Teen Librarian Toolbox
Inside Teen Librarian Toolbox

Take 5: Small Robots and Science Projects

As part of our Teen Summer Reading Challenge, we are looking for ways that we can make some small robots with our teens. In part, because I am robot obsessed. And we’re all looking for fun ways to involve more tech it seems.

Bristle Bot

You can make a small robot using a toothbrush. It looks really quick and easy.

The Delaware County District Library (Ohio) recently did a program on the bristle bot and you can see their tutorial video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WAjWU2vTZTk

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WAjWU2vTZTk?rel=0]

You can make a slightly larger one using a shoe brush: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9rd0-H8cG3A

An Electric Car

There is a simple electric car, which is slightly more involved: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bEPU4hRB9l8

You need: Sheet of cardboard;  4 milk bottle tops; 1 smaller bottle top; 1 drinking straw; Thin garden cane or bamboo skewer; Cheap vibrating toothbrush or a small electric motor and a battery

For some simpler science projects, check out the Nick and Tesla’s books from Quirk Books

The book Nick and Tesla’s High Voltage Danger Lab has instructions for:

Low-Tech Bottle Rocket and Launcher

Mints and Soda Fueled Robocat Dog Distractor

Christmas is Over Intruder Alert System

Do-It-Yourself Electromagnet and Picker-Upper

The book Nick and Tesla’s Robot Army Rampage has instructions for:
Do-It-Yourself PC Leftovers Wander-Bot
Do-It-Yourself Semi-Invisible Bottle Bot
Homemade Robo-Bug (which is the Bristle Bot shown above)
Replacement Robo-Angel Hoverbot
Totally Improvised Super Soaker Bot Blaster

The books are middle grade mysteries, but the activities would definitely work to do a hands on science maker space with teens of any age.

Other Fun Ideas:

Much more involved, it would take a series, but you can combine Raspberry Pis and Legos to build a Remote Control Lego car: http://www.aoakley.com/articles/2013-09-19-raspberry-pi-lego-robot-part1.php


Robot Racer: elastic band car http://www.instructables.com/id/Robot-Racer/

For more teens and tech, go here! 

And if you have more fun ideas for us, please share them in the comments.

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