Mrs. Lally Presents at the Regional Arts Education Day

On Monday, October 8, 2012, Mrs. Lally led and presented three “breakout sessions” for the Arts Education Collaborative Regional Arts Education Day   held at South Fayette High School. The session “From Process to Product: The Art Classroom as Robotics Lab”  focused on the experience of participating in the 2011 summer class “Educational Robotics for the Classroom” held at Carnegie-Mellon University, then converting the knowledge and training to creating and teaching a lesson in robot-making and maneuvering in an 8th grade classroom at South Fayette Middle School. In May 2012, nine eight grade students took part in this project. Participants were able to see a demonstration of the “Beatlebot” Ringo, as well as video footage and photographs showing the students in the process of designing and operating their robots. 

Diane Lally - Art Teacher from South Fayette Middle School

Arts & Bots Workshop Wrap-up

Thanks to everyone who participated in the September 10, 2012 Arts & Bots workshop, it was a successful and inspiring evening. Participants included twenty-one educators from 10 school districts, a group from the Carnegie Science Center, and The Literary Arts Boom. They all built and programed robots inspired by the topic of library, as September is library card sign-up month. Many robots were created can be seen below.

Bluebird

"I enjoyed the creativity the most"

 

Book

"I think this would be much more appealing to girls than your standard robot kit"


Elvis

"I usually as an adult I am use to doing things I know how to do, I knew coming here that this is not in my skill set but I did something... so I do feel really good about it and it was a different experience."

 

Librarian


Book Bot

"I think you could bring that same kind of spirit of tinkering and inovation and tie it into what you are learning in the course of the day"

 

Jingle Bot

"The concepts that go into building any type of robots offer really useful skills in terms of math as well has teamwork, because a lot of work with robots is how to put together different skills to make one robot"

 

Rocket

"This project makes my mind go in a million different directions with what I can create"

 

Bookworm


Face


Social Studies Mini Projects

When I Grow Up

Grades :4-5
Subjects: Technology, Civics
Students develop a robotic model that represents a career or occupation they are interested in.  The model must accurately describe the profession's main duties and provide background information on how to pursue the selected occupation.

Historical Animatronics
Grades : 5-6
Subjects: Technology, History
Students develop a robotic character(s) that will tell the technological evolution of a selected technological artifact.  Students will research significant inventions throughout history and how technological evolution through innovations has made the devices what they are today.  The character will then tell the story of the technological artifact.

Branches of Government
Grades: Middle School
Subject: Government
Students would have a wide range of freedom with this assignment. The criteria would simply be that their representation had to speak specifically about one of the three branches of government (Executive, Legislative, or Judicial -- and potentially about the media). The robot would need communicate two different functions of the branch it is depicting. A potential project could include a judge with a gavel declaring a law unconstitutional in one sequence and sentencing a criminal to prison in another. This robot would be completed in close collaboration with a government teacher.

Historical Hero's
Grades: Middle School
Subject: History
Students research and select an historical hero from a given list. This individual is then represented portraying some positive aspect of their legacy. This project would not necessarily need to be done in conjunction with another class but could stand alone as a positive role-model initiative within a technology class. Student's role models could include such individuals as Mother Theresa, with audio quotes and gestures demonstrating her dedication to caring for others.

Debate of Current Events
Grades: Middle School
Subject: Current Events
The students will work with a partner to perform a debate about a current event. Their robots will act out emotions to accompany their arguments in an attempt to convince the rest of the class to side with them.

Talk Show
Grades: Middle School
Subject: History
Students will work with a partner to create a robotic host and interviewee. The interviewee will be a person from American History (the teacher can provide a list). The host will ask questions and the interviewee will answer the way the person probably would have answered.

Mythological creatures 
Grades: Middle School
Subject: History
Our after school “Classics Club” participates in an Ancient Coin Museum Project where the participating students learn about the history, art, culture, language, and history of the ancient Romans & Greeks.  Students will be assigned a mythological creature that is represented on an ancient coin in our museum collection. Students will design a robot that tells the related myth with movements and lights that highlight the creatures’ features.  For example, the chimera would have the body and head of a lion, a goat’s head extending from the middle of the body, and a snake for a tail. Coordinating animal sounds and movements can be incorporated into the audio. Lights can represent areas as they are introduced or they can reflect mood.

Native American Tribes
 Grades: Middle School
Subjects: History, Social Studies
Students would be assigned one of the Native American Culture groups, and using the robot kits, they will design and construct a robotic totem pole based on the many aspects of their tribe’s culture. The totem pole should depict the groups’ location, type of home, clothing, food, customs, tools, weapons, art, and one famous member of the tribe.  Areas of the totem pole will include at least 2 lights and 2 servos and related audio clips.

Anatomy & Biology Mini Projects

Gas Laws
Grades: High School
Subject: Biology
In my biology class, students will study human organ systems, so students could create a robot that demonstrates how one of those systems functions. For example, if a student was assigned the digestive system, the student could design and create a model of the digestive system that illustrates all of the organs and their function using Robot Diaries. This task would require a lot of research and creativity and would offer a new, more exciting way to learn about the human body. In order to create a model of an organ system, students would need to research their assigned organ system and understand how each organ interacts with the other organs in the organ system. In doing so, students will need to study anatomy, biology, chemistry, and technology. This project will not only inspire students to become more involved in their learning but it would provide a more accurate, 3D representation of how the organ system looks and functions.

Ecosystems
Grades: Middle School
Subject: Biology
Drawing on the theatrical nature of robotics, this diary would portray an interconnected ecosystem. The robot would need to present at least two aspects of interconnectedness. One example would be a board displaying a sequence of LED lights moving from one step to another, with grass being eaten by a antelope (who's head moves up and down) being eaten by a lion who dies and becomes nutrients for the soil. The second level of interconnectedness could show the water cycle as it goes through the three states from vapor to ice to water.

Endangered Animals
Grades: Middle School
Subject: Biology
After learning about the various threats to biodiversity students would research and create a representation of an endangered animal species. The representation would have at least two states of being: one showing the animal in thriving, healthy conditions; the other showing in present, poorer conditions. The robot must also communicate some possible action that could be taken by humans to mitigate the causes of it's current endangerment.

Grade: High School
Subject: Anatomy
Students create a arm model to show muscle movement.

Language Arts Mini Projects

Poetry

Grades: Middle School
Subject: Poetry
Students use Arts & Bots to bring poems to life. 

Animal Farm Characters
Grades: Middle school
Subject: English
In this Robot Diary, students would create a character from George Orwell's novel Animal Farm. The character would need to communicate using both spoken and written word as well as have at least two emotional states. This project would be completed in tandem with the work already in the curriculum for the student's English class, providing greater depth to a student's understanding and empathy for one or more of the characters. One potential robot could be a horse that is completing some heavy task and then is also sad, talking about how after his ability to work was used up he was sold to be made into glue.

Poe-bots
Grades: Middles school
Subject: Poetry, English
The students will create a robotic reenactment of an Edgar Allen Poe work. The teacher can limit the works that can be chosen. This could be done solo or in groups of two. This idea could also be applied to the works of Shakespeare and others.

Mythological creatures 
Grades: Middle School
Subjects: Mythology, Language Arts
Our after school “Classics Club” participates in an Ancient Coin Museum Project where the participating students learn about the history, art, culture, language, and history of the ancient Romans & Greeks.  Students will be assigned a mythological creature that is represented on an ancient coin in our museum collection. Students will design a robot that tells the related myth with movements and lights that highlight the creatures’ features.  For example, the chimera would have the body and head of a lion, a goat’s head extending from the middle of the body, and a snake for a tail. Coordinating animal sounds and movements can be incorporated into the audio. Lights can represent areas as they are introduced or they can reflect mood.

Create your own Super Hero
Grades: Middle School
Subject: English, Language Arts
Our English teacher assigns a yearly creative writing project where students design and create their own Super Hero. Students draw their Super Hero and write a description of their powers for a poster. We have collaborated in the past on this project.  This year we could add the option of having students choose to represent their Super Hero in robot form using the Robot Diaries kits.  The servos, lights, and sounds will be used to show the emotions, expressions, and powers of the Super Hero.  For example, Super Margot has the ability to fly so a motor can be used to show the flying motion. She can read minds and her eyes will light up when she is reading your mind. 

Chemistry Mini Projects

Chemistry Design

Grades: High School
Subjects: Chemistry, Technology
One of the projects students complete in my chemistry class is a challenge to design a device that would help improve our environment. In doing so, students choose between three themes: air quality, water quality, and food production. Last year, students had to create a model of their device and present it to the class. With Robot Diaries, students could design a robot that improves the air quality, water quality, or food production. Their robot could serve as a model of what the actual device would look like and how it would perform a desired task.  This design challenge would force students to problem solve while learning about the chemicals that pollute our air and water and the factors that influence food production. This project would be cross-curricular because students would be required to study chemistry, biology, English, and technology.  Students would need to conduct research to learn about the chemicals that are polluting our air/water or the chemicals involved in food production. Students would also need to figure out how those chemicals impact our environment. Finally, students will use technology to design and build a model to demonstrate their design for a device that will improve the air quality, water quality, or food production.

Scientists of the Atom
Grades: Middle School
Subject: Chemistry
Another project students complete in my chemistry course is a timeline of the scientists who were the major contributors to the discovery of the atom and the invention of the periodic table of elements. Each student in the class is assigned a different scientist and must teach the class about that scientist and his or her contributions to the discovery of the atom or the invention of the periodic table of elements. Students present in chronological order and place a picture of their scientist on a timeline hanging on a wall in the classroom. With the help of Robot Diaries, students could design a robot of the scientists they are researching and have the robot tell speak to the class as if they were the scientist assigned to the student. This project would provide students with an interesting way of learning about the scientists that shaped the study of chemistry. Robot Diaries will also provide a cross-curricular project involving chemistry, history, English, and technology.

Gas Laws
Grades: Middle School
Subject: Chemistry
In chemistry, students will be learning about the gas laws, so they could use the Robot Diaries to design a robotic device that illustrates one of the gas laws. Usually students work with online simulations to observe the gas laws, but this project could offer a 3 dimensional representation of each gas law that will require an in-depth understanding of a gas law in order for the student to present their model to the class and illustrate how one of the gas laws can be illustrated in real life situations. Students would need to research the gas laws and apply that knowledge of their assigned gas law to design and create a robotic device that would explain a phenomenon that occurs in real life as a result of one of the gas laws. This project will be cross-curricular because it will involve the study of chemistry, technology, and physics concepts. Students will benefit from this project because it will require scientific application of chemistry concepts to real-life situations in a hands-on experience.

Periodic Table
Grades: Middle School
Subject: Chemistry
In chemistry, students learn about the periodic table of elements as a tool to scientists. In doing so, students completed a projected where they were asked to choose an element from the periodic table and explain who discovered the element, its atomic structure, and its uses. This project could be adapted using Robot Diaries by asking students to create a robotic model of an element’s atomic structure. Students could illustrate the element at the atomic level, showing the number of protons, neutrons, and electrons and where they appear in the atom. This project would provide students with an in-depth understanding of the structure of an atom and how to use the periodic table to deduce the atomic structure of a particular element. This cross-curricular assignment would involve the following subject matter: chemistry, history, and physics.