|My test bristle bot
We bought 2 Brush Bot Party Pack kits from Makershed.com for this program. At the time, I believe each kit was about $25 (not including shipping) but it appears the price has gone up since then. I had received a donation from a local company of $50 for children's programming supplies so I used that for this program.
|I set most of the supplies out on a book cart
About half of the kids were able to follow my oral directions and the others needed help. Luckily, I was able to borrow a staff member from our other city branch and I also had an adult volunteer that day. They were a big help in going around the room and showing the kids how to use the cutters, which way to face the batteries, etc.
|My Race Track!
I also set out a display of maker and science experiment books for people to browse when they were done creating. I don't think this is a necessary step but it can help you tie the program back into library materials. You could also booktalk the Nick and Tesla books which feature a bristle bot in the second book--one that has light up eyes!
A few other details:
- 20 kids registered, 15 attended. We also had 4 adults (one mom and some grandpas!)
- We had 3 adults running the program. I think one adult per every 5 kids is a good ratio for this age group
- This was a program for grades 4-6.
- 1 or 2 batteries appeared to be duds, so definitely register fewer kids than you have supplies for in case this happens to you too.
Overall, this program definitely took me out of my comfort zone but I really enjoyed doing it. We got great feedback from the kids and their parents so I am calling it a success!
I mentioned to a couple people that we were going to be doing this project and got some advice so I'd like to thank Angie and others for their tips. Angie suggested using Lego bricks as obstacles and paper towel tubes as tunnels on the racetracks. You can also cut the paper towel tubes in half and use those as lane dividers.