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.