What is Robotics for kids?
In simple words, robotics is the science of designing, building and programming robots that can gather information from the environment or the user via sensors (Input) and perform tasks (Output).
Generally, robotics is combination of Mechanics, Electronics and Software as well as Science and Math, but it is not necessary to contain all subjects.
Why robotics is beneficial for kids?
Kids have the element of curiosity and generally a short attention span. They do things that they enjoy and as soon as the sweetness is gone they stop. Toys are a great example. They play with them for short time and stop no matter how cool the toy is.
What keeps kids engaged in doing things is the challenge and the recognition part. As an example, they like gaming since games create a well-defined challenge, and once the challenge is complete they move on to the next level, or they can compare their score to others which is the recognition part.
To teach kids the science of programming and coding, which is essential in opening their minds into the future of jobs and technology, we need to give them the tools as well as the challenges and recognition for them to continue learning. Robotics is our tool which creates the enthusiasm for them to learn. For this reason, we change robots quite often to give them the perception that they are moving on to a new challenge.
Via Robotics, students do learn coding, electronics and mechanics in a gradual way which never becomes repetitive.
Benefits of Robotics for kids
By the time students are in Grade 11 and 12, they must be ready to pick their career. Usually parents begin to panic at this time since most kids do not know what they want to do. The information out there is also very overwhelming. College or University? Which subject? Is my child interested in that subject? Are there jobs? What if….?
Finding kids passions is not something that can be found overnight. Time and effort is needed from parents to try different activities to narrow down kids’s passion. The reason we like the kids to try robotics is because it focuses on 3 main sciences (Software, Electronics and Mechanics) which help kids and parents find out which subject they find themselves better in. Are they more info analytical subjects such as electronics? Or are they more logical thinkers and enjoy coding? Or are they more visual and like Mechanics?
Is robotics for everyone?
Robotics is a fun activity that teaches kids how to think, make decisions, test their decision and see the results right away. We think every child should be given the opportunity to try a subject in STEM as an effort to explore their interest. We teach robotics as a tool to achieve this and have seen great success in finding kids passion in this field.
On the same token, we do not expect all kids to go all the way through our 3-year curriculum. We focus more on the programming side of robots in the first courses to give them the most value in Robotics. If they find that they are interested, they can move on to Artificial Intelligence curriculum. With a retention of 89%, we see majority of the kids find robotics interesting to continue and that gives us the fuel to teach them the sciences behind it. Therefore the data supports the fact that all kids should be given the chance to try robotics and find for themselves if they are interested in it.
The only way for kids to find their passion in life is to expose them to various fields and activities. Robotics is a valuable field to expose our kids to. If they find interest in it, it is VERY rewarding as it might become their future career. Try different robotics clubs and see which one gives your child the most interest. This is an investment that pays off huge in the future.