The June Harless Center held an Arts and Bots training in Mingo County at Mingo Central High School on November 5, 2012. Twelve elementary and middle school science and art teachers from Burch Elementary, Gilbert Middle, Matewan Middle, Williamson Middle, Burch Middle and Mingo Central High School took part in the training, which was funded by the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation.
The Arts and Bots project integrates technology, robotics and art through the use of familiar arts and crafts supplies, circuit boards, lights, motors and sensors. Students design, build and program robots that tell stories of literary and historical characters and events while promoting technological literacy and informal learning.
Arts and Bots is one of several projects implemented by the Harless CREATE Satellite, a branch of Carnegie Mellon University’s CREATE Lab at the June Harless Center. The satellite provides robotics and technology initiatives to West Virginia schools including Marshall University Professional Development Schools.
Due to its success Arts and Bots, originally designed to encourage middle school girls’ interest in STEM topics, was expanded to include both genders and a larger age group. The Harless CREATE Satellite enables educators and rural communities in West Virginia a real-time portal to the flow of cutting edge technologies and programs being developed at the lab in Pittsburgh.
Doug Force's, math teacher at Barboursville Middle School in Barboursville, West Virginia accepted the challenge to inject robotics into his curriculum first semester of the 2012-2013 school year. His students used everyday household items to make robots. Once their robots were created, their challenge was to find what they did that pertained to mathematics. Other questions asked were as follows :
1. How do I make something happen on my robot when I get close to it?
2. How do I make a purple strobe light?
3. How do I make something move on my robot?
4. What is unique about my robot?
5. What have I learned from this experience?
Students and their parents brought their robots to teachers' Arts and Bots follow- up meeting this week on Marshall's campus to share them with pre-service and in-service teachers.
Thanks for the support from Benedum Foudation, next semester, Doug will continue to use Arts and Bots with a new group of students and we look forward to seeing more creative robots!
Come program Finch robots and Hummingbird kit creations at this weeks mini maker faire at the Children's Museum in Pittsburgh. We will have four laptops set up to allow kids and adults of all ages to try out these robots with some no-experience-necessary programming environments.
CREATE Lab is offering an Arts & Bots workshop on September 10th, 2012. If you are interested in participating, please see more information bellow and RSVPby Thursday September 6th. ACT 48 credit offered. We will also have some good food to munch on while building our work of art. If you want to get inspired for this workshop, listen to this press release at Pittsburgh's NPR or read more at the Post Gazette article.
Looking forward to seeing you in class!
Arts & Bots team.
What do craft materials have to do with robotics? They are both part of the Arts & Bots system that is being used in classrooms and learning centers across the Pittsburgh region. Arts & Bots allows students, ages 5 to 18, to combine crafts, robotics, creativity and graphical computer programming to build and animate custom robotic creations.
Interested in learning more about Arts & Bots? Join members of Carnegie Mellon University’s CREATE Lab to for an introductory workshop. At the workshop, you will build your own robot while learning about the latest Arts & Bots hardware and visual programming software. Visit bit.ly/Arts-Bots for more details about Arts & Bots.
Who should attend the workshop? Educators from all subject areas are welcome. We will discuss ideas for using Arts & Bots with students of different ages and in classes ranging from Anatomy to History to Art. No robotics experience is necessary. This workshop is free of charge for all interested educators. ACT 48 credit available.
On Wednesday, May 23, 2012, PENNSYLVANIA ASSOCIATION FOR EDUCATIONAL COMMUNICATIONS & TECHNOLOGY (PAECT) SouthWestern Chapter held its first Regional Event. This “Taste of Technology” TECH and TELL was held at St. Louise de Marillac School in (Upper St. Clair) Pittsburgh, PA from 5:00 P.M. – 7:00 P.M.
Zee Ann Poerio, Technology Teacher for K-8 at St. Louise de Marillac, was the host and event chair. Ken Klase, principal of St. Louise de Marillac School welcomed everyone and Dr. Shirley Campbell, Past President of PAECT, thanked everyone for attending.
Following a light technology themed dinner with APPetizers, BYTE sized sandwiches, computer potato CHIPS to munch, and COOKIES, the attendees were invited to a visit a student showcase which featured technology from Carnegie Mellon University’s CREATE Lab. http://www.cmucreatelab.org/ An exhibit featuring a Robotic Ancient Coin made by the STL Student Technology Team using the ARTS & BOTS (formerly Robot Diaries) - Hummingbird Kit was displayed for human robot interaction. Also, 8th grade student, Tom W., invited attendees to attempt challenges he programmed for the FINCH, another robotic device. A GigaPan was on display along with a large print for attendees to post comments. Jillian G. and Francesca G., eighth grade students, also volunteered at the event. They demonstrated how Turning Technologies http://www.turningtechnologies.com/ response devices or “clickers” can be used in the classroom, and they assisted in registering teachers with EDMODO http://www.edmodo.com/ accounts to prepare for the workshop.
Dan Plesco of Direct Tech Solutions explained the benefits of using a Meraki Wireless Access Point. The access point was installed that day and attendees were able to see how quickly schools could benefit from the technology. SWPAECT members presented the attendees with a “taste of technology” that they could put to use in the upcoming school year. Attendees learned how to power their classes with EDMODO http://www.edmodo.com/ (Zee Ann Poerio, K-8 Technology Teacher), engage their students with the new SMART Notebook 11 http://smarttech.com/notebook11 (Brandie Boback, Certified SMART Trainer), and use Twitter http://twitter.com/ for the Classroom and PD (Silvina Orsatti, IT Specialist.) The session ended with a TECH & TELL where attendees shared their favorite web tools.
Thanks to the following organizations for donating these fantastic door prizes:
Smart SolutionTechnologies, L.P. Smart Board Interactive Whiteboard SB680 Smart Board or Smart Response Training http://smarterguys.com/
Special thanks to Dom Salvucci who joined us via SKYPE to share his experiences with Edmodo, Jana Baxter of SW PAECT, St. Louise de Marillac School administration and staff, and Theresa Enyeart, Toni Luvara, and Jean Rowles for their help on the day of the event. This event was FREE for PAECT Members and $5.00 for Non–Members. Attendees received PA ACT 48 credit and left with “cookies” (to eat) and great ideas to share with their colleagues and use immediately in their classrooms.
Photos from this event can be viewed here: (Created with ANIMOTO http://animoto.com/ another great web tool!)
Submitted by Zee Ann Poerio, SW PAECT Member (Event Planning Committee) Teacher, St. Louise de Marillac Catholic School
Teachers from Ona Elementary, Cornerstone Academy, Beverly Elementary, Kellogg Elementary and Barboursville Middle took part in a 2-day training on arts and bots on July 10th and 11th on Marshall University's campus. The 8 teachers agreed to pilot the project and integrate it into existing classroom curriculum and will be using it in a variety of subjects including math, physics, chemistry, and reading. Allen Perry chemistry and physics teacher from South Point High School in South Point, Ohio was on hand to help train the teachers on equipment use while the Harless CREATE Satellite team assisted with curriculum. The project expanded to include additional schools and teachers this summer and they will be involved in a yearlong project. We look forward to seeing what the teachers and students come up with this year!
Yesterday, Carnegie Mellon University made a press release about Arts & Bots describing the successes of our community partners and announcing the public availability of the Hummingbird Kit through BirdBrain technologies. This is a big step towards increasing the impact of Arts & Bots and promoting the use of robotics as tools for creative expression and exploration. We look forward to continuing to work with our wonderful partners and meeting even more educators interested in particpating in our ongoing research activities.
Since the release, Arts & Bots has been discussed by a number of news organizations, magazines and prominent blogs. We've included information on a few articles below.
Thanks to all of the educators and community partners who made this project so successful!
“Most educational robotics kits focus on building robots, but Hummingbird treats robotics as one element combined with craft materials and text to communicate thoughts, feelings, or ideas. […] Teachers whose students have experimented with the kit say it fosters interest in technology among students ages 11 and up.”
“Hummingbird differs from robotic kits available at toy stores where the focus is on building a specific robot; rather it comes with a control board along with lights, sensors, and motors that you use to roboticize your art project. This incorporation step is thought to make robotics more meaningful and useful to the user.”
“Now, although this is called a "kit," it's not like there's instructions that tell you what to build. It's the best kind of robot kit: the kind where you use your imagination and some creativity to build a robot of your very own. You might need some additional structural components (like cardboard), but beyond that, all it takes is a good idea to make whatever you want, which (in essence) iswhat's so great about robots in general. ”
“The Hummingbird offering from BirdBrain Technologies costs $200 and uses a drag-and-drop user interface that requires no programming experience on the part of the user. The kit (which includes components such as a controller, power supply, cables and senors) can convert artwork made from paper and cardboard into creations that move or display lights based on sensors. More elaborate creations have included a working replica of Star Wars' R2D2.”
"The results often amount to kinetic sculptures that use sensors to detect changes in their environment and respond with movement and/or light displays. A cardboard dragon that turns its head and tries to bite anyone who comes close is one example. Students in West Virginia built a working replica of Star Wars' R2D2."
The June Harless Center held a weeklong summer camp June 4th -7th, 2012 for children entering 2nd-5th grade on Marshall University's campus. Allen Perry, a Physics and Chemistry teacher from South Point High School (Ohio), lead the camp with the Harless staff assisting. Allen participated in the roll out which involved 4 local schools this past school year. Children gained inspiration for their designs from a virtual tour on the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History’s website and used the engineering design process to create their robots with the goal being to learn how to create and program a robot.
What do you want your robot to look like?
What do you want your robot to be able to do?
Choose the best one!
Draw a diagram
Make a list of materials you will need
Follow your plan and create it!
Test it out!
Talk about what works, what doesn’t, and what could work better!
Modify your design to make it better
Test it out!
On Thursday, a showcase of the student’s work was held and parents, friends and family were invited to attend. Some of the robot designs included an alligator, truck, Sacajawea, wooly mammoth, and recycle bots. The children enjoyed the experience and the parents were impressed with the designs that their children made and the creativity that was used
The June Harless Center for Rural Educational Research and Development, College of Education at Marshall University, held a year-end celebration showcasing Harless CREATE Satellite projects on May 17, 2012 from 6-8 in the Memorial Student Center’s Don Morris Room.
Featured projects included: the GigaPan Outreach Project, Arts and Bots, Hear Me, and Message From Me. In addition, a new WaterBot project was introduced. GigaPan enables students to take GigaPan panoramic images of their communities and activities and share them with peers across the world. Arts and Bots is a customized robot designed to integrate technology, literature, and history through the use of art supplies, circuit boards, lights, motors and sensors. Hear Me seeks to amplify kids voices using media and technology to create a world where kids are heard, acknowledged and understood, thereby giving them the power to inspire change in their lives, communities and the world. WaterBot is a citizen scientist project that prototypes a low-cost, easy and mobile method to monitor water quality, empowering communities, educators and children to monitor their watershed systems.
The Harless CREATE Satellite grant, which was funded by the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation, provides rural Appalachian schools continuous and seamless access to technologies, educational resources and ideas generated at the CREATE Lab in Pittsburgh. In addition it enabled teachers to integrate cutting edge technology into existing curriculum.
Schools showcasing projects are from the Marshall University Professional Development Partnership Schools and include the Early Education STEM Center, Huntington High, Kellogg, Guyandotte and Ceredo Elementary schools, Beverly Hills, Milton, Barboursville Middle schools, as well as Cherry River Elementary in Nicholas county, Beverly Elementary in Randolph county and South Point High School in Ohio.
The Marshall University Early Education STEM Center is one of the Professional Development Schools piloting the Arts and Bots project. The project, originally started for middle school girls, has expanded to include both genders as well as other ages. This is the first time the project has been used in elementary grades as well as pre-k. Many thanks to graduate assistant Lee-Dorah Wokpara for taking on this task and being creative and flexible with the curriculum. Children were encouraged to make a plan and draw a design before creating their robot. We can't wait to see what the children come up with!