Full Curriculum

Grades: Middle School
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. 

Grades: Middle School
Integrating sensors into 2D artwork to depict changes occurring in nature (day to night, caterpillar to butterfly, food chain etc.)
One extension to this curriculum is a robotic haunted house scene including of robots that react to light and proximity.

Grades: Middle School
Time: 14.4 hours
Students create painting to visualy portray Beatles lyrics or themes and build robots inspired by the choosen theme. This curriculum was written for use in an Art class by one teacher.

Science, Technology, Math, Social Studies, Language Arts, Art -  Museum Bots

Grades: High School
This curriculum integrates Science, Technology, Mathematics, Social Studies, Language Arts and Art. It was written for collaborative implementation by an inter-disciplinary team of teachers. 

Grades: Pre-K
Students will design and build their own robot.

Grades: High School
Students study an organ system and then recreate one of its functions using Arts & Bots


Language Arts - Literary Bots

Grades: Middle School
Student write stories in their own voice, as well as stories in the literary voice of Dr Seuss' and build robots to support the narration. This curriculum was written for implementation by one teacher.

Grades: High School
Students create a model of the arm to show muscle movement.

Visual Arts Class

I am writing you to update you on my “Arts and Bots” experience with my 8th grade art class.  It was so helpful that I attended the “Educational Robotics for the Classroom”  course at CMU last summer, I was able to describe my experience with my students as well as having my Ringo “Beatlebot” that I built in that class, there for my students to see as I demonstrated how the robot works . My class began the robotics project late April through the month of May 2012 until the last day of school.  There were nine students, seven boys and two girls in my class. I began my introduction to robotics by defining what a robot was and the many purposes of a robot. I explained that being in an art class we would focus on a robot used for an entertainment purpose. I explained what components were included in the “robot kit” provided by CMU, including the “Hummingbird” circuit board. I also explained that the students would be using the “Visual Programmer” software to communicate the expressions and sequences used with their robot. 

I instructed the students to create a robot that can make simple movements and the robot should be based on a familiar personality from popular culture. I offered the idea that my robot “Ringo” would love a reunion with his Beatle friends, Paul, George, and John and wondered if any of my students would create a new “Beatlebot”, my 12-week theme was “The Magical Mystery Tour” after all!  But no such luck, my students interests focused on famous athletes in football, hockey, and basketball. Two students Mikey and Alec went with the entertainer/radio personality Howard Stern and the musician Bob Marley. Mikey enjoyed making his Howard Stern robot so much that he requested to borrow a robot kit to create new robots with over the summer. He will update me soon on what he’s accomplished. The two girls in my class created interesting robots with Carolyn making an “Oscar the Grouch” robot and Hannah recreating herself as a girls volleyball player on the South Fayette MS team. The students began by problem solving like they would in a math and/or science class. What could they create and how would it move? This planning stage took several classes and several more when the students began to build their robots. We used materials similar to the materials used in the CMU class. Foam core, exacto knives, and glue guns were used the most! What I discovered was that adults can make robots much faster than 8th grade students! The students really took their time to make the best robot they could. The students worked well alone and collaboratively, making good use of the limited time they had. I found that the technological component (the programming activity on the computer) went faster for the students and they seemed experienced with the computers and were comfortable with that aspect of our project.

Most of students created robots they were proud of. Some students didn’t have the chance to finish everything. This project thrives with a small group of students as well as a lot of time for the creativity and ingenuity to flourish.But everyone learned something. I learned that it is possible to combine art and science and create robots in the art classroom.  It was a good experience and I thank you Clara and everyone at CMU for helping me and supporting me as I left my “comfort zone” to try something new! 

Diane Lally

Visual Arts Teacher

National Junior Art Honor Society Sponsor

South Fayette Middle School

Mini Project Idea: Electric Car Timeline - Sue Mellon

Mini Project:  InteractiveTimeline for the Electric Car    Submitted by Sue Mellon

1.       Using the timeline created by PBS (link below) as a starting point, identify five key events for this invention and create a one minute audio file for each identified event using Audacity.  The audio file should contain at least three pieces of information outside of the scope of the timeline.  Keep a record of your references for this additional information.



2.        After creating an audio file, develop a robotic icon for each event.  You will use Robot Diaries to make this interactive exhibit of your research.  This exhibit will work much like those seen in museums.  You may use the distance sensor or some other means to trigger the start of your exhibit.


Grading Rubric


1 point

2 points

3 points

1 Bonus Point


All 5 events have at least one additional fact

All 5 events have at least two additional facts

All 5 events have at least three additional facts

Exceptional Details

Creative Icon?

meets basic requirements

addition of color, detail or creative thinking

multiple additions

Exceptional Work

Use of Robot Diaries?

simple one area commands

creative combinations

triggered events


Beatlebot "Ringo" video - Diane Lally


Ringo is playing the drums and moving his head simultaneously. I would like to add music and more sequenced movements in the future.Possible songs could be "Yellow Submarine" or "Octopus's Garden". This "Beatlebot" will be something I can use when teaching my middle school students with the 12-week Beatlesongs theme.


Diane Lally