Friday, July 18, 2014

Jitterbug Robotics!

On our last day at the Create Make Learn conference in Burlington, Vermont, several of us were fortunate to have the opportunity to create little robotic jitterbugs.  Our jitterbugs were powered with craft motors connected to AA batteries.  The circular platform of my robot is made from a CD, its propeller is made from a glue stick, and its base has been constructed from four up-cycled film canisters.

Although constructing the jitterbug was great fun, there was quite a lot of problem solving and experimentation involved in constructing it.

While mounting the battery and motor to the underside made the jitterbug more aesthetically pleasing, I soon figured out that the electrical tape holding the battery to the motor was not strong enough to maintain a strong connection.  I also learned through trial error that the my propeller needed to be slightly off-center, without touching the floor, in order for my jitterbug to move around, rather than jumping up and down in one spot.

This project required me to apply the following practices, as outlined by the Next Generation Science Standards.

1.  Asking questions and defining problems
2.  Developing and using models
3.  Planning and carrying out investigations

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