At the start of 2021, the 4 and 5-year-old class at our Wolf Creek location began to explore with new materials brought into the classroom by our teachers. As previous projects had been completed, the teachers provided different provocations for the children. This included natural materials and loose parts, some of which were given by parents who were kind enough to donate from their “junk drawers.” This resulted in a variety of paperclips, loose screws, washers and various other items.
The children began to create “robots” and ask questions: What are the parts of a robot? How does a robot move? How do we create working parts for a robot?
As part of our educational approach here at Children’s Discovery Center, the project began authentically from the children. The teacher is the active listener and the children guide the learning journey. It was clear there was continued interest in parts and creating robots. Through this project, children were able to problem solve, participate in collaborative play and creative thinking.
The children set out to create their own “robot” with full creative control over the process, some even inspired to create one that moves and has working lights. We have been sharing updates with parents to note the progress of our robot creations, showcasing how the children are problem-solving and working together. We will soon reveal our finished “robot,” which will be a culmination of everything the children have learned about working parts, engineering and robotics.