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New Star Wars droid toy is good news for young inventors

Catherine Lambert, September 1, 2017 1:01AM Herald Sun

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The new Star Wars toy. Picture: David Caird media_cameraThe new Star Wars toy. Picture: David Caird

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A REVOLUTIONARY new Star Warstoy is making its world premiere in Australia today and inventors of the future are expected to be out in force to see it.

The Droid* Inventor Kit includes electronic building bricks so users can create and power up their own mechanical droid robots.

Inventor and littleBits founder Ayah Bdeir said the toy could be different droids for different kids.

“The idea is that the kids are the tool kit to make inventions ranging from a Sushi delivery droid, a punk rock droid, a drawing droid or a robot,” Ms Bdeir said.

“We have found kids have a lot of pride in their creations because this celebrates their self-expression and ingenuity*, while showcasing the same characteristics of imagination, grit and invention that are embodied in the Star Wars franchise.”

The new Star Wars toy. Picture: David Caird media_cameraThe new Star Wars toy. Picture: David Caird

The droid is based on the Star Wars R2D2 character and is designed for kids eight years and up.

It comes with a free app that provides step-by-step instructions and how-to videos.

Each electronic block has a different function such as a power, motor or sensor which kids can use with their droid in new and exciting ways.

The droid incorporates* STEM and STEAM principles. There is expected to be a 72 per cent increase in STEM jobs over the next two years alone.

Ms Bdeir said lots of parents are keen to incorporate education into play.

Sophie and Hudson hold the Droid Inventor Kit. Picture: David Caird media_cameraSophie and Hudson hold the Droid Inventor Kit. Picture: David Caird

“More and more parents are really interested in having toys that require more thinking, inspiring kids to connect to the future and really foster* skills of creativity and problem solving,” she said.

“Kids are very tech savvy, using technology around them. Our job is to open up these technology concepts and make them think more about them.”

The launch of the toy is part of the global launch of all of other new Star Wars toys today as well as Disney and Luscasfilm’s The Last Jedi, to be released here on December 14.

The Droid Inventor Kit is available at Harvey Norman, EB Games and Apple Store.

GLOSSARY

droid: type of robot from Star Wars

ingenuity: being clever and original

incorporates: includes and uses

foster: encourage and grow

LISTEN TO TODAY’S STORY

CLASSROOM ACTIVITIES

Activity 1.

Design your own robot. Choose one job that you would like a robot to do for you. Then, draw or create your design, showing what the robot looks like and how it does the job for you.

Extension:

Do you know how robots work? Find out and use the information to create an information poster on Robotics, the Science of Robots.

Time: allow 85 minutes to complete this activity

Curriculum links: Design and Technology , Science

Activity 2.

What is your favourite toy? Write paragraphs about your favourite toy. Your purpose is to convince the person reading the paragraphs that this is the best toy ever made.

Extension:

In the story, you have read that the Droid Inventor Kit ​is part of the launch of new Star Wars toys and a new Disney Monie.

Choose a favourite movie.
Imagine that you have been asked to create a new game based on that movie.
It can be a board game or an online or video game.
Design the game.
Include rules and instructions for playing the game.
Build or make the game, if you want.

Time: allow 85 minutes to complete this activity

Curriculum links: English , Design and Technology​

VCOP ACTIVITY

(Vocabulary, Connectives, Openers, Punctuation)

Using the Force

The Star Wars universe is a fictional world full of rich worlds and characters that have captivated the imaginations of people all around the world.
Characters and stories in Star Wars often centre around a magical power named the Force.
Some characters use it to jump far, lift heavy things and fight with unrivalled skill!
Others can play a Jedi mind trick on someone else, tricking them into thinking or doing something else.

What would you do if you had the power of the Force?

Write 10 sentence that describes the things you would do if you could control the Force.
Focus on including high level vocabulary.

Extension:
Write a story where you use the Force at school.
What would you do?
Would you use it for good Or would you use it to be mischievous?

Time: allow 30 minutes to complete this activity

Curriculum links: English, Big Write, VCOP


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