One extension to this curriculum is a robotic haunted house scene including of robots that react to light and proximity.
Sue Mellon, Gifted Support Coordinator in the Allegheny Valley School District integrated Arts & Bots into 7th and 8th grade Language Arts classes. The project served as a culminating activity for a poetry unit, giving students an exciting anchor for the unit, and allowing them to practice their poetry analysis skills. Students worked in teams to analyze a poem and then create a scene or a billboard display for their poem.
Grass by Carl Sanburg
"I learned that even though programming looks difficult it is actually easier than it seems."
A Drop Fell on the Apple Tree by Emily Dickinson
"I thought programming was really easy then I realized it takes a lot of timing and work to put everything together."
The Human Seasons by John Keats
"It doesn't take a genius to do robotics."
"I'm happy that art can be intergrated into robotics."
El Dorado by Edgar Allan Poe
"Communication is key when working as a team."
"Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses."
The Pasture by Robert Frost
"Poetry can sometimes be hard to understand but using robotics and giving you a visual can help you understand it."
The Sun Has Long Been Set by William Wordsworth
"I learned how the robotics can relate to poetry."
Design by Robert Frost
"It takes dedication not necessarily a level of smartness to understand the robots."
"Programming is very challenging but once you get use to it, its easy."
Bright Star by John Keats
"I learned that poems can be brought to life off the paper."
Behind the Scene
Robot in Action
(Work in progress) Gorgon ancient coin robot - obverse. This is the first robot created and programmed with a group of 4 students ranging from 5th - 8th grade. (Zee)
Students analyze a poem for literary devices, as well as symbolzing the meaning of the poem. They then use the symbols to create a robot that illustrates the poem.
Robot Theater Filming Planning Document
Sue Mellon - Using Robot Diaries to "bring a poem to life"
At Carnegie Mellon University, Snake Robots have been designed and engineered to perform tasks which benefit humans in many ways. Looking to nature for inspiration, influence, and problem solving, engineers have designed some of the robots’ movements from those of real snakes. And new “gaits” are being developed for the snake robots beyond what mother nature intended for snake locomotion. The robotic snakes are able to move through pipes, climb poles, and even thread their way through rubble after a disaster to assist in search and rescue. Now, smaller versions are being engineering to assist with a less invasive form of heart surgery.
My inspiration for the mini porject comes from a small snakebot that was in the lab with a model of a human heart. Learning that the robotic snakes were now being used in medicine reminded me of the common symbol associated with medicine - the snake entwined staff of Asclepius, Greek god of medicine and healing.
Mini-Project inspired by a visit with SNAKE ROBOTS: STAFF of ASCLEPIUS ROBOT DIARY
Student s will research snakes and using the Robot Diaries kits will create their own robotic staff of Asclepius. Students can choose the species of snake of their choice to depict on the staff. The robot should include two servos, and at least two lights and at least one sound effect. The student will read his/her presentation from the point of view of the snake and coordinate the animations with their presentation which will includes the species, diet, how the snake moves, typical size and weight, and lifespan. The snake itself should represent the snake’s true color and markings. Additional information can include other interesting facts about snakes (not all snakes have fangs), symbolism of snakes (ex. Biblical references or snake images in ancient or modern times), a joke about snakes (What is a snake’s favorite subject? Hiss-tory!), or a retelling of one of Aesop’s fables which include snakes.
Zee Ann Poerio
The mini project is based on and inspired by the LISTEN Project in the CREATE Lab. The project would be designed to teach Human Anatomy and Physiology students how to pronounce common scientific or medical terms including ones most likely to be mispronounced. This project will involve listing the common medical terms associated with each unit, determining the correct pronunciation (using a variety of resources), and finally creating a recording of each term. This recording would be the voice of the Robot Diaries robot “Decoder” created by different groups of students. The “Decoder” could possibly be a model of a female physician/scientist who is a specialist for the unit. The project would be a collaborative such that the terms would be divided among groups of students and each would then listen to the others’ robot.
Classroom experience supports that the students would feel more comfortable when making their end-of-term presentations as their speech would be more accurate and professional when correct pronunciation is used. A student’s presentation appears unrehearsed when she stumbles over the difficult-to-pronounce words.
Sue Mellon – Project Ideas
Grade level: 6th
Skill: Measuring Angles to 180°
(Math Assessment Anchor –
Measurement, Eligible Content: M6.B.2.1.3 Measure angles using a protractor up to 180° - protractor must be drawn - one side of the angle to be measured should line up with the straight edge of the protractor. )
Idea: Using Servo motors with the “finger like” extension, position small characters at the end of the “finger like” extension and have students move their characters various degrees less than 180°. Project #2
Grade levels: 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th
Skill: Comprehension of Poetry
(Note: The “Target Passage Types for the Reading PSSA” chart indicates that poems will be included in all tests for these grade levels. Many students view poetry negatively and they need to accept the fact that must demonstrate understanding.)
Idea: Hold a “Robot Theater Classroom Festival” where students give poems “life” by using Robot Diaries. I would divide the students into groups of two and assign them a poem. After completing an analysis of the poem, they will create a scene with the servos, LEDs, etc. to accompany a recorded reading of the poem. After all projects are complete, students will walk around the room viewing each other’s scenes. Project #3
Discipline: Social Studies
Grade level: 7th
Skill: Reporting Research
(Note: For the last two school years, I have been working with our 7th grade Social Studies teacher to complete the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh’s Middle School Ambassador Program. Each year, the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh identifies an area of the world for targeted study. We invite speakers from these regions to our school. We also research the region by dividing the students into teams and have them create PowerPoint shows as part of a team presentation. These presentations are very important to the students because they are the basis of determining the top 20-25 students who get to attend the culminating seminar held at the Cathedral of Learning each spring.)
Idea: I believe that Robot Diaries could be a nice addition to this presentation and would give the teams of four more “hands-on” activities. The students could use the Robot Diaries to recreate a famous citizen from their region. Project #4
Grade level: 5th & 6th
Skill: Understanding Programming Basics
(Note: Each week, during one of the daily IE (Intervention-Enrichment) periods, I have a “pull-out” Gifted Support Time called GATE Tech in which we create technology based projects. With the 4th grader, we do a great deal with PowerPoint—taping presentations and attaching these files, attaching videos from Discovery Education as well as creating interactive presentations (non-sequential). With the 5th and 6th graders, we complete projects using MovieMaker and Storytelling Alice.)
Idea: I believe that adding Robot Diaries would be a perfect addition to this work as many of my students are very artistic and love creating things this year. My students love the new duct tape art as well as origami. This would also reinforce our exploration of programming concepts such “looping.” Project #5
Discipline: Health and PE
Grade level: 6th and 7th
Skill: Identifying health eating habits
Idea: Students could create a robotic character and have the character deliver the “health message.”