Find programs and mentors near you with CYSTEM (Check it out!)
Are You Into It?
Robotics is the way of the future that is here today. Robots do surgery, build cars, and assist us with our complex modern lives. This project is all about these amazing machines and learning to build and program your own robots to solve issues you face.
- Develop an interest and understanding of science, engineering and technology.
- Develop problem solving and logical reasoning skills.
- Improve communication and teamwork skills by working the way scientists and engineers do - in teams.
- Develop responsible attitudes about science and technology and how they relate to the real world and people’s lives.
- Gain experience in problem solving and decision-making using science process skills.
- Develop knowledge and skills related to robotics and engineering design process.
Here’s what you can do all year!
Starting Out Basic / Level 1
- Play with toy robots and figure out how they work
- Learn about how robots are used in the real world
- Join a robotics club so you can practice building and programming a robot
Learning More Intermediate / Level 2
- Learn more advanced robot design and programming techniques
- Learn how sensors work, how they are used in robotics, and how to program a robot with sensors
- Talk to companies that use robotics about ideas for projects & ways robotics are used in real world situations.
- Enter a robotics competition with your club
Expanding Horizons Advanced / Level 3
- Consider complex tasks that need accomplished and design and program a robot to do them for you
- Job shadow an engineer or programmer
- Be a mentor to a team of younger robotics enthusiasts
Take It Further
Project Hot Sheet
- Robotics (pdf)
Fair Exhibit Tip Sheets
Tip sheets are used by judges to evaluate your exhibit. Use them to help make the best presentation of your work. Choose a tip sheet based on your project's intended purpose.
If your project:
- Is intended to inform its audience about a topic—use Poster Exhibit Tip Sheet (pdf)
- Represents an engineering solution to a problem—use Engineering Exhibit Tip Sheet (pdf)
- Represents a scientific investigation of a question—use Scientific Investigation Tip Sheet (pdf)
- Uses technology to accomplish a task or render a service—use Using Technology Tip Sheet (pdf)
Exhibit Evaluation Form (pdf)
Other Opportunities to Explore:
- Participate in the Bratney Companies 4-H Robotics Challenge at the Iowa State Fair
- Participate in IT-Adventures at Iowa State University
- Attend a FIRST LEGO League competition - find dates and locations here
- Participate in an Iowa State Engineering Kids Summer Camps in Ames
- Attend Iowa 4-H Youth Conference and participate in workshops, motivational speakers and a community service project, bringing ideas back to your community.
- Is it county fair time? Consider taking an exhibit, a piece of your project learning to the fair for judging and to show off what you’ve learned throughout the year. It might get selected to go to the Iowa State Fair.
- Enter your science experiment or engineering design in a local science fair or the State Science + Technology Fair of Iowa.
- Contact your local ISU Extension Office for other local workshops, activities, and events related to robotics.
- Meet others interested in robotics. Check out camps at the Iowa 4-H Center.
- Interested in a college education in the fields related the robotics? Schedule a visit with Iowa State University to explore those majors.
Step It Up
Pass it on! Now that you know how, share it with others. Here are ideas to get you started.
- Give a presentation on robots in our daily life
- Design a working exhibit on how to build a simple robot
- Create a “History of Robots” poster
- Demonstrate how to build a robot
- Start a blog about how to use robots to solve problems
- Produce a video to show a robotics competition you participated in
Complete a Service-Learning project
Bring robots to an elderly care center and show them how to make them work.
- Build a robot to pick up trash.
- Lead a LEGO® robot building or programming workshop
- Mentor a robotics club of
- younger kids
- Agriculture & Natural Resources
- Creative Arts
- Family & Consumer Sciences
- Personal Development
- Science Technology Engineering & Math
- Project Helpers
FIRST: an organization hosting robotics tournaments for youth
- Jr. FIRST LEGO League: Event for K-3 grade kids, hosted by Iowa State Engineering Kids (ISEK)
- FIRST LEGO League: Tournament for 4-8 grade youth,hosted by Iowa State Engineering Kids (ISEK)
- FIRST Technology Challenge: Tournament for 9-12 grad youth, hosted by University of Iowa College of Engineering
- IT-Adventures: Robotics, computer networking, and programing challenges for 9-12 graders
- Botball: a team robotics program
- BEST Robotics Competition
- ISU College of Engeering
- Engineer Your Life
- Program for Women in Science and Engineering (WiSE)
- Make and exhibit a robot you’ve programmed to perform a specific function
- Make a poster on types of robots in the world around you
- Research what companies use robots and how
- Use recycled materials to make a robot