1 About the project


This video gives you a brief introduction to the online course.

What is an Automaton?

Automata are fascinating mechanical toys for children, small Kinetic Art sculptures. An automaton is a construct that includes engineering, cultural awareness and artistic expression. Automata are storytelling mechanical objects. Automata have fascinated children over the ages and today there are museums just for automata.

They comprise two main parts, a toy, and a mechanism that makes the toy move when a power source is applied. The power sources used in AutoSTEM automata are generally by hand (manual), blown up balloons (potential energy) and are transferred to the toy using simple mechanisms.

This video shows a number of different AutoSTEM automata in action.

What is STEM?

STEM is an acronym for the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. These are key skills needed in today’s and the future workplace. They include problem-solving, analytical thinking, and the ability to work independently as well as collaboratively.

Often it is thought that not all careers will need STEM subjects, but in fact, in today’s world, virtually every career will require some area of STEM, and children must have a least a basic proficiency in STEM subjects to succeed.

STEM subjects
These are the STEM subject areas that the AutoSTEM project addresses.

The module continues with an introduction to the AutoSTEM Automata.