Students Solving Real-World Problems

What happens when 22 middle school student spend a week at PAST designing, building and programing their own robot? You’d be amazed!  Our Fabricate It: Help Robots Take Over The World summer program gave 6th, 7th and 8th graders the chance to design a robot that could solve a real-world problem.

The Challenge

The students were asked to construct a robot that could help a visually impaired person turn off their household light, or alert the individual that their lights were still on.

Experiential Learning

Students began by brainstorming how a robot could answer this challenge – what the design might look like, how it might function, how a person might actually interact with the robot.

Next, each student built a working prototype of their robot, combining household materials – shoe boxes, cardboard, pop cans and popsicle sticks – with Arduino hardware and software. Each student wrote code, programming the robots to actually function, using light sensors to activate the robots.

Presentation of Learning

On the last day of the week long program, each student presented their innovations and prototype robots at the Robotics Engineering Fair at individual stations. PAST staff were on hand to question the young engineers on their approach to the problem, design choices, review their plans and evaluate the robots.

Without exception, our team was impressed by the diversity in design and decision making of the students. We are confident these future engineers and scientists will make a significant impact in resolving some of the world’s problems.