What is a robot?
Robot is a type of automated machine that can execute specific tasks with little or no human intervention and with speed and precision. The field of robotics, which deals with robot design, engineering and operation, has advanced remarkably in the last 50 years.
Robotics belongs at the intersection of science, engineering and technology, where combined, they are able to create fully functioning automated robots designed to perform a specific function.
As a programmable machine, robots can be built and designed for use in a myriad of circumstances.
Robots have a wide variety of use cases that make them the ideal technology for the future. Soon, we will see robots almost everywhere. We’ll see them in our hospitals, in our hotels and even on our roads.
While robots are the future, we need talented minds with innate curiosity and skill to become the designers of this future.
The Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) is gaining popularity now as Robotics is under the STEM umbrella.
Robotics provided children outlet for their creativity while keeping their minds active.
When children are into robotics they learn STEM first hand, they learn how to program, design, and make their own robots.
Robotics classes fulfill the children’s dream of creating their own designs.
Why Robotics for Young Children?
It’s because early childhood is a wonderful time to spark kids’ interest in coding, robotics, and engineering. Young children are curious about the world around them, and today that world includes technology.
Children can learn programming and engineering at a very early age. This is possible when children are given tools that are developmentally appropriate, that encourage open-ended play and that allow the integration of technical skills with expressive arts, math, literacy and cultural explorations.
The Benefits of Robotics in Children at an Early Age
-Help build confidence. Kids learn to be confident in their ideas and bring them to light.
-Children learn perseverance during robotics programs. Since projects very rarely come out right the first time.
-Children learn how to accept constructive criticism. They learn how to use these pieces of criticism to their advantage to improve their projects.
-Encourages hands-on learning and help to improve concentration.
-Children are introduced to basics of programming.
-Children are prepared for the future, and are presented the skills they need now to compete in that job market.
With these benefits children becomes more interested in coding, robotics and engineering thus an added benefits for them.
– Coding Teaches Literacy of the 21st Century- Coding is becoming as fundamental to work, education, and culture as literacy was in earlier centuries.
-Coding Teaches Computational Thinking Skills- Educators have begun to explore the connections between computational thinking and the cognitive skills developed in early childhood.
– Coding Becomes A Playground-Coding can become a playground. It is an environment to be creative, for students to express themselves, to explore alone and with others, to learn new skills, and to problem solve. All of this, while having fun.
– Robotics Makes Coding Tangible, Concrete and Screen-Free- With robotics, children’s code affects the physical world – the robot moves and reacts based on the instructions the children give it.
– Coding Introduces Children to the Engineering Design Process-Working with robotics and coding, especially when facilitated in a classroom, means engaging with the engineering design process. This process encourages children to identify a problem, imagine and plan a solution, build and test their creation, and share their work with peers.
The Many Ways to Teach Children Robotics
-Teach robotics for your kid by yourself- Yes, If you are a parent with some technical knowledge and basic browsing skills then you can easily train your kid on robotics all by yourself.
-After School robotics clubs and workshops- Nowadays most of the schools started inducting robotics clubs as part of the academics.
-Teach Robotics through online platforms- Scratch, code.org, code combat, Tynker are some online platforms that teach robotics for kids through interactive animations and games. Using these online platforms your kid can build and simulate a robot without even any hardware components.
-Buy a DIY Robotic kit for your kid- LEGO blocks, Elegoo, Robolink, Nintendo Labo, etc. are some STEM-focused kits that provide limitless possibilities for kids to bring their imagination to life.
– Enroll in online Robotics classes for kids- Online robotics classes for kids is the best choice to introduce robotics for kids if your child is busy with his/her school schedule.
What to do to Spark Kid’s Interest in Robotics?
-Children can be introduced o toys like Lego and Meccano. Both of these toys will introduce your children to thinking critically about design and function and offer easy pathways into robotics.
-You can also enroll your child on a robotics course during the summer holidays.
-Using media is another excellent way of getting your children interested in this topic. TV shows and movies that feature robotic characters prominently can sometimes be more than enough of a spark to motivate your children in the right direction. It would also be worth looking into YouTube channels that cover this topic.
In the end, if your kid is inspired and enthusiastic about robotics, they’ll be much more invested when it comes to learning about it.
-Educational games and apps can be another excellent tool for introducing the concepts of robotics in a way that is fun and engaging.
According to FunTech.com some of the best apps currently available for teaching programming and robotics are:
Swift Playgrounds (iOS)
Hopster Coding Safari for Kids (iOS)
Mimo: Learn to Code & Program (iOS and Android)
Hopscotch-Programming for kids (iOS)
Py – Learn to Code (iOS and Android)
When it comes to video games, here are two excellent options:
Human Resource Machine
-If your children are showing a lot of interest, then you can also look into investing in specialist toys, such as Cozmo. Although they can be a little pricey, they are certainly worth the investment for fledgling roboteers.
Although Cozmo is a toy first and foremost, it has also been designed with several features to help introduce children to robotics and programming.