Okay we have a stem night for some elementary kids in a week and we need an idea that is simple but engaging. Our last idea was too complicated and didn’t work and now we are running out of time.
What kind of robotics gear do you have available?
I would try making several small little tank drive bases and have the kids drive them around. It’s what my team does anyway. If you want you can also make an obstacle course for the bots.
Do you have any robotics teams in your area? You could try and invite them (free food is a pretty great invitation) and ask them to bring their own robots to show off. Worlds was only last week so some teams might still have their robot.
A couple robots to drive and one doing something off in a corner autonomously. Worked for our World’s booth
What did you try before? What did work, and what didn’t?
Edit: Also, how many kids? What grades/ages?
When there was a STEM night at our elementary school somebody brought two robotic arms.
We could drive them them with small Lego remotes.
They set a bunch of marbles in the tray and two kids would compete who could pick more marbles in 1 min.
That was a lot of fun!
Use a combination of game elements, and make on big game. If you have more than one field connecting those would make it much more enjoyable. I would suggest building a robot beforehand though.
Besides team members and robots, we also use a laptop (connected to a big monitor/TV if possible, a projector/white board would be even better, whatever the school has). We loop the official VEX game video (‘best 2 minutes in robotics’) and some of our better matches, eventually some winning moments, (if any…) everyone excited, etc., maybe some clips from the Freedom Hall from Worlds (music, lasers, parade of nations, etc…), things that get people excited and hooked.
How much space do you have? A 12 X 12 field works, but a smaller enclosed space will do for this demo. The visitors drive the bots and play the game.
Have a field (rectangular or square) with a wall in the middle – you choose the height, according to the lifting abilities of the bots. Put equal numbers of bots with similar capabilities on each side. Put the same number of old game objects (or old softballs, footballs, etc.) on each side. The goal is to get the objects onto the opponents’ side. Make up a scoring system of the objects, and allow any amount of time for a match.
This is a variation of Clean Sweep, the 2009-2010 game. We once manned a demo like this with 1/2 field, and it worked really well, because there’s minimal reset of the game objects for the attendant.
Well this is elementary, it will probably just be the best one minute in robotics.