A little introduction first. I volunteer as a science teacher at a local elementary school, and my goal is to instill a love of learning in each child. You can check out my blog here. Kto6Science projects.
Now, on to the robotic hand....
Projects described in books or shown on Youtube seem absurdly easy, but I have yet come across a project that didn't need any tinkering before I could take it into a classroom. This one isn't too bad, but it still took me longer than I expected.
I came across this robotic hand project on Youtube as well as teachengineering.org (I think), but when I tried to build it, it took me almost two hours to work out the kinks.
Sure, I did have to try several different versions and had to make adjustments as I went along, but I'm not sure if this is something I can take directly into a classroom of 2nd graders without more tinkering.
BUT... I think it'll be fun to try it with my kids.
Step 1: Gather Your Supplies
- Cardboard paper or cardstock paper
- Standard drinking straws (Dollar Store variety is fine)
- Pearl drink straws or bigger diameter straws
- Yarn or twine
Step 2: Draw Your Robotic Hand
- Trace your hand on a cardboard or cardstock paper.
- Cut the traced hand out (cutting it a little bigger than the actual tracing).
Step 3: Creating Joints
- Mark your finger joints on the cutout.
- Draw straight or curved line across it.
Step 4: Creating Your Robotic Hand
- Fold the fingers at the lines.
- Cut smaller straws to size (leave a little gap between the lines to facilitate in threading the yarn).
- Tape straw pieces to the hand.
- Thread yarn through the straw pieces. Each finger will have a length of yarn of its own.
- Thread all five pieces of yarn through the bigger straw.
Step 5: Additional Comments:
The threading part was difficult. If I had a big needle for the yarn, it would have made it easier, but I didn't. So, I struggled with it. If I do go forward with this one in the classrooms, I think I'll have to buy big plastic needles for this project.
I had grand plans for making a sleeve that will cover the arm, but I'm not sure I'll be able to build all of that in an hour let alone a 2nd grader. So, I might still try it, but I probably won't take it into the classroom.
I think I'll buy different colored yarns for each finger, so the students will know which finger they are trying to move. With the same colored yarns, it was difficult to figure out which end went with which finger.
P.S. - I'll break down the steps more in detail next time.