• American Girl Doll Crafter

DlY Doll Slime Rover Arena - Doll STEM Camp 2018

Robotics isn't just a hobby- it's a sport! Builders and inventors around the globe compete in robotics competitions to show off their tech skills, and maybe win a trophy or two!

Most robotics competitions consist of a course and objectives. The course could be smooth or rocky, depending on the type of competition.

Vex Robotics hosts robotics competitions in a flat arena where robots and their builders can showcase skills. The objectives (or goal) for this course is to have a robot stack cones, move obstacles, or push balls to a certain point in the arena. Other robotics courses may have a rough, rocky terrain to resemble planets, and are sometimes held outdoors. There, the robot's goal could be to collect rock samples, overcome the rugged obstacles, and climb small hills.

Luciana and her team also entered a robotics competition at Space Camp! Their rover had to complete an challenging course that resembled Mars.

"I scanned the table and took note of everything our robot would have to work with, around, or through: a mountain made out of dust and rocks, something that looked like a space tower, and a bunch of colored balls rolling around. In the middle was a flag that said, 'MARS MISSION 2.0' " -Taken from Luciana by Erin Teagan

On Wednesday we built our own doll rovers, and now it's time for the competition to begin! In today's camp activity, we will be making a doll-sized robotics arena, but with a trendy twist- slime!

Materials for Mars Slime:

  • 1 and 1/4 cup of regular Elmer's School Glue (equivalent to about 3 bottles)

  • 1 and 1/2 tablespoon of hand lotion

  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda

  • 3 tablespoons of contact solution

  • 3/4 cup of model magic (equivalent to 3 small packets of Model Magic)

  • 1/8 cup of water

  • Red and yellow food coloring

  • 2 medium-sized bowls

  • Spatula or spoon for mixing

When making slime, always cover your work surface- things can get a little messy!

1. Carefully pour 1 and 1/4 cup of Elmer's School Glue into your first bowl.

2. Add 1 and 1/2 tablespoon of lotion in your bowl with the glue.

3. Mix using a spatula or spoon until the glue and lotion have blended together.

4. Add 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda to the lotion/glue mixture.

5. The next step may vary depending on the type of food coloring you are using and the vibrancy of the color you want. For my slime, I added 6 drops of red and 7 drops of yellow. The slime resulted in a light orange color, however, I would not recommend adding more than this (too much food coloring can leave dye on your hands).

6. Add 3 tablespoons of contact solution to the mixture.

7. Stir until the slime does not stick to the spoon. The slime will be a bit runny, but the Model Magic will make it firm.

8. In a separate bowl, add 3 small packets of Model Magic.

9. Pour 1/8 cup of water into the bowl. Knead the Model Magic with your fingertips by quickly pushing down and folding the clay. Continue until all water is dissolved. Do not use your whole hand to knead the clay; it can be sticky and you might lose portions of your clay.

8. Add the Model Magic to your slime mixture. Fold the slime with a spatula or knead quickly with your hands until the clay and slime are blended together.

Slime Tips

If the slime is too runny after kneading in the Model Magic, add 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda. Add more until the desired consistency is achieved.

If the slime is too rubbery, do not use as much contact solution when making the slime, or add a small amount of lotion.

If the slime is too hard, add a little bit of lotion to soften it.

If the slime is too sticky, add small amounts of contact solution as needed.

Slime can last for a month or longer if taken care of properly. Wash and dry your hands before touching slime, and always play on a clean surface.

Materials for Mars Arena:

  • Tupperware Container (large is best, but any size can be used)

  • Dowel rods or 8 large straws

  • Hot Glue gun

  • Spray paint in the color of your choice

  • 4 Wooden beads

  • Toothpicks

  • Cardstock/colored paper

  • Scissors

1. Cut a small slit in the end of one straw. Slowly slide the cut end of the first straw into the second straw until it measures 13 inches (This is the same process used in our telescope craft). Repeat this step to create two 13 long straws. If you use a different size Tupperware, change the size of the straws to fit your lid.

2. Cut six straws measuring 3 inches in height.

3. Paint or spray paint all of the straws the color of your choice.

4. Glue two of the the 3 inch straws on each side of the Tupperware lid.

5. Glue the 13 inch straws on top of the supports on the long side of the lid, and two regular straws on the short sides.

6. Paint the wooden beads, then secure with hot glue on each corner where the straws connect.

Place the lid back on the container and spread your slime on the top (I spray painted the outside of my container, however, do not spray paint if you plan on using the container again for food storage). Add texture by lightly rolling the wheels of your rover across the slime. Use your thumb to create "craters", and roll slime into a small ball to create Mars rocks.

For the obstacle flags, cut a 2 x 2 inch square of cardstock. Fold over where the corners meet to create a triangle. Cut from the point at an angle to create the flag. Unfold the triangle, place the toothpick in the middle, then fold over and secure with hot glue.

When playtime is over, everything fits inside the container for easy storage!

Now your Mars Slime Arena is complete! The rovers are built and the dolls are ready to get their game on. Let the competition begin!

Camp Conversations - Episode 5

The day of the robotics tournament has arrived! Minutes before the competition begins, both teams check their robots once more in anticipation of the challenge ahead.

"I think our rover is ready, Luciana," Johanna says as she inspects the rover.

Luciana gives her teammate a happy fist-bump. "Let's rock and roll!"

Driving the rover over the the slime arena, Luciana and Johanna are greeted by an excited Meg and stiff Ella.

"I can't wait to drive our rover!" Meg exclaims. "It has double-grip wheels and a super cool-"

"Meg, be quiet!" Ella orders, eyeing Team Odyssey. "Don't give it away."

Meg's smile fades, but her face lights up again when she sees Luciana's rover.

"WOW, did you make that? Look, Ella! A satellite! And hers is purple, too!"

Ella pretends not to hear as fiddles with her remote control. Before Meg can say anymore, a lab supervisor enters the room and announces the competition rules.

"Each team has four minutes to accomplish the required tasks. Your rover must drive through the terrain, carry a Mars rock, and then release it by the flag."

Ella grins. "Easy," she says, tossing her hair.

The supervisor gives Ella a warning look, then continues. "One teammate will be in control of their rover for the first half, then hand it over to the other teammate. You must work together in order to succeed. The team whose rover completes the course in the shortest amount of time wins the competition."

Meg and Johanna cheer. Ella sighs grumpily.

"Team Odyssey, you're up first."

"You start for us, Luci." Johanna passes the remote control to Luciana. "I am not good when it comes to rough driving!"

As Luciana takes hold of the control, the supervisor says, "I'll count down. 3... 2... 1... GO!"

Luciana puts all her focus to guiding the rover across the rocky terrain. She maneuvered the small wheels between bumps and ridges before lowering the rover's claw and picking up a Mars Rock.

"Look at it go!" Meg squeals in amazement.

"You may now pass the remote to your teammate," instructs the supervisor.

Johanna finishes the remaining part of the course with lightning speed. She and Luci celebrate with friendly high-fives and and a pat on the back.

"Except for dropping their rock once, Team Odyssey successfully completed the course. Up next is... Team Odyssey 2?" The supervisor stops short, unsure of Ella's team name.

"It's Team Robotics," Ella corrects her. "Clean and simple."

The supervisor counts down, and Team Robotics begins their run on the course. Meg giggles happily as she directs the rover toward the rocks.

"I'm driving, Ella! This is awesome!"

Suddenly, Meg hits a bump in the terrain. The rover's back wheel begins to sink in the soft soil.

"Oops." Meg mumbles. A look of determination flashed across her face. "I can fix it!"

Ella watches hesitantly, then reaches for the remote. "Meg, stop, it's stuck. Let me hold the controls."

Meg pulls away. "But it's still my turn, Ella! Just give me a chance!"

"Meg," Ella says through clenched teeth. "Give the remote to me!"

The rover bounced back and forth, rolled side to side, and waved its robotic arm this way and that as Meg and Ella pushed and argued. Ella reached for the remote control one last time and swiped it out of Meg's hands, only to hear a loud CRAAAAAACK- their rover had fallen apart.

"Oh no!" Ella groaned.

"It's broken!!" cried Meg.

"Das ist nicht gut! That's not good." Johanna says, examining the rover.

The supervisor frowns and puts her stopwatch away. "I'm sorry, girls. You're out of time. Congratulations to the winner, Team Odyssey. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm already late for my next competition."

The four girls stood there in shock.

"Our rover..." Ella mumbles.

"No, Ella." Meg says fiercely. "Your rover. I didn't get to do anything to help. I couldn't even drive it. You wouldn't let me!" At that, Meg burst into tears and ran out of the lab. Johanna sucks in her breath and quickly follows after Meg.

Luciana and Ella were left alone in the room. The only sound heard was Ella sniffling as tears ran down her face.

"Ella," Luciana whispered, putting her arm around her former teammate.

"I've been a horrible friend. To you, Johanna, and Meg." Ella confessed. "I thought everyone would be impressed when they saw my rover, and when we won, and..." Ella trailed off.

"Now I've lost my own sister as a friend."

"Ella," Luciana said again, searching for the right words. "We all make mistakes. We can fall apart sometimes. But when we pick ourselves up and admit our wrongs, we can start to mend things," Luciana gestured to the rover. "Piece by piece."

"Building back friendships can take time, but it's not impossible."

Ella glanced up shyly. "You think so?"

Luciana laughed. "I know so! Now c'mon. Let's go find Meg."

Camp posts will be shared on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday of each week.

If you complete a craft or want to share a photo of your doll at camp, snap a picture and send it in or share on Instagram using the hashtag #DollSTEMCamp2018 to be featured in the Camp Recap each Sunday!Email:

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