Tinkering with Technology

The blog post written before this one was about students designing solutions to problems by following a process.

Yesterday we also had a group of Yr 5 students visit The Cube to participate in a ‘Tinkering with Technology” workshop.   They enjoyed the preliminary interactions with the Cube’s enormous displays but benefitted enormously from the workshop that filled most of their visit.  This workshop involved the use of LittleBits and MakeyMakey along with craft materials to imagine, create and present their idea for a robot that could be a companion/helper for the future.

These students recently were involved with a unit at school that involved the design and creation of a digital solution to educate their community about preparing for a natural disaster. So, being familiar with the process of design and the intent of this learning area, they really were able to engage at a high level from the outset.

The image below is from one group which worked together to create a robot would be a harvester for soft fruit like apricots.     It  included features like a camera to tell if the fruit is ripe, a cutting mechanism, collection of the fruit, solar powering and even a buzzer (for when it’s reversing).  Interestingly, the Education Officer leading this workshop, Leighann Ness Wilson, mentioned there was a real team at QUT working on a very similar project!

Once again, the process the students used was a design process – the first photo below from the “Ideate” phase – a stage when students were being encourage to brainstorm all the features on the robot which would create a solution which would solve the problem they first discussed.


Thanks for a great workshop Leigh and for sharing this prototype with the team at QUT working on this very solution.