Is a robotics program important for a school and your child? Yes! If you have a child who is a science nerd like I was in school, the mere mention of robotics will send them into a frenzy as a must do activity for them. However, most students and parents when Robotics is mentioned they either think of the Terminator movies or a boring workshop and a nerdy old science teacher in a bow tie ready to ruin their day. The fact is, Robotics is fun, bow ties are cool, and this endeavor is not only exciting, it will stimulate a young mind to be better thinkers and problem solvers. In fact, a whole new world opens with new ways to inspire them for school and future opportunities. It will help them become better at teamwork, more career and higher education minded, and they will know that they have a future in a fast-changing high-tech world.
Let’s look at five items that Robotics will help a student do:
- Robotics helps students overcome challenges. Such as, how to solve a problem in logic or overcoming an obstacle. To think through what must happen and find a way to program the robot to engage the challenge. Like, in life and building one’s future takes the same skill set. In learning the simple programming logic, they learn to think ahead, problem solve and learn from setbacks too. This creates a mindset to persevere and be determined.
- Robotics helps students have more excitement about school and learning.What we do at school is not meant to bore; rather, motivate, encourage and prepare them for college and life. They will take their problem-solving skills and become engaged leaders and innovators, what our society needs.
- Robotics helps students with innovation and teamwork. They have to build something new and be challenged what the robot’s parameters can do and make a pathway for that to happen. In so doing, they work as a team, brainstorm, listen, be creative and share ideas. These are essential real-world work skills that every employer is looking for that few job seekers have.
- Robotics helps students turn the frustration of math into creativity. For students that are great at math, robots will be a system of application. For students who do not understand algebra and think why bother, the “x” is never coming back, they will learn the how and why it works practically. Thus, they will get arithmetic, algebraic as well as geometry concepts better than in a typical classroom setting. As the robots are programmed, they will literally see math in motion and engineering as art.
- Robotics helps students see real-world applications of science.As well as real applications for engineering. It is not esoteric and boring after all. They will realize they can use this to make their lives and others better. Then a student will appreciate, as mine has done, what we learn in school can be practical and be used in the real world.
Robotics is not just for nerds or math whizzes. It will help any student better engage in school and life. It will help them to be participants in their learning and not feel their school is just a place of displeasure. In fact, they may see school as not only challenging, but can be fun too. I often have girls in my classes who take it because they need an elective, but dread it or not wanting to be there at all. Then after a couple of lessons, a light bulb goes off and now class time is not only learning time, it is a fun time too! I have had boys who also had no interest in robotics or coding light up and even change their mindset what they will do as adults. Robotics builds our thinking ability, especially with critical thinking. This will also help the student work independently and cooperate with others on projects. These are critical skills needed not just for school, but also for the workforce as well as college and life.
Dr. Richard Krejcir is an Author, Researcher and the Director of a nonprofit that does educational training in third-world countries. He is also a Homeschool Coordinator at Method Schools and an instructor in a STEM program and a father of a son with autism.