5 Fun Activities To Earn the Junior Designing Robots Badges

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Have your girls ever been interested in robot development? If your looking for ideas to learn how to create and design, build and program, and later present and show off a robot with your girls, you have come to the right place. Using some of these activities below to teach your girls how to design their own virtual robot!

Below are a few ideas to get you started.

We partnered with CodeSpeak Labs, which specializes in computer science education for kids, to bring you these resources.  

Create And Design a Robot Activity Booklet

Before jumping into some ideas, do you want to skip all the planning? If so, use this Activity Booklet with interactive activities and puzzles that teach girls how to design robots. These activities include using learning about real robots, creating an early prototype, and even designing their own virtual robot. With step-by-step activities, you can’t ask for a easier way to run your meeting. Learn more about this activity booklet and get yours today!

Be sure to also checkout these other activities your girls will love:


Other Fun Activities To Try

Design a Paper Robot

Your troop can design a robot out of paper, foil, glue, and any other knick knacks you have at home (e.g., buttons, pipe cleaners). The foil gives it the appearance of being made out of metal.

Here are instructions to make the robot above, but you can let your girls make their own creative designs. A lot of the robots of storybooks are humanoid– as in, they look human like C-3PO– but most robots that are in use in the world do not have this appearance. The girls can design a robot that looks more like an animal, or a car, or something completely out of their imagination!

 

Meet a Robotics Engineer

If you don’t happen to already know someone who is a Robotics Engineer, here’s a video of a Robotics Engineer who works for NASA. It’s a great opportunity to see a female role model working in this challenging field. In addition to including an interview with Dr. Howard, it also includes digital simulations of the robots she works on as well as video of the real-life prototypes she tests in the office.

After watching the video, you can discuss reflection questions like:

  • What did you learn about what Robotics Engineers do?
  • What do you think is fun or interesting about what Robotics Engineers do?
  • What did you notice about the robots that Dr. Howard designs? What features does it have (e.g., wheels)? Does it look like anything you’ve seen before?
  • Why do you think she uses a prototype vehicle in her office?
  • If you were a Robotics Engineer, what kind of robot would you want to build?

Discuss Famous Robots

An effective robot is one where its design matches its purpose. Ask your girls what robots they’ve seen in real life and in movies or tv shows. Have them sketch out what those robots look like on paper, and then write down:

  1. What is the purpose or job of the robot?
  2. Why do you think it is designed the way it is?

For example, C-3PO is the robot in Star Wars who helps the heros with translation. He speaks to humans in their native languages. I would guess he is designed to look like a person since his main purpose is to help with communication; looking human might help people feel comfortable talking to him like they would a normal person.

Design a Robot with LEGO

One of the most popular programming robots for kids is the LEGO Mindstorms Robot. What’s cool about this robot is since it’s made out of LEGO pieces, you cando the 5 different suggested designs as well create your own.

The color scheme is basic (red, black, white), but it’s compatible with all LEGO construction sets, so you can build on the basic models with any LEGOs you have at home.

It’s $350, so it’s a significant investment, but it’s highly flexible and can lead to hours of play. The girls can work in teams so that you don’t need to get a set for each girl.

In order to program the robot, you’ll need a regular PC or Mac to use the included software. (Chromebooks don’t work). There’s an app as well, but it only allows for basic functions.

If you don’t want to spend the money to buy a robot, our Activity Booklet has step-by-step instructions on how to design a virtual robot. All you need is a computer with internet access.

What do we do after your girls complete the activities?

Well of course give them the badge to display proudly on their vest, they earned it!  Additionally If you are like many leaders we want to award our girls when they complete something even beyond just the patch. One great way to show achievement is with a certificate. Don’t worry you don’t have to make them, I found a resource that has done all the work for you and all you have to do is print them and customize the certificates with each girl’s name, badge or award earned, date, and troop leader.  Editable certificates perfect for awarding girls after earning a badge.

Related Activities For Multi-level Troops

If you have a multi-level troop you may want to use one of the variations to this program that is geared toward the age of your girls.

K – 1st grade activities:

2nd – 3rd grade activities:


More Resources For You Beyond This Site

I get asked a lot what other resources are out there on the internet for Leaders.  I have done some digging over the years and have used many of the resources myself. I compiled a list of some great companies that sell patches, programs and also other bloggers offering amazing resources that may fit your needs even better than my site did.   Checkout what I found.