WMSI Mobile STEM Lab Wraps up Spin Art

WMSI STEM Mobile Lab wrapped up spin art sessions around Coos County with a strong showing of excitement and innovation from our STEM Explorers! Arriving in Berlin, we were thrilled to see the smiling faces and minds ready to engage. One student said to me, “robots. Did you say we’re building robots?? Hey mom! I need to tell you something! Jeremy said we’re building robots!” She excitedly ran off to tell her mom. This story sums up our spin art well and highlights what we’re trying to do at WMSI: excite people about creative problem solving.


Indeed, each class had a high level of energy and creativity. Berlin students spent a lot of time on the coding part of the lesson, trying out loops, wait functions, and playing around with different motor speeds (below)

Some students tried out using one color and creating zoom patterns.

Other students went for more of the color explosion approach! (below) Several explorers had the idea of putting down two or three markers at once onto the spinner, creating a very symmetrical rainbow pattern!

In Whitefield, we had 3rd and 4th graders who had never coded before and were flabbergasted at the possibilities! (below)

Three Whitefielders stepped spin art up a notch and turned their project into an “art launcher”, sending a piece of paper skittering off the desk. Giggles were had by all.


We wrapped up spin art in Gorham with an excited bunch students and Youth Leaders! Five of Gorham High School’s most innovative inventors showed up to help the STEM Explorers, bringing knowledge, patience, and some well deserved goofiness! 

Gorham students were particularly interested in color blending, using similar shades to create vortexes and swirls. Artsy!

One group dove into coding, making a complicated spin pattern using loop, wait, and power functions. Cool!

This group below combined spin art with some astronomy and used the robot to make a model of a solar system!


At the end of each class we all gathered around and talked about our next session. The new challenge? You must build a LEGO creature that moves; however. you . Can’t. Use. Wheels (Gasps!).

“No way”

“How’s that going to work??”

One student, “I think I have an idea. . .”

We’’ll see how they do after Thanksgiving!


WMSI Mobile STEM Lab Launches!

Today’s very first WMSI stem lab started off with a fire of excitement and enthusiasm which will be a trend in the coming months. Students showed up to Mrs. K’s classroom in Lancaster buzzing with excitement and wondering what cool projects they'd work on with WMSI today. 

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Our first challenge of the year was to build a robot that could make art. Concept-wise, we hoped to teach how gears work, basic programming, and good old creative problem solving. Our youth leaders, John and Ansen, passed out the LEGO pieces and the build was on as the temperature of the room slowly rose with the heat of 17 brains hard at work!

Once the robot was created (a gear attached to a motor that rotated some sweet octopus-like arms, which held a white sheet of paper), all we had to do was program it spin in different patterns. Looks of concentration turned to grins as markers met paper and art time began!

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Students played around with motor speeds as well as loop and wait commands to help them create different pieces of art. Of course, at some point each student couldn’t resist cranking the motor up to 100% and letting the spin art zoom! (below)

Overall, it was a huge success with two thumbs up!