Opportunities abound for library activities with a fun book as a guide. For example – Budge the Builder is a construction robot with huge claw hands.
Budge moves around on six short legs, but he can only go sideways. He has to make 32-point turns just to turn around. Other robots other tease him with the old ‘tap on the right shoulder while standing behind the left’ trick. He falls for it every time.
Budge is just one of 20 robots in an innovative book Paper Robots, which required being pressed out and constructed before being glued together ready for battle.
The author, Alexander Gwynne introduces the reader to the year 2113 during which only a few plucky robots have survived the scrap heap.
Each robot is introduced with a description and guide to its parts, and allocated battle ability scores in the areas of strength, speed, intelligence and rumble.
In your library, simply get everyone together for a maker session, build the robots and then battle with them, using the game instructions and playing cards provided.
Or you can have your library members draw, colour and create their own robots, giving them their own battle ability scores.
Young people will need to consider how to design a robot with strengths that can outwit their peers.
You could incorporate a writing activity by having participants script a description and guide to their robots, using the examples provided, such as Budge the Builder above.
When children have mastered the rules of the game provided, have them design and create their own robot battle or other game using their robots as playing pieces or other game elements.
If you have ‘real’ robots in your library, you might ask children to reimagine them as robots of Rumbletown, the settlement of the Paper Robots.
Or you could ask children to investigate the strengths and weaknesses of your ‘real’ robots, then designate battle ability scores and play a similar game.
State Library is giving away its copy of Paper Robots to one Queensland public library or Indigenous Knowledge Centre.
To enter, leave a comment with your robot activity ideas or sharing how your library is working in the coding and robotics space; then, email your contact details, including your library and Council, to Regional Partnerships. The winner will be chosen at random from the entries received by the end of February 2017.