Preschool workshop

Has anyone done a robotics workshop for ages 3.5 yrs - 6 yrs? I may be doing a preschool summer camp workshop on robotics for this age group. If you can share any lessons or plans I would be grateful. Who knows? It could be the start of FDL (FIRST Duplo League)!

I love the idea of a preschool robotics organization. However, no offense, but I think that most kids at that age won’t understand the whole concept of building robots.
I have never actually heard of anyone trying, so please share your results!

Kathie:
We did a demo earlier this year at a Book Festival down town. The tent we did the demo in also had arts and crafts tables lining the walls for the age group that you are targeting. What we found out because of our close proximity to the arts and crafts booth and the draw of the crowd - was that this is an age group that is in dire need of access to our world of science and technology. Last year’s robot had a belt on it that lifted the balls to the shooter. There was one little guy who is 4 and is fascinated by conveyor belts and his mom was so excited that he could spend some time with the team and see how the belt worked. She was encouraging us to provide some workshops and camps for this age group so that their hunger for knowledge can be fed. :slight_smile:

I hope to see some posts that have helped this age group and some ideas and suggestions.

Jane

It sounds like a good idea. I assisted with an art class in a local museum for kids around that age. What we did was take them to an exhibit and show them a piece or group of artwork. Then we would go downstairs to the art room and do an activity based on what they saw. For instance, if we saw an exhibit of portraits in the museum, we would come back to the art room, hand out mirrors, and have the kids draw their own portraits.

You could start out with some pictures of robots, or a Vex bot, or something else that would grab their attention, and then have them do a hands-on type activity.

Maybe some pre-assembled pieces that they can just put together to make something that moves. You could have them choose from a couple different kinds of wheels, and a couple different shapes for the middle, and maybe a few different kinds of arms. That way they can build something, and experiment with different parts, without having the frustration of getting something wrong. Even if you aren’t using motorized parts, the concept of “building a robot” can still be there.

-Liz

Check out MOE 365’s MORE program ( Miracle Of Reading Education)

The MORE program was developed a few years ago to help reach students of reading age and even younger to get interest in not only reading but science and technology at a young age so a child can develop an interest from a very young age in to great activities, reading and science. During a program MOE students and team members will read books written and prepared by MOE 365’s members and also have demonstrations of JFF, FLL, VEX or FRC robots or video clips of them in action and game pieces.
When these programs are preformed at local library’s books on robotics, science and technology are collected and placed in the demonstration area so after the demonstration the children and their parents are able take the books and continue the fun and excitement after the program. Those books are rarley ever left on the shelves after a program.

As of now there are 5 books written and printed
All of these books can be downloaded as pdf files
First book about MOE and FRC - We Build Robots Pdf 7.0 MB
Book about FLL- We Bulid Robots Too Pdf 8.7 MB
FIRST Robotics Team 365 – Miracle Workerz Gizmoe shows how engineers use science, math, and technologyt to solve problems everyday.
Who can Help? Ask and Engineer Pdf 2.4 MB
A Picture Book on FIRST programs We can Build pdf 2.9 MB

There are also 2 coloring books developed by MOE

Simple machines make work easier! They can be big or small. Often they are found working together in bigger machines. Read about our robot, MOEbius, as he uses simple machines to get a job done quickly and easily.
Simple Machines With MOE pdf 400 KB

Around the World with MOE Coloring Book. Our robots travel around the world to show us some ancient and modern wonders of engineering.
Around the World with MOE pdf 710 KB

These events are a great way to bring in younger children into a program such as JrFLL or just get them interested in Reading and Science and Technology. And having the coloring books and small activites such as driving a real FRC or vex robot makes the kids remember the fun time they had.

Please go to MOE 365’s website for further information and also to the MORE reading program site for links to other great sites and info.

Preschool kids are a terrific age group to introduce to some of the concepts of FIRST.

As Kyle mentioned, MOE 365 has put together a nice read aloud program. What is not on the website are two contests that we started this year. One is a double-sided handout where kids get to draw their own robot. We supplied crayons and have kids submit their drawings. We plan to put some of the neatest drawings into a separate coloring book.

We also started a book report contest for students in 4-6 grades. That is not the preschool area, but provides another idea.

At a Martin Luther King celebration a few weeks ago, a demo at Hagley Museum, and our First State FLL Tournament, we had a simple 4-Vex bot driving area. The kids LOVED it. We created the square driving area with 4-pvc pipes and fittings duct taped together. We sprinkled a few racquetballs on the floor in the square and taped off two “goal zones” on one side of the field. The kids had a blast and we were running the Vexbots straight for 4-5 hours (bring extra batteries). The kids do need to be supervised to ensure they take turns. We did not allow them to extend the antennae of the controllers - they really did not need to and after one youngster tried to flip his bot off a raquetball by using the antennae, we thought it was best to sheath them.

Lots of fun can be had, but you need to engage these kids directly. Read to them, have them color pictures, do a craft, or drive a Vex bot.

Good luck!