Saturday, 30 April 2011

Toys from trash

Arvind Gupta has produced a lot of work on turning junk into toys that aim to demonstrate the engineering ideas in an very interesting (well I think so any way).

He has presented a very interesting talk on the TED site shown above. He presents this all in a passionate and entertaining way, well worth having a look at.

More details of his work can be found by clicking on here.

Thursday, 7 April 2011

...junkbots continues

The funding may have unfortunately stopped but the activities continue. On 30th March the Junkbots activities return to Brooke Weston School.

The students had to build a 'junkbot' from initially a motor and propeller and any 'junk' that was around. There were three tasks.
1. The junkbot had to get a can across a line.
2. Similar to the previous activity but this time as well as the can there was other junk (bottle tops and some small steel bits) away from the can. These also had to be transferred across the line.
3. To make the junkbots steerable.

It was never the intention that all the tasks were achieved in the time, but the student's tried out their own groups ideas with little input from the tutors.

Some very innovative results were produced.

Thank you to Mr Nigel Barratt for inviting me back and supporting the activities.

Teacher Mr Barrett said: ‘The students just got on with it and devised the models themselves. They experimented all the way through. It was three and a half lessons of having a go, coming across problems and then solving them themselves. If they got stuck we gave them a little push in the right direction. They have all learned a great deal and they were all fully engaged with the project, giving it their maximum effort.’ (Freeman, 2011)

For more details and comments made from the school follow this link.

Details can be found at the project site including some example exercises.

For further details please contact: or +44 1604 893028

Freeman C (2011) "Junkbots Project 2011" [online] URL: accessed on: 7th April 2011.

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

CEISE2011 paper: Junkbots

An abstract from the 7th China – Europe International Symposium on Software Industry Orientated Education to be held 23-24th May 2011 at School of Science and Technology, University of Northampton, UK. For more details can be found at this link.

Scott Turner
School of Science and Technology, University of Northampton,
Northampton, NN2 6JD

Abstract: The School of Science and Technology at the University of Northampton have been working with local schools to create robots made from junk and also to use robots programmed by the students to perform simple rubbish clearing exercises. This is an initiative by the University to introduce environmental sustainability, engineering and computing to students in schools. This paper focuses on the programming part of the project, providing reflections on the activities.