Design Lab Drawbots - Jewish Day School

Design Lab Drawbots


Winter 2018: 

Cross Grade Collaboration

As told by Julia K, Grade 5

On February 5th, the 4th and 5th graders went to the Design Lab, ready for a fun new challenge. When we got there, we found huge pieces of paper spread out around the room. We sat down next to the pieces of paper in our Tribes (groups) and listened to Morah Sigal's directions, "Today we will be making draw bots!" As Morah Sigal continued, I couldn't see a face in the room that wasn't smiling. When our materials started to get passed out, we were suprised that the number of items was quite small. Each student got only a paper cup, 4 markers, ¾ of a hot glue gun stick (as a propeller), 2 alligator clips (wires), a battery, a motor, and a hot glue gun (to share with our tribe). Then it was time to start! We worked very hard, helping others and coming up with ideas.

Several minutes into the working time, one student went up to Morah Sigal, "I'm pretty sure I made my draw bot work!" Morah Sigal took out a large roll of paper and rolled out a lot of the paper, "Try it out!" she said. The student put her bot on the piece of paper, it started to draw. The student was very proud. "Now," said Morah Sigal, "try to move something around so your bot moves differently." Happily, the student went back to her seat and continued working.

One by one everyone came up and tested their bots, and every time we were told to try to make it move differently. Along the way, some people came up to test and noticed a flaw that they needed to fix. Some of the challenges faced were: The cup being in the way of the propeller moving, the wires being in the way of the pens or propeller, a leg of the bot that was not touching the ground, the battery being too heavy, and the bot working when the caps were on the markers but not when they weren't. We did not give up, though. Each time we failed, we remembered Morah Sigal's quote, "Fail Forward" and did as the quote implied, learn from failing.

When someone was told to go back to their seats and make their bot move differently, some of the changes made were: moving where the propeller was on the motor, putting the motor in a different spot, and even taking everything apart and making a totally different bot! Some of the students were prouder of their bots after the changes they made!

In the end, everyone took home an amazingly original draw bot, and was excited to see what was planned for them next week in Design Lab!