Project Title: Junk Bots

The aim of this project is to introduce concepts of environmental sustainability, engineering and computing. In a fun and educational project that uses the STEM subjects. The project will be delivered by university staff and students going into schools to provide guidance and support in the production of the robots.


This project sets out to engage pupils with a set of activities over four three-hour sessions that provides an insight into STEM subjects. The workshops will be structured in the following way:

    (a) Pre-session Activity (approximately 1 hour): Please click here for the activity.


(b)Session 1: Introduction to waste management, its impact, recycling and reuse. An introduction to the idea of making robots from rubbish.Please click here for the activity.  


(c)Two sessions involving guided exercises.

·       Session 2: Involves some problem-solving exercises (approx. ½ hour), then in groups investigate adding ‘junk’ with a new electrical components such as batteries and motors to use vibrations to move the robots. Please click here for the activity.

·    Session 3: To apply some of the ideas on problem solving and use of materials developed previously to build a little junk-clearing robot. Please click here for the activity.

·   Lego based robots are provided with two light sensors;

·   A play area (containing borders and area for the junk to be placed);

The facilitators will help with programming the robots and the instructions to be used.


       (d) Preparation session.  Please click here for the activity.

(e) The final session will involve the students, with the help of the facilitators, demonstrating and presenting their group’s solutions. Please click here for the activity.

a.   Each group will present their work to the other groups in a way they feel is most appropriate- with facilitators help if needed.

b.   An hour tinkering time before the presentation will be given to solve any last minute problems.


At the end of the sessions:

(i) Each group should have a presentation summarising and highlighting what they did and learnt.

(ii) It is hoped that participants will have an insight into STEM subjects,

(iii) The school will have some material that they can take forward in other ways on waste management and sustainability. For Example:

 - How to promote recycling within the school;

- How to save energy (and therefore money);

- Community projects.


The project aims to provide an opportunity for year 9 or 10 pupils to meet a range of people working or training in STEM subjects; the selection of the facilitators aims to have diverse mix of ethnicity to attempt to dispel stereotypes of scientists and engineers.


A Blog on this project can be found at http://junkbots.blogspot.com/ if you would like to see more.


For further details please contact Scott Turner

Junk bots

Scott Turner

scott.turner@northampton.ac.uk or 01604 893028