Explore Helping Machines
In this lesson children will investigate how machines help people, design their own machines and work together to build different versions
Tell the children about a special type of machine called a robot.
Explain that robots can help with a lot of different tasks.
Ask the children to name and describe robots they have seen or heard about.
Tell the children that even though a lot of different robots have been invented, there are still
many more tasks we’d like their help with. There are small tasks like loading the dishwasher
and bigger tasks like providing medical treatment to sick people.
Ask the children to build a model of their very own robot and that they may draw a picture first if they like.
Once the children have finished building, ask each child to share their robot with the group and
talk about its features and what it can do.
Facilitate a discussion about the children’s robots.
Ask questions like:
- How would you describe your robot?
- What can your robot do?
Ask the children to think about a problem or task their robot might help with.
Have them demonstrate how the robot can help with this task (e.g., if it’s a cleaning robot, ask it
to clean up toys in the classroom).
Tell the children that some robots can do many different things at once.
Ask them to add another element to their robot (e.g., another arm or a rotating function) to
make it an even more useful machine.
Did you notice?
Observing the following skills can help you monitor whether the children are developing the necessary competencies:
- Science - Observing and describing objects and events
- Technology - Asking questions about technology-related concepts
- Engineering - Investigating, asking questions, making observations, and gathering information to inform the design of machines or tools
- Engineering - Participating in the engineering process by designing, building, and testing models
- Math - Recognizing, comparing, and naming shapes; beginning to recognize that objects are composed of different shapes