Form 4 'Robot Duck' STEM Faculty Afternoon

Form 4 took part in a STEM Faculty workshop as part of our Thursday afternoon enrichment programme and had the chance to create a walking ‘Robot Duck’ from a Mindsets Kit. They had a set time to assemble a pack of parts, or basic components, for the basic two-legged (bipedal) walker. Despite having all the basic components, including pre-cut plates, they did not have all the final answers and their creative involvement ranged from investigation of mechanical variables to a re-think of geometry.

The children investigated simple and compound machines and assembled their Robot Duck kits in order to consolidate their practical skills and enhance their existing engineering knowledge. Head of DT, Miss Laura Kohler, explained, “After their STEM session the children were able to identify and be able to explain how to use a worm gear, crankshaft and a cam. To stabilise each duck, Form 4 had to figure out how to add the ‘tail’ of the duck by passing a screw down through the remaining hole and tightening this in place using a nut. They then used a piece of clear tubing to be forced onto the screw to allow the robot to walk without collapsing.”

One of the Form 4 children said, “It was a lot more challenging than making a Lego set and we used our 'perseverance' mind sets to problem solve as a team. It was really rewarding seeing our ‘ducks’ walking on their own at the end!”