling legs for ease of movement over rocky terrain like a tank.
The shovel can pick up trash and dump it in to a trash can.
The arms can pick up smaller pieces of trash.
The eyes are there to watch out for trash and to determine what is trash and what is not.
After building their robot, my kids showed me how the robot would work if it were to be made. It was a really fun project to do together and they had a blast!
What Kids Learn in the Robot Design Challenge
For this experiment, I wanted my kids to think beyond the science fiction robots that talk and don’t seem to have a practical use at all. I wanted my kids to think of a robot that actually could have a use today if it were to be made. They came up with the idea for a robot that picks up trash, because they had recently gone on an activity to pick up trash from a creek nearby our house, and my daughter could see how a robot that picks up trash could be quite beneficial to the world! This specific challenge helps kids think about ways to problem solve real-world problems that could one day be solved with technology.
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