This may be my “Cool, Mom!” highlight of the summer!
And it only cost about $5 in parts!
After reading about the Draw Bot in Rachelle Doorley’s inspiring book, TinkerLab: A Hands-On Guide for Little Inventors(*affiliate link), I knew that needed to by my boys’ first stop on this TinkerLab ride!
The parts were much easier to come by than I had anticipated. All it took was a quick trip to our local Radio Shack and a few dollars. Sitting down with my parts, reading over the instructions before gathering my brood, I wasn’t totally sure how everything would come together.
Then I realized: That’s the point. As Rachelle explains with this and other activities, once the basic framework is in place, the rest is open for experimentation. And experiment we did!
Here’s our first DrawBot, following the basic directions:
Close on the heels of amazement was curiosity. You’ll hear one of my boys say, “I wonder what would happen if we use the other three (markers)?” Meanwhile, I was also wondering, “What if we attached this battery pack so it’s not tethered to me?”
So we did some tinkering! We had nine markers on hand, so we added all of them, and also attached the battery pack.
Behold, DrawBot 2.0:
And the tinkering goes on and on:
“What if we remove the weight from the motor?”
“What if we tap the DrawBot?”
“What if we change the marker placement?”
“What if we try to draw a picture with the DrawBot?”
“What if the motor is more securely attached or more loosely attached?”
This is the stuff tinkering is made of! Curiosity, wonder, amazement, and hands on fun! I can’t recommend Rachelle’s book enough!
(Click image below to read Rachelle’s interview!)