Thursday, July 26, 2018

Maker Workshop: Brushbots

Hard to tell, but they're watching it vibrate
  • Program Goals
    • Encourage kids to explore different skills
    • Offer the opportunity for hands-on learning
    • Promote nonfiction
Supplies
I've purchased many kits and finally decided this year that the extra expense wasn't worth it. I bought the components and it was less expensive, I think, and easier overall. If I was going to buy kits, I'd go with Brown Dog Gadgets, which are the simplest and least-expensive.
Resources and Display Titles
I did not put anything out.

Promo:
Kids will have the opportunity to create a mini robot and learn some basic electronic skills along the way! Registration is required and space is limited, so if you are unable to attend please let the library know. There is no age restriction, but you must have the following skills to attend:

Required skills:
  • Ability to work independently and wait patiently for assistance when needed.
  • Can safely use required materials with minimal supervision (scissors, wire, batteries)
  • Have the patience to work on a small, fiddly project
Introduction
Reminder of the "tools vs toys" rule.

Evaluation

  • 7-26-18
    • Attendance: 21
    • Notes: All but three of the people signed up came, plus several last-minute volunteers and other kids who happened to be there. I really did not want extras, b/c you can never tell if the batteries are still good, so I encouraged them to make more than one! Kids love this program, but honestly it's not really my thing. So, it's one to have volunteers to help out with! I forgot to print out the instructions and stuff for games - it was kind of a chaotic program due to other stuff going on.
  • 2017
    • Attendance: 5
    • Notes: There might actually have been more? The weather was awful, I do remember that.
  • 7-22-16
    • Attendance: 12
    • Notes: I felt very "meh" about this one, but it turned out really well. The kids loved it and we had extras (which was good b/c a couple motors died). Next year I'll buy the brushbot kits from Maker Shed when they're in stock and pre-strip the wires.

2 comments:

Maura said...

Is there a reason you would switch from the easybotics kids to the Maker Shed ones? I'm considering doing another brushbots program soon with a kit (I did one a few years ago from scratch... NEVER AGAIN) and I'm exploring the different kit options.

Jennifer said...

When I've done it before, I've always gotten Maker Shed - the only drawback with those is you have to strip the wires (we used our teeth which I don't exactly recommend but...it worked!). The easybotics ones have a giant battery which is very difficult to balance and they were much harder to put together. I prefer Maker Shed, but they do get sold out!