Fort Bend ISD students were given the creative task of building robots as part of National Lab Day (NLD) on May 11. The nationwide initiative was created to build local communities of support that foster ongoing collaborations among volunteers, students and educators. On NLD, FBISD students in grades K-12 performed inquiry-based science investigations to support the District’s NLD theme of “Robot Basketball.”
Using various crafting items, such as cardboard, plastic spoons, string, wooden sticks, tape and rubber bands, students worked in small groups to construct robots that when manipulated could throw a miniature basketball into a hoop. Volunteer “scientists” were available at campuses to assist students and teachers with the activity.
At Sartartia Middle School, students were invited to build a robot basketball player that could accurately shoot three free-throw shots. Although faced with minor engineering challenges at times, students remained enthusiastic as they tested their robots for accuracy.
“Student teams engineered designs that ranged from catapults to slingshots to extravagant extending arm robots – all using everyday household objects,” said Jennifer Slater, seventh-grade science teacher at Sartartia. “In designing their robots, teams learned about a fundamental value in engineering design…simplicity.”
“National Lab Day was a huge success across the district,” said Jeanine Wilkins, FBISD Elementary Science Coordinator. “Students were excited, engaged and up for the challenge. The robots that the students created were awesome, and reflected the students’ ingenious creativity and imagination.”