County Fair Robot Projects

Hey everybody! My team (753) is going to have a booth at our county fair coming up, and we were wanting to do some science/robotic activities with the kids (its in the kids zone). Does anybody have any ideas of projects to do with the kids? Thanks so much! :slight_smile:

Team 753
High Desert Droids

the firebirds did something similar last week at a girl scout camp and we’ll be doing the same thing in a 4th of july parade. we brought our 2008 robot and some big beach balls and showed the girls how the robot works. we even let some of them drive it. the girls had a blast and asked us to come back everyday =) just bring your bot and drive it around. they’ll be in awe!

we are already doing that, but we wanted to do some other science type experiments, like the “ping pong ball floating over a hairdryer” and “balloon car”. Is there any other ideas you can think of? thanks!

2 liter water bottle rockets are really fun on a summer day. There are a lot of different launch pad designs, but kids will love that. Here is one for $55. This one can be a bit dangerous. Remember you are launching a 2 liter bottle of water 50+ feet into the air.

Lego ramp racers. Have some legos on hand and give the kids 20 minutes to build and test a lego car and then race them on a ramp. Very similar to Pine-wood derby, but with the build aspect it allows for a FIRST build season twist. Take a picture of the car and write the trap time on the picture and hang this on the wall of your booth.

Egg drop. Have a random supply of materials and and allow the kids to make egg drop designs. Weigh the total system and do a drop height divided by system weight score. Take pictures of the system before begining the drop and then post the photos and scores on a wall in your booth. Top score at the end of the fair wins a prize.

Paper-airplane flight for distance and accuracy. Give each kid a sheet of paper to make a paper airplane. Draw a line on the ground and have the kid throw their plane. Divide the length thrown by the distance away from the line. Write the score on the plan and hang it on the wall of your booth.

These ideas give a very organic feel to your booth. Kids (and adults) enjoy doing these things and then bringing their parents by to show them their picture, plane… This give you a great chance to talk to the parents about FLL, FTC, and FRC.

These are some idea that are good for almost any age. What age group are you targeting? What kind of space/facility do you have available?

The egg drop is good because it has a small footprint with a very exciting visual. It also requires the least set-up as really all you need are a bunch of eggs. Some random materials, and a ladder. You may want to construct some sort of drop tub to help with the splatter of poorly protected eggs. A clear sterilite tub works with a metal plate in the bottom works really well. It is a bit wasteful though so don’t tell the green police I told you to do this.

At Walleye Weekend (Fond du Lac, WI) we had our big robots driving around doing their challenges, then we also had Fondy Heat Jr. Robotics show off their vex robots and allowed hundreds of kids to drive them around. So, if you have any vex robots, that would be a great activity. Also, you could possibly have a mini competition where you give kids a square bot and they have to modify it to fit your own custom game. Sort of like junkyard wars except they get the chassis. And everyone enjoys junkyard wars!

This sounds like a great idea and maybe you’ve already thought of these ideas, but they are ways to extend what you’re doing and invite and inspire others. People like to carry something home, too.

  1. Don’t forget a video of your robot in a competition, and possibly the actual kickoff animation video, so they can put your robot and your team’s work in context.
    2.We demo some FTC and FLL robots alongside our FRC bots at big community events- kids take turns driving and we can explain the different programs.
  2. Have lots of handouts (FIRST website has them or make your own) about how to start a JFLL/FLL/FTC/FRC team and how they can join your team or any others nearby. Parents get just as jazzed as kids, so be prepared to answer questions about how they can start or mentor a team.
    Example- A “design your own robot” coloring sheet on one side and team contact info on the other?
  3. Oh and… have a few sponser packets or contact info for community folks who want to and are able to sponser a team or YOUR team.

Have fun!