Our Dark Side Challenge concept keeps spinning off new ideas and concepts. This time, it’s the Model Moms!
It’s not about fashion models.
And just relax – it’s not about being the perfect mother either.
This is about engaging girls in STEM by building models – in wood, metal, plastic, numbers or code… or even trash. And about involving the girls’ primary role model: their mother.
The concept is simply a number of progressions that mothers can explore with their daughters:
- building the metal chassis of a rover
- assembling the rest of the robot (3D printed parts)
- design and 3D print a name tag
- adding the electronics parts with the proper wiring
- practicing some programming
- uploading the program and running the tests
- remote controlling the rover in a Dark Side Challenge challenge, where the rover has to explore an unknown terrain without real-time feedback
From then on the world is open and one can:
- use the newly acquired coding skills to model interesting problems with differential equations
- improve the program of the robot to make it more autonomous
- improve the robot itself to make it do a lot of useful stuff, like virtually visiting the grand-parents or hoovering their house
- or just make it more likeable and cute :) Hopefully, getting some girls involved will improve that aspect! (and yes, that appears to be a clearly gender-specific trait. And that’s fine.)
- … and much much more – including imagining the stories of teacher-astronaut Aė exploring the darkest corners of the solar system with her pupils and their assistant robots…
Most of the progressions are very easy, and a few of them less so. Some might require explanations from more experienced makers, some might require a 3D printer or other tools such as a multi-meter. The key here is to function as a group, meaning that there always will be help to get.