#TIC14 – Tink Tank 1 – BrushArtBots

After battling bronchitis and feeling very under the weather the last couple days, I am glad I decided to make the trip to Dubuque to present. I was up late finalizing slides and packing everything. As I shared with so many educators at the conference what I love most about presenting is not so much being up front, but I love working and networking with so many awesome educators. I have met more people who have inspired me through presenting as opposed to sitting in audience. Today I had one hour to have educators make BrushArtBots. It is a great hands on activity getting them to think about how to incorporate this lesson or something similar in their classroom. Even more it reminds us how to think and be a kid again. We started with a few slides because I wanted this to be interactive and chance to play, tinker, design, hack, and explore.

Here is a link to the lesson plans if interested

Below are some images from the session today as well as from a few previous trial runs. Today I was amazed by the variety of designs. Some crafted some really cool looking bots like the butterfly. Some focused solely on designs to make them go straight. We had to work through types of paper, weight of the bot, amount of paint to use, etc. Educators were constantly in a problem solving state of mind. It was so great to watch. It was even better feeling inspired by all the new ideas. I was so pumped watching them come up with ideas I never thought of before. I chatted with some great people. It was so good to connect and hear about their schools, projects, and ideas. So a few things I learned specifically today. 1. I need to pack wax paper or a smoother type of paper to help bots move. 2. I need to pack string or dental floss. So smart! 3. Must find something besides Play-Doh as temporary glue. It works, but not as good as I want it to be. 4. I want to develop an obstacle course for the bots. 5. I LOVED the 4H idea of Eco-challenge of bots sweeping up debris using Dixie Cups. 6. Create piece of art and cover with sand. Bots brush sand away to see if students can clear enough away to identify work.

Last, here are comments and questions posted in the Todays Meet group. I have eliminated names and want respond to concerns. My responses are in bold.

Brush Bot Awesome engagement activity for students I agree. What I want to know is how teachers can use this in different classrooms and age groups. Would like to develop specific challenges.
Lots of applications.
How do you work around the frustration factor?(those that just give up ~ or won’t try) This is going to happen. The key here is to know the child(relationships) and check out their bot. Look at what is causing the issue and start asking them questions where you are guiding them to the solution, but they feel like they came up with the answer.
How do you store your materials? (Are they portable or placed on an established makerspace?) I have a large bin where I house the materials for this activity. The art supplies are just part of my room that are on tables and shelves for anyone to use for any projects. I am working on a new file system where all pieces are in one big storage unit, but for now they are organized by activity in tubs.
Love the fact that students can create a bot to take home and continue their creativity. This is the key to this activity. It is cheap enough to allow them to do so. What I would love to do and am working on are new activities that are cheap and allow students to take more projects home.
Great to just sit back, have a convo and really think about how this could b used w the 4 Cs… thanks! I would love to know more about ideas connecting to the 4 C’s. I really like this mindset and would love to develop more.
hardest part was stopping. Wanted to keep tinkering… How do you get the kids to move on when time is up? I think you keep up a timer or counter on the board so they know that at x amount of time we have to stop and clean up. The bonus of this activity is that those kids that want to keep playing will be able to take it home and keep tinkering. If they come up with something great, then they can bring it back to school to share out and possibly teach!


Loved the hands on and try it!

Thank you to everyone who took time to come to my session. I really appreciate it and hope you enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed working with you all. Thanks for a great start to the conference.

Created with flickr slideshow.
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