Robots & Physics

Teacher: Amy Eversole

Age of Students: 12+

Class Fee: $15

Length: 1 Semester

Prerequisites:

Students must be capable of using a box cutter or other knife to accurately cut shapes out of corrugated cardboard.  (Accuracy is important – shapes will be glued together for strength, so they must match the shape that other students cut out.)  Students also may be asked to use basic power tools (drill, heat gun, rotary tool, orbital sander, etc), hand tools (hammer, screwdriver, wrench, etc), or adhesives (PVC glue, wood glue, etc) during class under adult supervision (instruction and protective gear will be provided).

Class Capacity: min 4, max 12

Class Description:

Want to apply physics to real life?  Do you like seeing the practical side of scientific principles?  Get an overview of several physics concepts as they apply to building a robot.  Students will be introduced to basic principles of physics such as friction, torque, inertia, force, springs, and potential energy.  The class will take their new knowledge and apply it by working together to build simple robot components.

Topics will not be covered as in-depth or with as much mathematics as a high school physics class.  This class is not intended to be a full science credit.  Instead, it can be used to introduce concepts prior to taking a physics class, build on existing physics knowledge, or give students not planning to take physics an introduction to how physics concepts work in our world.

Homework Requirements:

Homework should take no longer than 30 minutes per week.

Homework will consist of some combination of:

  • cutting shapes out of cardboard to make components for the robot
  • watching a short video
  • some simple “research” (googling or asking mom and dad)
The cutting templates will be available at registration.  If desired, students can cut out all shapes in advance and turn that in early, reducing their homework load during the semester.

Required Materials:

Class papers (provided by the teacher electronically) should be printed out, placed in a binder/folder, and brought to class each week.

At home, students will need access to a few corrugated cardboard boxes (a typical Amazon box is a good thickness) and the tools needed to cut them.  I prefer box cutters or an exacto knife for cutting and spray adhesive for attaching the template to the cardboard.  (Students can use power tools or other methods for cutting with parent approval.)