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Robot runway

Let your imagination run free as you use your skills to design and make a robot, then show it off on the robot runway.
Plan a session with this activity

You will need

  • Clean items of recycling
  • PVA glue
  • Sticky tape
  • A4 paper
  • Pens or pencils
  • Something to protect surfaces (for example, newspaper or tablecloths)
  • A selection of random objects (for example, a pencil, banana, plastic bowl)

Before you begin

  • You could ask everyone to collect clean items of recycling at home.
  • Put all of the materials in one place (for example, on a big table) so everyone can see them easily.
  • Cover surfaces with newspaper (or washable table cloths).

Play ‘Yes and…’ to develop ideas

  1. Everyone should sit in a circle.
  2. The person leading the activity should explain that things we throw away can be recycled or reused to become useful or creative. Plastic bottles, for example, can be turned into rain jackets, and scraps of paper can become art if people draw on them.
  3. The person leading the activity should explain that everyone will be making robots out of junk. They should explain that this game will help people think creatively and see rubbish differently.
  4. The person leading the game should take the first random object, for example, a pencil.
  1. They should pass it to the person next to them, who should suggest a way it could be used to build a robot. Everyone should call out ‘yes, and…’, and the person holding the object should pass it on.
  2. When the next person gets the object, they should suggest a different way it could be used to build a robot. Everyone should call out ‘yes, and…’ again, and the person should pass the object on.
  3. Everyone should repeat steps five and six to keep passing the object on until everyone’s run out of ideas.
  1. The person leading the game should reveal a new object, and everyone should continue playing from the place the old object had got to.

Design and make robots

  1. The person leading the activity should give everyone a piece of paper and a pencil.
  2. Everyone should use their imagination and think about what they’d like their robot to look like. What functions might it have? Does it have any special skills?
  3. Everyone should make a list of the things they’ll use to make their robot. It may help if people label their designs to show what they’ll use to make each bit, then write a separate list.
  4. Everyone should visit the materials, and take what they need to make their robot.
  1. Everyone should use the glue and sticky tape to stick the materials they’ve gathered together to make the robot they designed.
  1. Once their robot is finished, everyone should think of a name for it. People’s choices could reflect their robot’s powers or skills, for example, ‘Cruncher the homework muncher’ or ‘Tahir the toy tidier’.

Present the robots on the runway

  1. The person leading the activity should create a space for the runway.
  1. Everyone should sit at the sides of the runway.
  2. The person leading the game should introduce the first person, and they should tell the everyone what their robot is called and what it does.
  3. The first person should walk down the runway with their robot so everyone can see. Everyone should applaud them for their great work.

Reflection

This activity helped everyone to develop skills. People used practical skills of designing and making to create their robots. People should take it in turns to share what they enjoyed most about this activity. Their answers may include things such as using their imagination, making their ideas a reality, and hearing other people’s ideas. Everyone stretched their imaginations by playing ‘Yes, and…’. Now everyone’s had a turn at using their imaginations and building skills, who knows what they’ll be able to do next! Everyone should think about when else it’s helpful to be able to use your imagination, or build and fix things.

This activity was also a chance for everyone to practice communicating. When people played ‘Yes, and…’ it was really important to listen, as well as share ideas. Did anyone use any of the ideas from the game when they made their robot? The catwalk was also a chance to communicate with people. Did people feel confident the whole way through, or did some people find it challenging to stand up in front of others and share their ideas? Did anyone find anything that made it feel a bit easier? Being in front of others can be scary, so well done to everyone who gave it a go.

Safety

Scissors

Supervise young people appropriately when they’re using scissors. Store all sharp objects securely, out of the reach of young people

Sharp objects

Teach young people how to use sharp objects safely. Supervise them appropriately throughout. Store all sharp objects securely, out of the reach of young people.

Glue and solvents

Supervise young people appropriately when they’re using glue and solvent products. Make sure there’s plenty of ventilation. Be aware of any medical conditions which could be affected by glue or solvent use and make adjustments as needed.

Rubbish and recycling

All items should be clean and suitable for this activity.

All activities must be safely managed. Do a risk assessment and take appropriate steps to reduce risk. Always get approval for the activity and have suitable supervision and an InTouch process.