From regional FIRST Robotics competitions to a day of special events at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C., the country will mark National Robotics Week April 6 – 14 with a host of engaging, hands-on activities. Find activities in your area.
In this activity, students in grades 5 to 12 learn about accuracy, precision, and simple machines by working in teams to design and build a robotic basketball “player” that can nail a free-throw shot three times in a row.
Tags: accuracy, basketball, biomechanical engineering, biomechanics, catapult, Class Activities, Engineering, lever, Mathematics, percentages, Physics, precision, projectile, Robotics, simple machines, Sports Engineering, statistics
When University of California, Berkeley senior Austin Whitney walked across the stage at graduation on May 14, 2011, it was more than just a personal triumph. His rise from a wheelchair represented a triumph for paralyzed people everywhere–and for engineers whose “adaptive technology” designs have helped disabled individuals overcome mobility limitations.
Ever since Virginia inventor Cyrus McCormick perfected the mechanical reaper in the 1830s, engineers have sought ways to grow more food using fewer people. Now, they’re close to taking Old MacDonald off the farm altogether. Meet the agribot, already in use harvesting hard-to-pick edibles.
A Capitol Hill proposal would create a Master Teacher Corps of the nation’s top STEM teachers, who would guide younger and less effective instructors. They would get extra pay, with more money going to those teaching at high-need public schools.
In this activity, students will explore how sensing is part of robotics by tying their shoes with different constraints. After lacing their shoes normally, try it wearing thick gloves or with popsicle sticks taped to fingers so they can’t bend. Can students tie their shoes now? A connection is made to the limitations of the motion of robots, and to the role of design in allowing robots to perform different functions.
In this activity, students will learn the challenges of operating a robotic rover on the distant Red Planet and solve problems through a hands-on simulation. After trying to navigate an obstacle course blindfolded and guided only by verbal commands, students will discover that tooling around Mars is no simple joy-stick ride.
What’s not to love about robots? They explore space, conduct surgery, and inspire movie fans and aspiring engineers alike. The second annual National Robotics Week rolls out April 9. What is your school doing to celebrate?
What do you call a design problem that includes a futuristic twist and extreme deadline pressure? One of Project Lead the Way’s most daunting–and engaging–challenges, as Pennsylvania students discovered at a recent competition to create a maglev vehicle in just 2.5 hours using only a laptop, bag of parts and their wits.