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6th graders learn to build a Spider robot

Vicki Lombardi's 6th grade students at Santa Rita Elementary in Los Altos School district learn how to build a Spider robot. Read more at: http://lasdilearn.blogspot.com/2013/02/third-graders-building-robots-mission.html. Created by Karl Wendt.

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Video transcript

VICKI LOMBARDI: So today we're going to start building the robots. We're going to first watch a video. We're going to watch them all together at once. But you and your partner will be watching them at your own pace to help you with the steps. So first you're going to desolder the LED light resistor and black wire. And when you watch the video again, it'll make sense. You're going to heat these two dots up and pull out your LED. And pull. There you go. SPEAKER 1: I took out the LED. Woo, and I just dropped the LED. VICKI LOMBARDI: And you need to strip off about a quarter to a half an inch of insulation on both sides. SPEAKER 2: Wait, but it's not all the way out. SPEAKER 3: Oh, OK. There it is. SPEAKER 2: We didn't take it all out. We kind of snapped the motherboard, so we have to take the rest out right now. SPEAKER 3: Yeah. SPEAKER 2: Yeah. We're just going to throw it away anyway since it's the light bulb, and we don't need the light bulb. SPEAKER 3: Yeah, we do. SPEAKER 2: No. OK, and now we're going to watch the rest of the video to see what we should do next. SPEAKER 4: We had a bit too much wire, so we put electrical tape over it. It really helped. Oh, I can't get it. There, you got it. SPEAKER 5: I think we're screwing it the wrong way. Aha! SPEAKER 6: Yay! SPEAKER 5: Yay! SPEAKER 7: This is the light for it to blink. I have no idea what this is. SPEAKER 8: Nor do I. KARL R. C. WENDT: What does it look like? What does it remind you of? SPEAKER 8: A bug. It does. SPEAKER 7: It looks like a CPU thing for the computer. VICKI LOMBARDI: What's the rule with these? SPEAKER 9: The rule for those is you always have to have them on because something could go flying at your face, and you have protection from that. VICKI LOMBARDI: To show them and then have them be able to do it gave them confidence. KARL R. C. WENDT: Right. VICKI LOMBARDI: And then when they did it, they felt very successful and proud of themselves. Because I said, this is where I struggled the most. SPEAKER 10: Will you help me? SPEAKER 11: Yeah. VICKI LOMBARDI: You need to watch the video, because this is not your next step. SPEAKER 12 : So it's opposite, right? SPEAKER 11: That's it. Yes, nice job. Wow, great. VICKI LOMBARDI: Would you mind going back and watching the video and seeing how you place your wires? I see that the numbers are faced up on this side, but face down here. What side do they need to be faced up on and why, and where do the wires go? SPEAKER 12 : They go in the-- oh. VICKI LOMBARDI: Yeah. And if we bridge that gap, what's going to happen? SPEAKER 12 : Then it's going to come loose. VICKI LOMBARDI: Yeah. So what side do the need to be facing up? Perfect. And it needs to be how many inches apart? SPEAKER 12 : Two and a half. VICKI LOMBARDI: Yeah. KARL R. C. WENDT: So where the wires go into the motors, some of them don't loop them right and so they'll fall out. Because the loop should have a little bit of a twist in it so it pushes against the metal tab on the motor. But it's a subtlety that's maybe lost in the video. KAREN WILSON: We watched that part about how to twist that wire. And that's when he said, he goes, oh, I know what he did. I know what he did. And so then he was able to, and I saw him twisting the wire to make sure that it went in there. SPEAKER 13: The wires got pulled out. So once we've already glued everything together, now we have to try and put the wires back in, which is actually very hard. SPEAKER 14: Can we put this one in this side? SPEAKER 13: But the problem is it's very loose. We might actually have to solder or hot glue it in. We're going to hot glue them in place. That should be good. VICKI LOMBARDI: It's too wide for that hole, but it's a good solution. SPEAKER 15: Oh, to make it [INAUDIBLE]? VICKI LOMBARDI: OK, show me what you do. KARL R. C. WENDT: I do think that it was really exciting to see the kids go their own way and try it. There were a couple of students that hadn't done the wire stripping themselves. They had found other students to do it. KAMI THORDARSON: They did outsourcing. KARL R. C. WENDT: All this time they've been outsourcing. They've been working with other students [INAUDIBLE]. So I was like, you don't know how to strip wires? They're like, no. I was like, well, how did you get it done so far? And they were like, we gave it to some other kids to do it. SHEENA VAIDYANATHAN: And they're kids who want this job. You have to understand, it goes both ways. There's a kid who's itching to do it-- let me do it for you. KAMI THORDARSON: Well, and I would hope that for those kids that are just on this racetrack to finish, and then they get to the end and stuff doesn't work, that there's a lesson in that, right? I hope they have some time to make the connection of, well, I didn't pay close enough attention. Because a lot of them don't get an opportunity to learn like this on their own where they're really responsible. And someone's over their shoulder every second saying, no, wait, that's wrong. You need to fix that. So I love the fact that we took a step back today. And I saw some stuff that I was like, OK, go with that. See what happens. SHEENA VAIDYANATHAN: The teacher in you wants to go in and say, did you check? And I'm like, no [INAUDIBLE]. KAMI THORDARSON: Right, just zip it, don't say anything. SHEENA VAIDYANATHAN: But I think because we were not saying it, they were watching the videos a lot more. I was very happy to see that. Like they were seriously sitting there. KAMI THORDARSON: It took some self-control though. SHEENA VAIDYANATHAN: It did. But I think that was a good one, that they actually watched it. KARL R. C. WENDT: Right. SPEAKER 16 : So we're basically finished with the robot. After this we're doing programming. SPEAKER 4: Insulators keep electricity from going through, and conductors conduct electricity. I thought it would kind of be easier than this, but I was wrong, and I like that. SPEAKER 16 : Some challenge. SPEAKER 4: Yeah, it was really challenging and it was really fun, too. KARL R. C. WENDT: What advice would you give a couple of kids that haven't made the robot yet that are going to? SPEAKER 16 : Well, we'd say try hard. SPEAKER 4: Yeah. Don't go too fast-- you'll definitely mess up plenty. KARL R. C. WENDT: So this looks different now. What did you guys do? SPEAKER 17: Before, it was facing horizontally, and then we made it so it was vertical. KARL R. C. WENDT: Awesome. And it fits together better now, right? SPEAKER 18: Yeah, it lays flat. KARL R. C. WENDT: Yeah. Awesome. Good job. VICKI LOMBARDI: It says today we made a circuit on our switch. What is a circuit? SPEAKER 19: We need to take off the insulation so the metal can complete the circuit. SPEAKER 20: And when we push the switch, it hits a piece of metal that closes the circuit, and then it can open it, too. VICKI LOMBARDI: This popped out. SPEAKER 21: It did? VICKI LOMBARDI: Look. Where does that need to go? Where do your black wires need to go in your terminal block? SPEAKER 21: In the center. VICKI LOMBARDI: In the center. Why? SPEAKER 21: Because the center-- these are our negative charges. These are positive. SPEAKER 11: Those are the power wires, and this is going to tell the Arduino what to do, basically. I think. SPEAKER 22: I think. I have no idea. SPEAKER 11: OK, so we've gotten that in. What else? You know the outer portions of the wire, the yellow parts, insulation? They're basically resistors so that if the wire touches another wire, the electrons don't flow to that wire and short out the circuit or burn it out. SPEAKER 22: And sometimes it does that, and then there's a link, and then-- SPEAKER 11: Oh, [INAUDIBLE]. SPEAKER 22: Oh, wow, this is stupid. Every time I show somebody it works, it doesn't work. VICKI LOMBARDI: If you try your switch, it should light up, right? What does the switch do, aside from turning it on and off? SPEAKER 23: The switch wouldn't work. It would just stay on the whole time like it is now. SPEAKER 24: Well, we soldered in the wrong spot where the switch was. It was supposed to be right here, but then we soldered right here on accident. SPEAKER 23: It'll work when the wires are in there. But when we try to turn it off, it's just going to stay on. SPEAKER 25: The switch is working. Well, it closes the circuit, because open is when it won't work. SPEAKER 26: Solder is like melted metal, kind of. And it glues other metal pieces together. SPEAKER 27: It's a conductor because it's metal. SPEAKER 26: OK, is that good enough? SPEAKER 27: Ours didn't stick together. SPEAKER 26: We were squeezing it, and it fell apart. SPEAKER 27: Stuck together? SPEAKER 26: Yeah, that's perfect. It's like covering the whole thing. SPEAKER 28: So a motor controller controls the speed and direction of the motor, so how fast it turns and what direction it goes, and so forward and backwards. And you can always enter that in the program. SPEAKER 29: Something-- it was working. You saw it. And then [INAUDIBLE]. Come on, come on, robot, I'm begging you. SPEAKER 30: It's OK. SPEAKER 31: Look at mine. SPEAKER 29: Yeah, it just did. SPEAKER 32: Dude, you lost a wheel. You lost a wheel. [? SPEAKER 22: Nonsense. ?] SPEAKER 32: Whoa, what happened? SPEAKER 33: We lost our wheel and the LED came out. SPEAKER 9: And an LED came out. Oh, that sucks. SPEAKER 32: Great. Not what we want to start out like. SPEAKER 34: Just let me look. Copy and paste, and then change it on the [INAUDIBLE]. SPEAKER 35: So let's make him move around. SPEAKER 34: And blink [INAUDIBLE]. And then fight Jedi. SPEAKER 35: No. SPEAKER 34: Why not? KARL R. C. WENDT: Go! Go! ALL: Oh! SPEAKER 36: Where's my shield? Where's my shield? I've created you to win, not to lose. SPEAKER 39: Hey, look, see that? How it's like, cool. It looks like a lightsaber kind of. SPEAKER 22: Yeah, right? Oh, that is so epic. SPEAKER 40: Here's what we have to do is we have to put-- m SPEAKER 40: We basically just finished it today, and we didn't have enough time, so we had to just tape it, and that doesn't work very well. So when we get back to science, we'll superglue it, and it will work then. KARL R. C. WENDT: Of course it will. SPEAKER 42: Is that yours? SPEAKER 43: Yep. SPEAKER 44: [INAUDIBLE] battery. SPEAKER 45: Whoever likes R2D2, raise their hands.