Grade 7 Robotics Class Creates Unique Animatronics

Grade 7 students in the Robotics Class begin the year learning to code and program a microcontroller, skills that they put to work to create a unique animatronic, a moveable statue that reacts to its environment through various sound, light and touch sensors. Throughout the six-week project, students created a detailed plan, developed code, printed a 3D object to include, built and tested their robots. Creative in nature, the project asked students to construct a robot that reflected their personal interests or passions, and they found motivation in TV shows, movies, or through something compelling they had seen in the world. 

Their finished products included an emotional support dog that lit up when its head was patted, a Cookie Monster robot whose mouth would open close when approached by a hand (or cookie), and a display of Bilbo’s house from the movie The Hobbit, which featured characters that moved and a fixture that lit up when the word “Open” was vocalized. 

The project sharpened students’ problem-solving skills and emphasized resiliency by requiring  progress photos and regular journal entries reflecting about the process, with a focus on elements that didn’t work and corresponding potential solutions.