Wiggling with the Silver Cluster

Posted on Wednesday, February 21st, 2024

On February 15, Gaynor’s Silver Cluster students were joined by two STEAM educators from the Brooklyn Robot Foundry for a Wiggle-Bot Workshop! Students assembled and decorated their very own robot to take home with them at the end of the day. 

The cluster was split up into two groups in each of Gaynor’s cafeterias, each group with one instructor. First, the students discussed circuits, how electricity travels through them, and how to turn them on or off. The wiggle-bots had a circuit that was powered by batteries, but could be turned on by connecting two wires together, and turned off by disconnecting the wires. After going over some basic principles of how the robot works, the building of the robot started with driving long screws into a square piece of balsa wood using screwdrivers. The balsa wood formed the body of the wiggle-bot, with the screws as its legs. The next step was screwing in the motor mount which would hold the cylindrical motor in place at the front of the robot. The students also needed to attach a wheel to the front of the motor, in order to help the wiggle-bot do its wiggling! The motor propels the robot along a flat surface, with the screws acting as legs and feet as it “steps.” 

After the battery pack had been stuck onto the back of the robot with sticky squares, the final step was decoration. Students decorated the body of their wiggle-bots with markers, colored tape, puff balls, googly eyes, felt shapes, and more! All around the cafeteria, you could hear the sound of the robots stepping along the top of the tables. The students were delighted with their robots, and held competitions among their small groups to see which robot was the fastest. This activity was great fine motor practice, and ties into the Silver Cluster’s previous science unit of Force and Motion, as well as their current unit studying Electricity and Energy. We are so grateful to the Brooklyn Robot Foundry and our Gaynor science specialists for organizing this incredible activity!