How to make a Scribble Bot - Exploratory STEM and simple machine learning

Category Activity
Subjects & Topics "Primary science", "Primary science / Electricity", "Primary science / Forces and motion", "Primary science / Scientific methodology"
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Resource Description

Scribble Bots are simple machines which are easy to construct in an elementary / primary classroom. A small motor drives a propeller which is powered by a battery fixed to a container. Textas or markers are taped to the outside of the container and the completed Scribble Bot is then placed on a piece of paper where it travels in circles and whirls across the paper, with the textas leaving a trace of the movement pattern. Scribble Bots can be used to create stunning, intricate patterns which are pieces of art in themselves, as well as useful learning tools.


They can be made with mostly recyclable materials and some simple electronics equipment. Scribble Bots are best constructed with small groups of learners working co-operatively in a science or general classroom environment. Safety instructions must be followed and teachers need to ensure that their learners are able to listen to and follow safety information.


Scribble Bots are useful for teaching about STEM concepts such as:

  • how to construct a simple circuit 
  • how to change one variable to influence an outcome
  • how to use forces, mass and levers to affect the movement of a machine.
  • Files included (1)

how to make a scribble bot.pdf
pdf, 444.8 KB