STEAM Education
5:06 pm
Wed June 25, 2014

Elementary Students Take Part in Arts and Bots at Marshall

Kids from the surrounding areas were in Huntington this week taking part in Arts and Bots: Exploring Robotics and the Arts.

Students from grades 2 through 5 were on campus at Marshall learning how to build robots.

Student work on robots at Arts and Bots.
Credit Clark Davis

Heather Scarberry is a teacher for the Arts and Bots program at the June Harless Center for Rural Education Research and Development at Marshall. She’s working with kids through today as the four-day camp on Arts and Bots wraps up. All week these students have been working on building their own superhero robot. They hope that by the end of the week they can make the robot walk, talk or light up.

“Each student has taken the opportunity to design their own robot, their own superhero with their own superpower,” Scarberry said.

The robots are put together with common household items like empty water bottles or boxes that were once filled with pop or soda. Using a computer program they are able to hook up the robot and then make it work. They can make it do things like roar or they can make a propeller move with the hopes it may be able to fly.

Its projects like this that  has Carrie-Meghan Quick of the June Harless program excited. She hopes finds a new appreciation for the Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math disciplines.

“As West Virginian’s a lot of our children aren’t exposed to these things on a daily basis or even in their school and we think that all children have the ability to grow up and be scientists and engineers and we want to expose them to that and have them change their thinking about that,” Quick said.

The project was originally started at Carnegie Mellon University as a way to get young girls interested in the STEAM areas.

Dria Parker works on Super Dria Robot.
Credit Clark Davis

“Arts and Bots is very open ended, so the students can make it whatever they want, they can make a super hero, they can make an animal, they can make a doll and for students that are good with crafts, those are things they’re creative with and so they’re comfortable,” Quick said. “Then it also engages the students that are comfortable with technology that like to wire and are hands-on with doing things like that, so it really engages both ends of the spectrum.”

Landon Mosser, a 4th grader, has aspirations of a robot that can fly.

“A planecopter, is a plane and a helicopter combined. I’m going to try to make it fly, I want it to move its arms and move its legs and do all kinds of stuff,” Mosser said.

Heather Scarberry said the camp is a chance to see that technology is more than a smartphone or tablet.

Landon Mosser constructs a planecopter robot.
Credit Clark Davis

“This allows them to see that technology is beyond video games and beyond a cellphone and texting, it’s something that is very manageable for them,” Scarberry said.

The camp finishes up Thursday on campus.