Skip to content

Build a Recyke Robot

A small robot character made out of computer parts
Image Credit: NEoN Digital Arts

Would you like to build a Recyke robot?

NEoN Digital Arts believes it can grow our community’s understanding of climate change and increase digital engagement through a creative and interactive digital arts programme. In particular, we are now working in partnership with local schools and the young people of Dundee to access digital experiences and technology in a fun, informative way.   

Since spring 2023, we have worked with Rosebank Primary School and its STEM teacher, Sarah. We looked at creating a programme that linked to their STEM strategies. As part of NEoN’s E-waste programming, we decided to look at the themes of e-waste and technology waste and the ‘reuse, recycle, or repair’ ideals of these products. 

We began our first session with a pompom-making workshop called  ‘Pom-pom Planet’. The pom-poms featured colours that resembled the sea, continents, and ice caps.  This was something simple and fun to create and was also designed to assess the skills and abilities of the class.   In another workshop, we had some old, unrepairable computer keyboards for the pupils to dismantle. We decided to split the class into groups and supplied them with a range of screwdrivers. We explained the various parts to be taken apart, and how to use the different types of screwdrivers.  This was a very popular activity, and everyone enthusiastically took it! 

Small robot character made out of e-waste
Image Credit: NEoN Digital Arts

One of the highlights, for the class and for us, was ‘Recyke Robots’ which asked them to make a model of a robot figure from a variety of e-waste. NEoN had identified a large amount of safe usable parts from old scanners, drives, and printers. By selecting small components such as connectors, cables, and fixings, the pupils built these amazing robot figures around 10cm high, attaching arms, legs, and eyes with white tack. Each group named their robot and imagined its function. One robot, ‘Bob 2000’, even had a pet cat and dog! 

All these workshops have been designed with accessibility in mind and are built for different levels of ability.  The first few sessions tested the children’s motor skills, and within a few workshops, we could see what the class would engage with and enjoy.  As the sessions went on, the children became more confident in requesting what types of workshops they would like, and over the sessions, we created posters and an e-zine for Scottish Climate Week. The posters were displayed in an exhibition, and the e-zine can be downloaded HERE

Front Page of e-zine

For 2024, we hope to continue and grow this connection and will work with the STEM teachers to continue supporting the class. We have built a really fun rapport with the kids and look forward to our weekly sessions with them! 

If you would like to find out more about the workshops or talk about running these sessions within your community group or classroom, please use our contact form here