Every engineer will agree that no matter how big a machine is, it can be broken down into simple parts which together propel the entire machine into motion. Cardboard Automata can be a playful way to explore simple mechanical elements such as gears, levers, and linkages, while creating a simple moving machine. What's amazing about Cardboard Automata is that, even though they are simple to begin with, many complex machines can be built as the maker gets familiar with multiple movements and designs. Now let's get into building our own Cardboard Automata!
Jump to Instructions
Mechanical Engineer | Product Designer
Instructions for Students:
Introduce students to the following:
How cams work and how it plays a very important role in an automata. A cam is a rotating or sliding piece in a mechanical linkage used especially in transforming rotary motion into linear motion.
How different kinds of movements can be achieved by modifying the structure of the cams.
Once students understand how an automata functions, ask them to design their own automata by combining multiple movements. Encourage them to let their creativity flow.
Students can get their materials and start the making process only after they are done with their basic design.
After the students have finalised their design, they can start with the making process to bring their automaton to life.
It's time to exhibit. Once the students are done with making their automatons, they have to demonstrate its working to the entire class.
Special Instructions for Teachers:
Focus on incorporating multiple movements
Ask students to increase the complexity of their automata by ensuring that there are different movements in varying orientations. You can even encourage friendly competition between the children by announcing that the group which makes the automata with the most movements gets a round of applause from the rest of the groups.
Thinking beyond the obvious
Avoid sticking to the example pictures and videos given in this article, and encourage children to come up with combinations of movements and simple machines that are less common. Tell them that there are no constraints and let their imagination run wild!
Make it sturdy
While making a cardboard automata teaches kids the working of simple machines, you can take it a step further by replacing cardboard with wooden frames, screws, nails or even bent wire to make the automata more durable.
Have fun making and share the works of your students with the hashtag #projectprayogshala to get featured!
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