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Science Fair Project Idea
The world's oceans are home to the most strange and amazing creatures. What do scientists know about these deep-sea animals and how can they study them easily? One way to learn about these animals in their homes is to use underwater robots. Underwater robots can record data that would be difficult for humans to gather. But what are robots and how are they made? In this robotics engineering project, you will discover what makes up a simple robot and build and test your own underwater robot. Read more
Lesson Plan Grade: 6th-8th
Have your students read about autonomous (also called self-driving or driverless) cars in the news? How can you build a car or a robot that will stay on the road without a human driver? In this project, your students will find out by building a robot that can automatically follow a line around a homemade race course, while learning about the electromagnetic spectrum and electronic circuits. Read more
NGSS Performance Expectations:
  • MS-PS4-2. Develop and use a model to describe that waves are reflected, absorbed, or transmitted through various materials.
Science Fair Project Idea
What do an octopus, an elephant's trunk, and an earthworm have in common? They are all squishy, bendable and flexible because they do not have any bones inside. You might not typically think of robots as "squishy," but scientists are increasingly trying to create soft robots that look and move like animals. In this project you will use a "soft robot simulator" to design and race your own squishy robots. Can you come up with the fastest design? Read more
Science Fair Project Idea
Can you build a robot that hops like a frog? In this engineering project, you will learn how to build a simple robot that uses the energy stored in a stretched rubber band to jump. You will use the engineering design process to try to make your robot jump higher and farther. How far can you make it jump? Read more
Science Fair Project Idea
Have you ever seen a robot dance? In this project you will build your own simple flipping, tumbling robot that can dance around on the floor or a tabletop! If you have never made a robot before and would like to get started with a fun, easy project, this is a great place to begin. You will follow directions to make a basic robot, and then make your own additions to make it even better! Read more
Science Fair Project Idea
When you think about robots, chances are they are contraptions that you have seen on TV, in movies, or even in real life — and they are usually made of metal. What if you could make a soft robot that could bend, twist, or squirm like an octopus or an earthworm? Researchers at Harvard University have done exactly that, developing soft robots made of rubber and powered by air instead of electricity. In this project you will use their designs to build a soft robotic gripper of your own. Read more
Science Fair Project Idea
The Science Buddies Bluebot Kit contains parts to build four different robots: A motion-activated robot that uses a passive infrared (PIR) sensor A light-tracking robot that uses photoresistors A line-following robot that uses infrared emitter-detectors An obstacle-avoiding robot that uses bump sensors However, in each project, the sensors are hard-wired to control the robot's motors. This allows the robot to steer left and right based on input from two sensors, but it does not allow… Read more
STEM Activity
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Do you know anyone who has had a hand or an arm injured in an accident? What if you could build them a robotic hand to help them accomplish everyday tasks like writing, picking up a glass, or opening a door? This activity will show you how to build a simple robotic hand using common household materials. Read more
Lesson Plan Grade: 6th-8th
Students use ultrasonic sensors and LEGO© MINDSTORMS© EV3 robots to emulate how bats use echolocation to detect obstacles. They measure the robot's reaction times as it senses objects at two distances and with different sensor threshold values, and again after making adjustments to optimize its effectiveness. Like engineers, they gather and graph data to analyze a given design (from the tutorial) and make modifications to the sensor placement and/or threshold… Read more
NGSS Performance Expectations:
  • MS-ETS1-4. Develop a model to generate data for iterative testing and modification of a proposed object, tool, or process such that an optimal design can be achieved.
Science Fair Project Idea
Have you ever heard of the NASA Mars rovers Spirit, Opportunity, Curiosity, and Perseverance? How about the "bomb squad" robots that police and the military use? These are places that are hard for us to reach (Mars), or dangerous for us to be near (explosives). Because the human operators are usually far away from the robot, driving one is different from driving a car. Operators rely on information sent back from the robot, including pictures and video. In this project, you will build your… Read more
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