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 learn how to write, act, and debug robots.
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!
Showcasing Robots Activity Booklet
Before jumping into some ideas, do you want to skip all the planning? If so, use the Showcasing Robots Activity Booklet which will have the girls writing, acting, and debugging their robots. Activities include improv, acting out commercials, and running their own hackathon. 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 Robotics Activities
Watch a CEO pitch their robot
Before the girls pitch their own robots, they can get inspiration from watching a real life founder pitching their own robot.
Watch this 2 min video of the founder/CEO of Bounce Imaging talk about their robot that helps law enforcement and first responders:
Here are some questions to help kick things off:
- What was compelling about the founder’s pitch?
- How did the founder get their points across in a clear way?
- What were the most memorable images or words from the video?
Debate a tech controversy
Facilitated debates are a great way to get the girls talking and forming clear arguments.
One of the big current debates around the technology sector is about billionaires. Tech billionaires have attained more wealth faster than any other sector. The three richest Americans have the same amount of wealth as the poorest half of the US, and two of the three richest Americans obtained their wealth within the tech sector (Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos).
As the girls are preparing to take their place among tech leadership one day, it’s helpful to have them ponder these big issues, while giving them the opportunity to practice the art of civil debating.
To kick off a debate on the topic “Should society abolish billionaires?”, the girls can start by reading an article from each viewpoint:
Here’s how you can facilitate the debate:
- Review ground rules: E.g., There are no right or wrong answers; focus on forming a logical argument based on the facts. Keep comments and discussion on the topic. Don’t personalize the conversation by attacking an individual.
- Assign girls to the affirmative and negative positions randomly. This is optional, but it will de-personalize the debate since the girls have to construct an argument that’s based on their assignment and not necessarily on what their personal beliefs are.
- Have each team plan and present an Opening Statement, Rebuttal (to the other team’s arguments), and Closing Statements.
- Assign 3 girls to be “judges” who will ask questions and deliberate on which team made the most convincing arguments.
Go to a tech meetup
The website Meetup is a platform for people with any interest to organize meetups. There are a ton of tech related meetups that happen all around the country. One the largest and most prominent is New York Tech Meetup, where startup founders present demos of their products on stage. This is where I saw my first 3-D printer, when Makerbot was just getting started. They (attempted) to live print something on stage, with a few hiccups, but the audience was very supportive.
The girls will be able to see firsthand what it’s like for aspiring tech inventors and entrepreneurs to present their new ideas to the world.
Since these are geared toward adults, I’d recommend contacting the organizer in advance, letting them know your troop would be interested in attending a meetup. S/he can advise you on what would be the best time/date to come. Many organizers are excited to inspire the next generation of techies and would be glad to host you during your visit! Most meetups are free; some, like NY Tech Meetup, have a fee, but they would likely waive your fee if you let them know your troop wants to visit.
Teach younger kids about robotics
One of the best ways to solidify your own knowledge is to teach others.
The girls can get a basics robotics kit, like a littleBits kit, practice building it together, and then invite younger kids to join them at a next meeting so they can teach the younger kids how to do it.
The Avengers Hero Inventor kit is a fun one because there’s enough parts and functionality to be interesting for Cadette-aged students, and the basic challenges are accessible to younger students. Not to mention it has a fun superhero theme that will be attractive to kids! You can have the girls invite their younger siblings to a troop meeting, or do something bigger like volunteer to host an event at a local library.
If you don’t want to spend the money to buy equipment, the Showcasing Activity Booklet has step-by-step instructions.
What do we do after your girls complete the activities?
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:
- Create And Design Robots Activities
- Build And Program Robots Activities
- Present And Show off Robots Activities
4th – 5th grade activities:
- Creating And Designing Robots Activities
- Build And Program Robots Activities
- Present And Show Off Robots 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.
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