Case Study: Walk the Talk - Adding A to STEM

Case Study: Walk the Talk - Adding A to STEM

Once it was decided to add Art to STEM, ’Idea Center’ set a challenge: to develop activities that would address the art dimension significantly to emphasise its importance & contribution.

We looked for the best way to do this so it will be natural and not compulsory. Moreover, the activities had to be based on the learning model** that was developed and implemented in ‘Idea Center’.

If we recall the process of integrating computers in the education system, we can distinguish between three steps that differ in the topics we teach with computers:

In the first stage, the focus was on Maths and Science. Students learned to program their constructed models to perform tasks that were based on geometrical figures. The emphasis was on learning to program using the principles of computer science.

The second stage focus on was Engineering. The tasks required a solution that raised the need to design the structure of their model and its mechanism to perform the required task. It was then necessary to integrate studies of physics, mechanics (motion) and the field of mechanical engineering such as transmissions, torques, etc.

The appearance of humanoid robots in recent years, and their reasonable price, has enabled the integration of robots into school's computer labs.

This raised the 3rd stage, ‘AI’ and ‘Machine Learning’, treating the robots as a human. Focusing on the robots' behaviour, their reactions, and interaction with humans, and even interaction with other robots.

This approach elevates the artistic aspects and addresses issues such as music, directing, set design, movement, and choreography.

As an example of applying art in STEM, we will describe below, a task defined for students to perform in teams while addressing and integrating aspects from the field of art.

We believe that this kind of approach makes it possible to prepare students to be ‘Netizens’ - users of tomorrow's social networks, thus reducing the gap between the latest technologies in reality, and those implemented in the education system.

Students Robo-Dance TeachersMeccanoidTel Aviv UniversityMeccanoid in Israel

Challenge Overview:

Participants will work in teams to program robots to perform a challenge. This challenge can be solved on various levels.

For example:

  • A simple level may be to program the robot or the Avatar, by directly moving its body parts.
  • A complex level can be to program the robot using programming software to develop interactive decision-making algorithms.
  • The focus of the challenge is more on the robot's behaviour and less on its mechanism.
  • The robots can participate in the challenge solution as the only actors presenting on stage; or, together with other team members to create a mixed team (students and robots) that will perform a team challenge.
  • As with all ‘Idea Center’ challenges, this challenge will be ‘multi-step, complex and open-ended’.

Extra Unique Learning Outcomes for this challenge:

  • Understanding and experiencing Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning.
  • Humanoid robotics communication and programming.
  • Developing high order thinking skills, such as classifying and creating taxonomy.
  • Experience updated demands of coding and computerised thinking.

TEAMWORK CHALLENGE - Robo-Dance-Off Challenge

Your TASK is to use your creative thinking and problem-solving skills, to create unique choreography, and program your Meccanoid to perform in a dance-off in front of a live audience.

BEFORE PARTICIPATING: Download the Meccanoid App and go over the tutorial. You can start practising your dance even before entering the booth. To participate in the Meccanoid draw, the only thing you have to do is come to the booth with the app installed on your mobile device.


Part one: Appraising –1minute Participants watch the previous teams performing. The previous teams will perform their Humanoid Robot unique dance to the spectators. The cheers of the spectators will show who the most creative team is.

Part two: Boot Camp -13 minutes. The team will program their Meccanoid using the Ragdoll app and/or Learn Intelligent Movement (LIM) programming method, to perform a special dance.

Part Three: Performance -1minute. Each team will have 1 minute to demonstrate their Humanoid Robot special dance.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Machine Learning
  • Robotics communication
  • Robotics programming
  • Computerised thinking
  • Creativity
  • Problem-solving

* ‘Idea Center’, led by Dr Nira Krumholtz as the education development arm of Israeli company Phantom II Ltd, was established in 1987 at the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology - and later affiliated to the Faculty of Engineering at Tel Aviv University. The speciality of the center is the development and implementation of technology-rich innovative learning environments within the fields of computers, technology and science education. The core of the learning processes is used by most advanced computers, multimedia and Information technologies to enhance learning and teaching.

** Krumholtz, N.: "Simulating Technology Processes to Foster Learning". The Journal of Technology Studies, vol. XXIV, Nov. 1, Winter/Spring 1998.