Teaching Resources

To find out more about the pedagogical research and ideas behind this project, please download West of England ICT conference presentation 2015. See slide notes for links to relevant content.

Our resources support National Curriculum objectives for Science and Design & Technology.

Introductory video showcasing biomimetic robots designed in Bristol, UK:

Robots vs Animals worksheets:

KS2/3 1 page article on robotics biomimicry examples + worksheet questions
Robots vs Animals intro to biomimicry article + worksheet

KS3/4 Identify robotic parts activity
KS3 Robots vs Animals robot fish activity worksheet
Requires this article/video from BBC: link here.

Starter planning for animal-inspired robot project
Robots vs Animals Animal skills brainstorm worksheet
Planning table for animal-inspired robot project
Robot design table worksheet

KS3/4 Careers and role models examples and worksheet
Robots vs Animals role model activity + 4 case studies

Silly extension/starter questions on biomimicry worksheet
KS2 Robots vs Animals biomimicry starter worksheet

We have collated relevant resources on role models, biomimetics and robotics for classroom use:

Role models in STEM

For examples of women and BME in engineering/STEM check out
http://stemettes.org/
http://www.wes.org.uk/rolemodels
http://yourlife.org.uk/
and real-life robot engineers here.

Biomimetics introductions

  1. Video introductions to biomimicry:
    1. Girl presenting  introduction to biomimicry with a big spider in under 2 mins (KS3)
    2. Woman presenting biomimicry with sustainability focus (2 mins) (KS3-4)
    3. Man with entertaining but fast run through some biomimicry examples (KS4-5)  (3 mins)
    4. Teachers can find out more: TED talk playlist on biomimicry
  2. Images for biomimicry
    1. Website examples of biomimicry across a wide range of fields
    2. Slideshow of 14 biomimicry examples with great images

Examples of biomimicry

For some creative introductions, check out our biomimetic robot blog posts.

  1. Specific video examples of biomimicry
    1. How to engineer a dog. This is a brilliant visual explanation of how engineers can look at nature with dogs! (video)
    2. Video on the science behind sticky-footed ants + cockroaches aimed at 11-14 yr olds. Via National STEM Centre site: free but you must register. (video)
    3. Squid camouflage for military technology (video)
  2. Engaging news stories on biomimetic robots
    1.  Snake-robot to improve robotic movement (includes video)
    2. Jumping insects show energy, natural “gears” and balletic movement (video + image)
    3. robot disguised as a penguin for research
    4. Fish shoals inspired wind turbine designs
    5. ‘Turtle’ robot creates beach art (includes video)
    6. Airbus use velvet, bird wings and shark skin as inspiration for airplane design
    7. Robotic fish for marine pollution detection (includes video)
    8. Origami robots – link to insect research RoboRoach (includes video)
    9. RoboRoach and (from 5.50) gecko feet inspiration (video)

More teaching ideas here.

Robotics

  1. A comprehensive slideshow to introduce robotics (KS3-4)
  2. Al Jazeera news video (5 mins) on how humanoid robots can help elderly people, filmed in Bristol, 2014. Broadening the perceived applications of robotics.
  3. Images, stories and video of the very first robots ever built  – in Bristol in 1949. See our blog here.
  4. Using drones for good: video (2 mins) on aerial robots designed to find landmines, replacing the use of animals. (Video includes images of injured animals and people). This project was a winner of a Drone Social Innovation Award.
  5. At-Bristol produced a video on How Robots Balance, starring one of our engineers and a rubber duck. (5 mins).

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