The Science and Technology…
Bee-Hind a Bee Mind
The Green Brain team is proactive in involving students and the public in STEM research through outreach and public engagement events. Read more below about exhibitions hosted, talks given, and workshop activities developed by the Green Brain team!
Overview and Themes
Outreach activities created and hosted by the Green Brain team cover several educational objectives. Activities are developed in order to give students a hands-on opportunity to try several STEM disciplines.
In the various activities, students will…
- Create algorithms, and subsequent computer programs, to make a robot navigate
- Solve problems to figure out how parts of the brain fit together and function
- Learn about how and why researchers are working on creating artificial life
- Get a feel for life in Robotics, Computer Science, and Neuroscience
- Get an opportunity to talk to scientists, engineers, and researchers about their careers, university, or day-to-day lives in these subjects
If you are interested in more information about these activities or want to invite a member of the Green Brain team to speak to your group, don’t hesitate to get in contact!
Contact: Chelsea Sabo, Robotics Research Associate
Exhibitions have given the Green Brain team the opportunity to talk to hundreds of students while giving them each a taste of science and robotics! For example, the GB team hosted the “Bee-Hind a Bee Mind” exhibit at the Sheffield Science Exhibition (pictured below).
Students were able to…
- Use an Oculus Rift to ‘be’ a bee and find flowers to pollinate in a virtual reality game! Visitors learn about how honeybees use their vision to identify flowers and navigate. More info on the game here: http://www.lucaswilkins.com/beepilot/.
- Merge simple robots, arduinos, and chemosensors to sniff out flowers! Visitors learn about the basics of robotics and use a robotic ‘smelling’ device to test for odours (or even pollutants in the air).
- See videos and live demonstrations of GB robots, brain models, and experiments!
Green Brain team at the 2015 Sheffield Science Exhibition
The Green Brain team has developed and hosted a number of activities and workshops at the University of Sheffield, primarily through the Excellence Hub team. Activities have focused around promoting STEM careers for young people and on creating STEM activities that connect classroom material with real-life examples and applications.
Some activities include:
- Students write their own algorithm for a small robot to follow a pattern autonomously.
- Students get an introduction to programming tutorial. They use their own algorithms (or a given one) to write a computer code that the arduino robots use to navigate!
- Students use clues as to how the brain works and build an ‘artificial brain’ using these and Dominoes.
Excellence Hub Workshop supported by the Green Brain Team
Various members of the Green Brain team have given talks to the public about the wide range of topics this multi-disciplinary project brings together. We have spoken to beekeepers, students, academics, and the local community, and we enjoy working with diverse groups!
Dr. Sabo during 2014 National Science and Engineering Week
Check out Dr. Nowotny’s Outreach Website! He has several online demos where kids can learn about:
- Trail following behaviour of ants and how it helps them to navigate the environment
- Swarming behaviour of animals
- Bees through a virtual reality Bee Pilot game where kids act as a bee to collect nectar from simulated flowers
- Simple robots similar to Braitenberg vehicles (an agent that is able to autonomously act upon receiving input from its sensors)