Many natural systems appear to be in equilibrium until suddenly a critical point is reached, setting up a mudslide or an avalanche or an earthquake. In this project, students will use a simple simulation game to investigate the properties of such systems.
What shape and size of drinks mat is best for flipping and catching?
What shape would fit your pens and pencils best? How can you make it?
What is a robot? Robotic devices are anything which we make to take over a job which is boring, repetitive or dangerous to humans. Start by doing a 'robot walk' round your classroom - what can you see which has been invented by humans to make life easier, quicker or safer?
You can make a simple robot from everyday materials.
Stage 1: if you are using long rubber bands, double them up; if you are using small ones, use several.
Stage 2: the rubber bands need to provide a firm fixing, so they need to be tight.
Stage 3: use the rubber band fixing technique to construct a basic unit that looks like the one below.
Stage 4: attach the electric motor and battery holder with blu-tak or plasticene. The rubber drive band to the cotton reel needs to be only slightly tight.
Stage 5: when the electric motor is connected to the battery, the cotton reel should rotate. The basic unit can be made to imitate a robot buggy. It can also imitate the winding drum for a robotic lift, the drum of a washing machine, and lots of other robotic devices.
Stage 6: once you've got your robotic buggy going, see what you can find out about it. How far can it go? How fast can it go? If you make a few of them, you could race them!