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Science Activity Time: Make a Robot!

When you see news about self-driving cars, do you get excited or nervous? New technology can be a game changer for how we interact with the world (smartphones!) but for some, getting used to these new interactions can be difficult. Kids, however, don't seem to have this problem.

build your own robot

Maybe one reason kids aren't intimidated by new technology is their inherent sense of play. If something has buttons, they're going to push them to find out what happens! They don't worry much about negative consequences. They are eager to learn which buttons do what and how to make the device bend to their own will. Which is exactly why my kids know how to operate the TV and XBox remote controls and I don't.

Kids are also great at imagining the What Else. What else can I make this thing do? What else should I try? The people who can keep this sense of What Else are the ones who go on to design the next technological innovations. That's why it's important to allow time and space during busy days so kids can get plenty of chances to try to answer the question, "What Else?"

Need some inspiration? Try this project, "Design Your Own Robot," from our recent book, The Science of Science Fiction!


Did You Know? The term “robot” was first used by Czech playwright Karel Capek in his 1921 play called Rossum’s Universal Robots. The word comes from the Czech word robota, meaning “hard labor.”

We'd love to see some of your robot designs - share them on our Facebook page!

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