Introducing Mechanics and Robotics to a K-5 Science Fair

AFTER you've done your research and concluded your experiments, it is time to prepare for the science fair. Ask specific questions about preparing for a science fair, including how to set up your display board, how to prepare a presentation, etc. (Please post questions about selecting a project or conducting your experiment by posting in the appropriate "area of science" forum.)

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Introducing Mechanics and Robotics to a K-5 Science Fair

Postby Gregman2 » Tue Sep 07, 2010 9:42 am

This is a question. Does anyone here have a recommendation for trying to introduce more mechanical and/or robotic concepts into K-5 Elementary Science Fair? I am familiar with Lego, but I'm looking for a group that might bring this into
our current Science Fair, which has until now been very limited and actually not all too interesting. Our goal is to engage our kids more with hands-on building and mechanical learning. Any help? :)
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Re: Introducing Mechanics and Robotics to a K-5 Science Fair

Postby agm » Tue Sep 07, 2010 2:00 pm

Hi Gregman2,

When we say "science fair", we're talking about an event at which students present projects that they've carried out, usually standing in front of trifold poster boards being interviewed by judges. It seems like you're talking about an event at which outside people come to the school and give demonstrations of science/engineering concepts -- is that correct? If on the other hand you're looking for people to mentor students who are completing their own projects in these areas, this might be useful: http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-f ... tors.shtml

The first thing that comes to mind is an outreach program that my undergrad dept does, which is unfortunately only an option if you live in central VA: http://phun.physics.virginia.edu/
or this club at my current university, which does demos in central PA: http://www.clubs.psu.edu/up/sciencelions/

If you're outside of those areas, it might be worth emailing them to ask if they know of any similar programs in your location. You could also contact nearby universities. Physics, mechanical engineering, and electrical engineering are probably the departments most relevant to robotics/mechanics, and 'outreach' is a good keyword -- but failing that, the department secretaries generally know everything.

For something a little more specific to robotics... this might be the Lego thing you mentioned: http://www.usfirst.org/roboticsprograms/ What you could do is try to find a high-school-level FIRST team in your geographical area and see if they would come to the elementary school and do a hands-on demonstration as an outreach project.

For safety/privacy reasons, we discourage students from posting any identifying info such as their locations. However, in your specific case we could probably give better recommendations if you wanted to tell us what state (or country?) you're in.

Hope that helps,
Amanda
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