While there are many cases of adopting robotics in STEM and computer science classrooms, there is still a lot of hesitation concerning the use of robots in other fields of education. And that’s in vain. Experts believe that there is a place for robots and robotics in every subject, not only in math and science.
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What Are Robots and Robotics?
In a nutshell, a robot is a carefully-programed device or machine designed to perform assigned tasks as per the provided inputs or commands. Robots built specifically for use in the real world are often capable of doing things that humans can’t do. For example, they can work in harsh conditions, perform complex tasks quickly and easily, and otherwise replace the live workforce across different industries.
A great example is the automobile industry. At this point, 90% of all work in this sector is already performed by robots.
Robotics, in its turn, is a branch of technology that focuses on the construction, design, operation, and application of robots.
6 Benefits of Bringing Robotics Into Every Classroom
The use of robotics in education is nothing new. In fact, many schools and colleges teach robotics as a separate discipline. And even those that don’t, often apply the basic principles of robotics in different subjects to enrich students’ learning experiences. And there are quite a few benefits that this approach has.
Namely, while learning robotics, children receive the following benefits.
1. Fostering Interest in STEM
As we mentioned earlier, currently, the application of robots is most widely seen in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) classrooms. However, if we bring robots to other subjects, too, this can help us develop an interest in STEM subjects in learners.
2. Enhancing Problem-Solving Skills
Secondly, integrating robotics into various classrooms can help children learn to be better problem solvers. While engaging in building robots, students will encounter a variety of problems that they need to address. This will teach them to find effective and simple solutions faster. As a result, they will grow into real-world problem solvers.
3. Building Coding Skills
Programming is one of the key stages of robot building. Thus, integrating robotics projects into the curriculum can help students acquire basic coding skills. Acquiring these skills can give young people a head start in computer science and also gain a competitive advantage for their future careers.
4. Fostering Creative Thinking
Although robot building is an incredibly technical process, it still leaves plenty of space for creativity. Therefore, integrating it into the educational program can help us foster creative thinking in students of all ages.
5. Gaining the Skills of Tomorrow
Without any doubt, robotics is one of the skills of tomorrow. That is, this is one of the skills that are predicted to be valued the most in the future. Therefore, by teaching students these skills early on, we help them become the competitive workforce of tomorrow and expand their career opportunities.
6. Making Learning Fun
Typical academic projects often seem too boring to students – no wonder they prefer to delegate them to an online paper writer from PaperWritingService instead of wasting their own time. But, robotics projects are much different. Incorporating such unusual and creative projects into the curriculum is also a great way to boost students’ engagement and make lessons fun. So, this is one more benefit of bringing robots to classrooms.
How to Incorporate Robots in Every Classroom
To start teaching robotics in a classroom, teachers have to choose the suitable hardware first. Ideally, they should opt for options that don’t imply too elaborate builds or lots of cleanups.
Some brands that you can look at include:
- PBS Kids;
- Ozobot, etc.
These companies offer a variety of options suitable for students of all ages and skill levels. And they also offer options to suit every budget.
After selecting the hardware, teachers have to prepare a framework for helping their students get started with robotics. Typically, the process will consist of the following stages:
- Getting familiar with the hardware through play and tutorials;
- Building the robot according to instructions;
- Learning the functions of components (including motors, gears, sensors, and others);
- Learning how to program the built robots;
- Applying built robots to perform a specific task.
The possible applications are almost unlimited. For example, math students can use robotics to make complex calculations. Students in a literature class can create representations of literary characters’ journeys with the help of programmed robots. And there are plenty of other opportunities. The key idea is to tie together the concepts of robotics with the subject you are teaching. If you can do this, you will make your students’ learning experiences the most valuable.
Lastly, it is also worth noting that incorporating robotics in your classroom doesn’t necessarily mean abandoning your entire curriculum. On the contrary, it is recommended to assign students with one or a few of such projects per semester and allow no more than 2-3 weeks for its implementation.
The Bottom Line
When brought to the classroom, robots can teach students the fundamentals of the conception, design, manufacture, and operation of robots. It can also teach them the basics of computer science and programming. And at the same time, such projects can tie in mathematics, literacy, and physical science and help learners acquire skills like perseverance, planning, teamwork, and more.
Thus, there definitely should be a place for robotics in every classroom!