Case Study: Robot Heart Stories

This October, the Workbook Project created an experiential education project called Robot Heart Stories, which linked two classrooms (one in Montreal and one in LA) in order to work together to get a lost robot home.

Experiential Education provides not only a dynamic learning experience, but also allows for the use of storytelling techniques both in the structure of the project and in the lesson plan. Below, read about how Robot Heart Stories used transmedia and storytelling to bring an education to life and how mentorship structured the experience. You can also follow the students creations directly at The Robot's Journey.


What is Robot Heart Stories?

42 Students
Montreal and LA
2 Teachers
10 Stories
1 Rocket into space

Working together each day to get a robot back to her home. Students will research, explore and discover as the robot makes her way across North America.
Robot Hearts Stories is an experiential learning project that uses collaboration and creative problem solving to put education directly in the hands of students. This fall, two classrooms, a continent apart, will work together to get a lost robot home, and they will need your help…

The experience begins when a robot crash lands in Montreal and must make her way to LA in order to find her space craft and return home. Two class rooms in underprivileged neighborhoods, one in Montreal (French speaking) and the other in LA (English speaking), will use math, science, history, geography and creative writing to help the robot make her way across North America.

At the same time, Robot Hearts Stories extends beyond the classroom, as the project welcomes involvement from a global audience. Participants of all ages will share their own passions in the form of a creative act involving a robot they print, customize and document. For each photo or piece of art featuring the robot that is submitted, the "signal strength" of the robot grows stronger and helps her to get back home.

Robot Heart Stories is the first in a trilogy of experiential learning projects from award winning storytelling pioneer Lance Weiler and creative producer Janine Saunders.
It is our feeling that together we can empower endless creativity and, with the help of a robot, we can reboot education.

Robot Heart Stories and Experiential Education

Experiential education is an approach to teaching and learning that tries to imbue instruction with the understanding that comes from direct involvement in a task. Students do; they gain first-hand knowledge. So, rather than merely lecturing or running timetables, teachers and educators infuse activity with instruction. A logic problem is not that which you read on a piece of paper… it becomes a tangible experience of discovery and deduction.

Robot Heart Stories manifests this philosophy at every opportunity. Each time a student engages with Robot, he or she is learning a part of their normal curriculum (math concepts, principles of science, writing skills) at the same time as he or she develops both creativity and passion. Media literacy is also a key part of the project, as through the communication between the schools and projects woven into the curriculum, students will use modern technology to unite and collaborate. Further, the program is customizable to fit the needs of classrooms and students. The LA Classroom is focusing on science and environment studies throughout the project, while the Montreal classroom is focusing on creating and understanding media.

While the story of the robot and the stories that the students create bringing the classrooms together, Heartpacks are also being submitted from people around the world showcasing the passions the fuel creativity. In this way, the project is playing with the idea of mentorship-- the students are directing and helping each other while the global community is providing signposts to guide the experience.

Robot Heart Stories takes place from Oct 17-Oct 28. More information will be posted as the students and robot complete their journey.