Robocritters on the loose at Augusto!

YuKonstruct volunteers Kerän and Ben were on hand for a fun robot building workshop at the Augusto Children’s Festival. Here is Kerän’s report on what they got up to.

What is it like to be a robotics engineer? Nineteen kids found out last weekend at the Augusto Children’s Festival in Haines Junction.
They were attending a robot-building workshop where they created their own battery-operated machines. Five volunteers, including an engineering grad with experience in building robots, led the kids through the business of design, assembly, wiring, soldering and testing.

Each child received a kit containing all the pieces needed to create a movable machine. The festival teamed up with BYTE and YuKonstruct to provide an array of craft supplies for decoration and volunteers to help out.

The first step was to construct wheel assemblies using motors and axles. Those were then hot glued to pieces of foam core. From there it was on to the tricky job of wiring the motors to a control box. If the wires aren’t connected properly, the robots could end up spinning in circles instead of driving forward and backwards. Then it was on to design and this is where the kids were encouraged to let their imaginations run wild. Volunteer Ben Sanders says there was no shortage of ideas. “The designs ranged from monsters and airplanes to feathered birds and even a robotic maid that serves little cups of tea.”

The robot kits were purchased from the Manitoba Robot Games in Winnipeg. The non-profit group has been introducing elementary school students to robotics for 22 years.

Electronic Crafts on Canada Day

YuKonstruct took part in the City of Whitehorse’s Canada Day celebrations at Shipyards Park this year, with a fun all-ages workshop on electronic crafts. We brought some of our favourite LED craft kits to the event: electronic operation game, mini flashlights and LED flowers, as well as the always-popular squishy circuits (play dough and LEDs).

Samples of the LED crafts

Amid the fun festival atmosphere at the park, participants in the Kids Zone learned some basic electric circuits and assembled their crafts with assistance from YuKonstruct members.

Squishy Circuits using conductive play dough

March Break Maker Camp Summary

Over the school holidays, YuKonstruct’s makerspace was teeming with a dozen pre-teens as we kicked off our March Break Maker Camp!

The 5 day camp consisted of lots of hands on activities and made use of the makerspace’s awesome equipment. The camp participants got to experience laser cutting, bottle rocket building and blast off, 3D design and printing, carpentry, stop animation, robotics and more!

Everyone went home each day with items that they’d built/designed/crafted/created.

 

This animation video is a project the kids created together as a group, our campers developed the story plot, designed the characters and made the sets themselves.

Other highlights included getting robots to navigate through a maze, building towers out of spaghetti and marshmallows, and laser cutting a variety of animals.

“Please bring a camp in the summer please I’m begging you please”
– Maker Camp participant feedback

“I think you guys nailed it. Robotics, stop animation, rockets, 3D printing, using the laser cutter… don’t think it gets better than that!”
– Maker Camp parent feedback

 

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