Moving Masterpieces

Jayne Sweet of South Allegheny Middle School knows that not all of her students will become artists, but they will all need creativity, the ability to think critically, and problem-solving skills. For this reason, she decided to use robotics to introduce her eighth-grade students to art history. In this nine-week class, students worked in teams of 1-3 to choose a painting and recreate it as a three-dimensional art form. They then incorporated light and movement into the artwork in a way that was congruent with what they inferred about the goals of the artist.

Opera Bots

Opera can seem an inscrutable topic to middle school students. In order to help students better understand and appreciate this art form, music teacher Beth Minda partnered with Gifted Support Coordinator Sue Mellon to devise an interdisciplinary project using the Hummingbird. Eighth grade students from Springdale Junior/Senior High worked in pairs to design and build robotic dioramas for selections from La bohème.

Hummingbird Creatures

In this project, students work in pairs to design and build a robotic creature. This project emphasizes planning. Students create detailed sketches that depict where the creature will incorporate robotic components. They also make lists of the items they will need and collect recycled materials to build their creature. As they build, students outline how they will program the creature in Snap!. To complete their projects, they focus on the process of testing and revision.

Art Bots

This resource pack uses the Hummingbird robotics kit, recycled materials, and craft materials to introduce students ages 8-10 to basic robotics and programming. Art, engineering, and electricity concepts are also explored. Students will learn how to creatively use servos, sensors, and LEDs along with programming basics as they make their robot creations come to life.

Simple drawing bots and circuit blocks may be used to further enhance the lesson.

For students with little to no prior programming skills