In November 2015, students in Pranav Bhounsule’s Robotics and Motion Laboratory taught children at the DoSeum, San Antonio’s museum for kids, how to make a paper walking toy that could race down an inclined platform. Graduate student Christian Trevino, who developed a 3D-printed version of the toy, led the one-day workshop.
“We wanted the children to learn about science at our workshop, and we wanted them to have fun!” Trevino said.
Trevino developed the toy for her undergraduate thesis. She named the toy Rowdy Walker because her design was inspired by UTSA’s mascot Rowdy the Roadrunner.
Trevino created a paper version of the toy because teaching children science requires simple yet innovative tactics. The toy was utilized by the DoSeum children taking part in the Inventor’s Workshop.
Trevino's ingenuity helped the young participants learn the basic principles of mass, momentum, and energy.
“The toy walks by periodically shifting its body weight by swaying its body back and forth.” said Bhounsule. “However, during the process of shifting of weight, the legs collide with each other and the toy loses some energy. But this loss of energy is made up by the potential energy that is gained by walking downhill.”
The Inventors’ Workshop is a new biannual public program at the DoSeum in which high school, college students, and STEM industry professionals create hands-on activities designed to engage kids in STEM topics.
College students from Texas A&M University and San Antonio College also participated in the Inventor's Workshop.VISIT WEBSITE
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Community Connect magazine is an annual publication produced by the Office of the Vice President for Community Services (VPCS). The mission of Community Services is to extend UTSA beyond its campuses into San Antonio and South Texas through public service, extension, outreach and community education. This mission is accomplished through a variety of programs and initiatives, some of which are showcased on this website.