A Glimpse into GRASP Research: Soft Robotics

Featuring Jessica McWilliams

Video Version:


3D Printer – “3D Printing is a process for making a physical object from a three-dimensional digital model, typically by laying down many successive thin layers of a material. It brings a digital object into its physical form by adding layer by layer of materials.” – 3D Printing Industry

Gait – “Gait is the pattern of movement of the limbs of animals, including humans, during locomotion” – Wikipedia

Microcontroller (Arduino) – “A microcontroller is a ‘simple computer’ that runs one program in a loop. They are designed to perform a single, specific task.” – Adafruit

Servo Motor – Servo motors are a type of electric motor that provides precise positional control with limited range of motion. This is in contrast to a direct current (DC) motor (a typical motor you might find on a remote control car, blender, or electric pencil sharpener) which can provide efficient constant rotation. – SeeedStudio

NameGrade RangeResourcesDescription
ArtfulmathsvariesvariesCollection of various origami related math activities
Area and paper folding4-10paperStudents construct shapes of different areas
Orthographic drawing7-9$1.20/studentStudents learn how to create two-dimensional representations of three-dimensional objects
Energy and a pogo stick9-12Pogo stickStudents learn about the conservation of energy using a pogo stick
Gait Analysis11-12Computer accessStudents investigate human gaits and develop mathematical model
Curriculum Connections
Math (Common Core)Science (NGSS)
HSG.MG.A.3Apply geometric methods to solve design problems (e.g., designing an object or structure to satisfy physical constraints or minimize cost; working with typographic grid systems based on ratios).HS-ETS1-1, HS-ETS1-2, HS-ETS1-3Engineering Design
HSG.GMD.B.4Identify the shapes of two-dimensional cross-sections of three-dimensional objects, and identify three-dimensional objects generated by rotations of two-dimensional objects.MS-ETS1-1, MS-ETS1-2, MS-ETS1-3Engineering Design
8.G.C.9Know the formulas for the volumes of cones, cylinders, and spheres and use them to solve real-world and mathematical problems.HS-PS3-1Create a computational model to calculate the change in the energy of one component in a system when the change in energy of the other component(s) and energy flows in and out of the system are known.
7.G.B.6Solve real-world and mathematical problems involving area, volume and surface area of two- and three-dimensional objects composed of triangles, quadrilaterals, polygons, cubes, and right prisms.HS-PS3-2Develop and use models to illustrate that energy at the macroscopic scale can be accounted for as a combination of energy associated with the motion of particles (objects) and energy associated with the relative position of particles (objects).
6.G.A.4Represent three-dimensional figures using nets made up of rectangles and triangles, and use the nets to find the surface area of these figures. Apply these techniques in the context of solving real-world and mathematical problems.HS-PS3-3Design, build, and refine a device that works within given constraints to convert one form of energy into another form of energy.
MS-PS3-1Construct and interpret graphical displays of data to describe the relationships of kinetic energy to the mass of an object and to the speed of an object.
MS-PS3-5Construct, use, and present arguments to support the claim that when the kinetic energy of an object changes, energy is transferred to or from the object.
HS-PS2-2Use mathematical representations to support the claim that the total momentum of a system of objects is conserved when there is no net force on the system.