Experiencing a Maker Culture



Type: News

The American School of Bombay (ASB) welcomed 15 students visiting Mumbai as part of a cultural volunteer program.  The American Women’s Club (AWC) Mumbai, part of the Federation of American Women’s Clubs Overseas (FAWCO), hosted the visiting cultural volunteers coming from international schools across Europe as well as Nigeria. The purpose of the FAWCO youth program, launched in 2013, is to promote cultural understanding and to raise awareness of global issues in young people.  As part of their packed week of visiting NGOs and cultural sites in Mumbai, the FAWCO cultural volunteers and their AWC Mumbai hosts were welcomed into the ASB High School Maker Space to experience what it’s like to be part of a Maker Culture.

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After some introductions, the students were introduced to the Scribble Bots activity by members of Re.D Studio and the Student R&D teams. “This is a Scribble Bot, but this doesn’t have to be what your Scribble Bot looks like. Feel free to try a different approach.” A Scribble Bot is a simple robot made out of recycled materials that uses a motor to become a moving contraption that draws or scribbles on its own.

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This typical example of a Scribble Bot served as a starting point. A toy motor was taped atop an empty plastic bottle with a popsicle stick attached. The popsicle stick sits off-center, when the motor spins a wobbling movement is created. The example buzzed and spun around drawing dots and circles on the chart paper. The students tried different ways of constructing the bot such as using gears to create structure or attaching heavy wheels to move.

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After trying multiple iterations of their Scribble Bots, the students returned to a group to do some reflection on the activity. One student mentioned, “I learned that when you try something new and it doesn’t work, it might be a good idea to go back to the old thing”. Other students spoke about how they were able to apply their knowledge of circuits to make the motors spin faster and how even creating a Scribble Bot that failed led them to learn and improve.

You can learn more about how to do the Scribble Bots Activity here and information on FAWCO can be found here.