We love a good book, we also love a good STEM activity. When we can combine a great book with a fantastic STEM activity we always have a hit! I didn’t realize what a gem I had in this book until I started reading. Almost immediately it featured STEM activities that tied into the story perfectly. It lead to an exciting, silly and totally fun book inspired STEM activity.
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So what book inspired us? Nick & Tesla’s Robot Army Rampage.
When I sat down to read the book, I didn’t pay any attention to the subtitle – A mystery with hoverbots, bristlebots, and other robots you can build yourself. Note the “build yourself” part. That should have been my first clue that this book contained so much more than just a good story!
But nope, I opened the book, started reading, completely oblivious to what the pages held for me. Imagine my surprise when I discovered detailed step-by-step instructions to build the same bots the characters in the story were building. In the book they called the build “Semi-Invisible Bottle Bot”. What a mouthful! Once ours started coming to life, it was affectionately christened Wiggle Pig. I think that’s a much better name!
I mean really… look at this adorable thing! He deserved an equally cute name. So Wiggle Pig it became.
Resources Needed For Wiggle Pig
Full instructions are in the book, but we altered the instructions a bit to suit items we already had in our circuit learning center. The book also calls for using a hot gun to attach everything, we chose to use electrical tape instead so we could take everything apart once we were finished playing with our Wiggle Pig and use those parts in a new build. We are all about recycling and reusing as much as possible in our tinkering.
We used the following items:
Nick and Tesla’s Robot Army Rampage
1 liter bottle
Motor with wire leads
AA Battery Holder
Various wires, bolts, nuts, washers and gears and other items from our tinker kit.
Googly eyes (why? because it was adorable!)
Building our book inspired STEM Activity Wiggle Pig
Although we swapped out a few bits and pieces from the book, in general we followed the directions. The clear bottle was a fun twist on the classic wigglebot build. The bottle gave it a unique look, almost like he was partially invisible! Adding various bolts, washers and nuts all wired together into the bottle was such a fun twist. The rest was very straightforward, we attached the motor to the top and the battery pack to the bottom, then added personality with some eyes and a nose. The toughest part was the legs. We used some scrap metal pieces and getting them even was a big challenge, but in the end, being off a bit just added to the silly wiggles.
We had so much fun with this book and the build. And Wiggle Pig was not the only build in the book, there were many more. So, not only did we have a great time reading the story, we get to relive the fun by building the same projects the characters built. Such a fantastic idea!
Don’t miss out on this book and others in the serious. Your young STEMist will love them!
This was the first book we read in the series, and we are hooked!
Any of these books would be a fantastic read out loud. Then once the kids are excited and hooked by the antics of the main characters, Nick & Tesla, you can jump into some hands on building inspired by the story.
We found it perfect for upper elementary and middle grade.
The STEM activities are inspiring, interesting, fun and creative. The instructions were easy to follow, and we loved our resulting Wiggle Pig. It was such fun to watch it wiggle about.