Science and Robotics are naturally compatible. Over the years, several robotic kits have integrated STEM with science, ranging from the LEGO Mindstorms set, to the NASA Mars Rover set, to the upcoming female scientist sets. The latter celebrates females in science, and its goal is to enhance the interest of the next generation of women in STEM fields. Activities such as the LEGO Mindstorms sets can introduce kids to robotics and programming.
This article will be introducing you to some of the most exciting robotics science activities.
Design a Skyscraper
There are many ways to utilize robots in different science subjects such as biology, renewables, engineering, physics, etc.
You must be wondering why these dizzyingly tall buildings don’t crumble during earthquakes. The reason isn’t far-fetched. Building/structural engineers carry out a thorough test of their designs to ensure that they won’t fall during an earthquake.
One of the ways they test their building design is through a shake table, which simulates the shaking of an earthquake. Using some easily accessible materials, kids can design shake tables of their own and use them to assess the stability of a LEGO tower. Then, motivate students to design a very high tower to withstand the shake test.
The Mindstorms sets are an effective way to educate kids about programming and robotics. It’s a project founded by Tufts University (LEGO Engineering & LEGO Education), and it provides comprehensive lesson outlines for teaching science with Mindstorms.
There are web pages where you can download lesson outlines for free. They center on studying animals, primary machines, animals, and the properties of materials.
Learn the Relationship Between Soils and Their Influence on the Building’s Stability
The experiment in the video below uses a shake table to imitate an earthquake.
However, the difference is that while the skyscraper designs experiment centers on how the height affects stability, this one centers on how the surface (gravel, soil, clay, or sand) affects the stability of the Building.
Design a Vehicle That’s Powered by Air
Kids should attempt to design a car that’s powered by a balloon. This demonstrates Isaac Newton’s second law of motion. Next, kids explore different designs and shapes of cars to see which one functions best. You can even organize a race between the air-powered vehicle and the car powered by chemical reactions to see which car is quicker.
Learn the Workings of the Engineering Designing Process Using the LEGO Virtual Designer
This virtual designer is a cost-free modeling application. It bears similarity to the Computer-Aided Design software used by engineers. The Computer-Aided Design application is an elective subject in high school. Therefore, it is very beneficial to kids in middle school who can also use it to experiment with designs.
The LEGO Virtual Designer can be used to get students familiar with the Computer-Aided Design software, explain why it’s popular among engineers and why it’s superior to manual drawing. Kids get to design a virtual version of their inventions and then create them in real-time. Alternatively, they can utilize Computer-Aided Design to tackle a real issue.