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The Science Literacy News
Family Creative Learning Program
A collaboration between Families in Transition and CE Science Literacy and Community and Economic Development Team
Families learn Scratch and Makey Makey technologies together during 5 workshops. Contact Sarah Grosvenor for more information.
Science literacy engages New Hampshire youth and adults in exploring
and understanding the science behind our natural and built world.
UNH STEM Discovery Lab and Cooperative Extension Host Family Science Night
Eco-Bots Make a Clean Sweep at Family Science Night
“I discovered that vibration is the way to make things move,” said Alex Paquin, age eleven, pointing to his Eco-Bot. Another participant, five-year old Tenzin Gamtso declared simply, “I love robots!” And Grayson Schoenfeld, nine, dissolved into giggles as he proudly watched his Eco-Bot move around the containment area he designed and built out of Popsicle sticks and straws.
On January 14th, more than two dozen students and adults participated in Family Science Night, a joint program hosted by the UNH STEM Discovery Lab and UNH Cooperative Extension. Each family worked as a team to build an Eco-bot, a motorized robot built using only a toothbrush, a watch battery, a tiny motor, and tape. The first challenge was to build the Eco-Bot. The second challenge was to use a variety of materials to build a secure containment area for the Eco-Bot to move in. Last, each team was challenged to see how much “toxic waste” their Eco-Bot could clean in two minutes.
Many teams made modifications to their standard Eco-Bot to improve stability or to increase the clean-up capabilities of their creation. Solutions ranged from adding stabilizers for balance, to attaching a snowplow to the front end of the Eco-Bot, to the addition of sweeper wings. “That’s thinking like an engineer,” said Sarah Grosvenor, Field Specialist for UNH Cooperative Extension and a member of the UNH STEM Discovery Lab team, who was the facilitator for the event.
The director of the STEM Discovery Lab, Mihaela Sabin, plans to hold a series of Family Science Nights at UNH Manchester. “The vision of the STEM Discovery Lab is to advance STEM education for all. For me, watching the family engagement and seeing enjoyment across the board by all participants made this a memorable experience.”
Learn more at Manchester.unh.edu/stemlab or email email@example.com.
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