Author:
SAMANTHA WITTCHEN
Date:
FEBRUARY 2, 2015

IMG_0195

Grab a toothbrush and prepare for battle!  Wait.  What?

On Saturday, February 21st, DM+D is launching a monthly series of family-friendly events. The first one, led by The Hacktory’s Kids’ Club facilitators Allison Frick and Eric Manganaro, will feature toothbrush-propelled robots, created by kids and their parents, racing each other and battling it out at DM+D.

The toothbrush robots, or “bristle bots,” made their first appearance several months ago at Kids’ Club, and they were a huge hit.  As Frick explains, “This is one of those projects that kids like and will work on consistently the whole time [at Kids' Club].”  Since the basic bots don’t take very long to make functional, the kids have plenty of time to embellish, explore and play with them—essentially, to make them their own.

Building on the success of the Kids’ Club experience, Frick and Manganaro led a similar program as part of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) programming at the Glenside Free Library, where Frick works as a youth services librarian.  They’ve since led several other popular events at the library that will form the basis for more events in DM+D’s family-friendly series, but the bristle bots were exceptionally successful, drawing over fifty people.

“It’s really nice because we’ve already run these programs a few times, and we really know what works and what doesn’t work,” says Frick.  ”These Saturday programs are really the best of Kids’ Club and the best of outreach.”

Frick is excited about the events because they give parents and kids a chance to learn and create something together.  The bristle bots event is geared towards elementary school-aged children and their parents, but younger children can participate if their parents are there help them throughout the process.

And although building robots may sound like serious work, Frick says not to worry.  ”There will be googly eyes.”

 

Click here to register for the upcoming Build. Battle. Bots. event.