STEAM Up Creative Thinking with Art Bots


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To practice 21st Century Skills, students need hands-on experience. During this lesson, students will use a variety of these skills: critical thinking and problem solving, creativity and inn.

Lesson Process:

Step 1: Start this lesson with students brainstorming ideas about how they would create a drawing machine. Then show them this short video of a robot that draws. 

Step 2: Share with students that they will use a pool noodle piece for their bot’s body, a toothbrush motor and other supplies. Show how to use a Canoodle.

Step 3:  Encourage students to get their Art Bot moving and drawing FIRST before decorating it. Students will solve problems along the way. Have students share their discoveries with each other if the class needs more direction.

Step 4:  Once most of the students have their Art Bots moving, gather students to see if there are any inventors who can show how they changed the drawing path of their bot. Have those students demonstrate for the class.

Time Required:
30-45 minutes

Materials List:

  • Pool noodles, cut into 6-8” pieces
  • Dollar store battery-operated toothbrushes
  • Extra AA Batteries
  • Thin water-based markers, at least 3 or 4 per student
  • Rubber bands
  • Masking tape
  • Assorted craft supplies to decorate Art Bots: wiggle eyes, pipe cleaners, feathers, pom poms, etc.
  • Tacky glue or hot glue
  • Wide roll of paper to cover tables/desks
  • Canoodle pool noodle cutters


Diagnostic Assessment.

Students will reflect on their creation of their Art Bot and draw a sketch of it. They will also show how their Art Bot drew its path(s) and share problem solving strategies used.