STEM Activity: SMART Start to Spring

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STEM Activity: SMART Start to Spring

Reimagine the future of spring cleaning as you design a smart device to get the job done!

Materials Needed

  • Craft supplies
  • Markers
  • Paper
  • Recyclables
  • Scissors
  • Tape

At-Home Instructions

  1. Make a list of tasks that need to get done around your home to prepare for spring.
  2. To get started, ask yourself a few questions like these: Do branches need to be picked up outside? Do clothes or toys need to be switched out for the season? What yard work or gardening do you plan to do in preparation for spring?
  3. Think about some of the common tools and devices you might use for these jobs.
  4. With these tools in mind, imagine a SMART device — a device that is connected to a larger network or performs a task automatically — that can get the job done in a faster or more efficient way.
  5. Might a device pick up the branches for you, and then turn them into mulch for your garden?
  6. What might it look like to have a high-tech closet that rotates your clothes based on the season?
  7. What uses could you find for a “personal planting” gadget?
  8. For SMART tech inspiration, check out this Mod My Mini Mansion™ video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yf0KN_JtIJU
  9. Sketch a design for your SMART invention and then make a prototype (model).
  10. Have fun stepping into spring, the SMART way!

Educators: Use this activity in the classroom with these modifications!

Have children research SMART devices that already exist. Be prepared to be surprised and amazed at how far SMART tech devices have come! Next, have them work in teams to identify a cleaning or organizing challenge at school or home that they would like to make easier or more fun. Then, have them design a device that is “SMART” by sketching their ideas and/or working together.

What are we learning?

Have you ever seen a light that turns on by itself without flipping a switch? Those lights are connected to a motion sensor. When someone walks by the sensor, it is programmed to tell the light to turn on. If there is no movement for a while, the light is then programmed to turn off. Though it seems like the light is thinking, it is instead controlled by smart technology. In this STEM activity, children use their imagination to come up with ways to improve existing tools by harnessing the capabilities of smart computing.

Inspiration

National Inventors Hall of Fame® Inductees Federico Faggin, Ted Hoff and Stan Mazor co-invented the microprocessor, which serves as the “brain” behind most of our electronic devices. Nearly all smart technology includes microprocessor technology that allows it to operate.

Looking for more STEM activities?

Discover more fun and educational science activities by visiting our blog or by visiting our Camp Invention® Facebook page!

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