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Hack the Halls: Evo Holiday STEAM Activities

Calling all kids (and their grown-ups)! Read on to warm up your winter break, with Evo and two STEAM activities. Did you know there are two different ways to code Evo? The first activity below, the Winter Traditions Parade, uses the OzoBlockly block programming editor. You’ll research another country’s winter traditions, customize your Evo, then program it to go on parade. The next activity, Reinbot Landing Practice, involves papercraft, markers, and Color Codes. You’ll decorate Evo as a reindeer, then use Color Codes to help your “Reinbot” land on a rooftop.

Whether you celebrate Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, or Krampus (…what, just us?), these Evo STEAM experiences will keep you occupied in between receiving gifts or feasting on sugar plums and candy canes.  

Winter Traditions Parade

The winter season is special all around the world, and individual countries and regions have their own traditions for the time of year. People celebrate with lights, harvests, and presents from Asia to Africa to the Americas. For this activity you and your grown-up are going to research another place’s winter tradition, customize your Evo to celebrate that tradition, and then program your Evo to show off its cultural pride by going on parade. Oh what fun!

You’ll need:

  • Evo and an Evo skin (One skin comes with Evo. Get more here. Tip: You can also use Bit.)
  • A tablet or computer
  • A world map (an online version works)
  • Decorating materials: scissors, paper, and glue (hot or quick dry) plus stickers, sequins, pipe cleaners, feathers, toothpicks, etc
  • Some experience using OzoBlockly

What to do:

  1. With your world map handy, close your eyes and point to a random spot on the map. Open your eyes. This is your assigned country!
  2. Go online and find a winter tradition, celebrated by any group of people in that country. The tradition can: 
    1. Occur sometime between November and February (or May and August for countries in the southern hemisphere)
    2. Be historical or modern 
    3. Be religious or secular

      Check out these winter traditions chosen by our team at Ozobot HQ, for inspiration.

  3. Time for papercraft! Create a prop or costume for your Evo, that represents your chosen tradition. This is the part where high tech meets hot glue, so have your grown-up help you.
  4. Program your bot to march in a parade, with OzoBlockly. 
    1. Turn your tablet or computer’s screen brightness up to 100%.
    2.  Open the parade OzoBlockly program, simply by going to the url
    3. In the upper left corner of OzoBlockly, select Evo.  
    4. Check out the program. What will it make Evo do? Are there ways you’d like to modify it, like changing Evo’s lights or speed? Go for it! This is your moment (and Evo’s).  
    5. Once you’re ready, load the program to Evo using the options in the bottom left corner. For step-by-step loading instructions, check out this post.
  5. Run the program and watch Evo go on parade. Take this opportunity to school your uncle, your siblings, or your cat on the winter tradition Evo’s celebrating.

While we’re fans of the confidence it shows to organize a parade of one, you can join tons of other Evo owners by sharing your creation with @ozobot and #hackcreativity. Be sure to tell us all about your region’s winter tradition too.

Reinbot Landing Practice

Evo, the little bot with its lights so bright, has always dreamed of leading the pack. Help Evo make it through this year’s tryouts for Santa’s Sleigh Team, with a little landing practice. In this seasonal STEAM activity, you’ll dress Evo up as a reindeer, then use Color Codes to launch your “Reinbot” onto a rooftop target. You can play Reinbot Landing Practice alone, or compete with a group of people.

You’ll need:

  • Evo (or Bit)
  • Scissors and tape
  • A set of markers (black, blue, green, and red)
  • A printer, for printing copies of the Landing Practice Worksheet (pages 4 and 5 from here) and a Color Code chart.
  • A camera. (Ok, this last one’s not required. But be prepared for Evo to look pretty adorable with those antlers on…)

What to do:

  1. Prepare your landing course. Smooth, light-colored surfaces work best and you should always use Evo indoors. If you don’t have a light-colored surface, tape down white paper. You’ll want at least 5 feet by 3 feet of playing surface.
  2. Cut out the Reinbot launchers, tree, and antlers from your Landing Practice Worksheet.
  3. Tape the Rooftop Target down at one end of your course. Tape down your tree, somewhere before the rooftop so you have to strategically avoid it.
  4. Tape the Reinbot antlers to your Evo, making sure not to cover Evo’s sensors.
  5. On each launcher, fill in the blank boxes with the following codes: 30-Sec Timer and Line Jump Straight. Refer to your Color Code chart for the codes.
  6. Practice: Take a practice shot or two. To practice, place your launcher, then power Evo on and place it on the bot-shaped space at the start of the launcher. Watch Evo “fly” toward the rooftop.
  7. Compete: The moment of truth! Adjust your launcher, send Evo flying, and see how many points you can collect by making it onto the rooftop. For multiple players, compete by taking turns and seeing who can earn the most points in three rounds. The player who collects the most points will claim that coveted spot on Santa’s Sleigh Team.

These activities were adapted from expanded, classroom-friendly versions created by the elves on the Ozobot Edu team. Click below for those versions, and check out the Lesson Library for more fun activities and coding challenges for both Evo and Bit.  

Happy Holidays!
– The Ozobot Team