Mini Project Idea: Human Environmental Interaction - Tanner Huffman

"Our world is what We make it"

Objective:  Student will develop an understanding of human interaction with the environment.  Students will explore both positive and negative impacts of human intervention.
Research - Student will research either a positive or negative effect of human involvement with the environment.  Examples include: Conservation, Lead Certification, Recycling (Positive) or Deforestation, Ozone Destruction, Water Pollution.
Action - Students will develop a basic interactive model that will change, either positively or negatively, with human presence.  Student will utilize a motion sensor to switch between two "modes" of their model; Before Humans and After Humans.

Tanner Huffman

Literary Bots

Developed by Tanner Huffman


Robots are capable of expressing simple emotions and performing simple actions as they assist in telling a story. curriculum


Lesson 1 My Robot and Me

My Robot, and Me from CREATE Lab on Vimeo.

Students created a robot companion based on the face of their favorite animal, person or cartoon character. They programmed the robot to express various emotions, as they narrate a story of a common (or uncommon) day in life.



Special Guest

Among the volunteers in this test classroom was Dr. Marek Michalowski of BeatBots, co-developer of the sweet and famous Keepon (a small creature-like robot designed to interact with children by directing attention and expressing emotion). Michalowski provided some feedback on the lesson and shared some of his experiences working on and with Keepon.


Lesson 2 Robot Seuss

Their Leader You are Not, Take Me to Your Robot from CREATE Lab on Vimeo.

In small groups, students read a Dr. Seuss book and then wrote an original story utilizing at least one Dr. Seuss key style (discussed earlier in class). Students created and programmed robot characters to enact their original story.



Special thanks to Kathy Maron-Wood, Senior Librarian, and Patte Kelley, Department Head, at Children's Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, who provided access, guidance and books to support the development of this and other lessons.

Reactive Art

Developed by Tanner Huffman


Students created pieces of art mimicking changes in nature. They utilized infrared proximity sensors to make the artwork react to viewers. curriculum


Reactive Art from CREATE Lab on Vimeo.

Another example here.


Special Guest


Earlier in the summer residency (prior to the development of this lesson) artist Garth Zeglin met with Tanner and Robert to talk about his research and artwork, including kinetic sculptures combining fabric and robotic elements.