Learning with STEAM Powered Robotics
Robotics is an exciting field that incorporates important STEAM education concepts.
Robotics is one of the fastest growing industries in the 21st century. With the robotics market more than doubling in the last few years,with an almost exponential increase in the number of applications, robotics offers exciting and varied career opportunities.
Robots are a favorite with children of all ages but making your own robot was once considered an almost impossible task; a specialized skill requiring expensive or hard to find components. Nowadays however, many STEAM educators are relying on the established concepts of robotics to introduce the STEAM to their students.
STEAM makes Robotics
It’s not about giving complex robotics projects right off the bat either, but starting small and inspiring kids to grow their project from simple beginnings to something more complex and amazing as their build skills and ideas with their peers in the classroom. The process of starting and maintaining a project from an early stage to more complex establishes a great learning pathway for mastery and builds confidence.
In its simplest form, robotics is a product of varied learnings across Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics. Focusing on how each part works also introduces many possibilities to students that are enthusiastic in building their own robot. From the basic components, educators can start building their way up to how robots work in its entirety.
For younger students, educators can start with very simple projects such as robotic arms made with cardboard. These projects are also easier to recreate in the classroom, ideal for practical hands-on teaching sessions and small group activities.
With the rising popularity of the maker movement, many techy educational toy companiessell robotic kits with a range of robotic parts and projects which kids can freely experiment with and learn from. These kits range from simple cardboard toys with embedded circuitry to fully programmable robots that kids can connect to their phones or tablets!
Learning Robotics at home doesn’t have to be pricey. There are a huge variety of easy-to-do projects online using only cardboard, rubber bands and other recycled items. Here’s some other of our favorites:
Star Wars fan anyone? If budget isn’t a huge consideration, checkout the Droid Inventor Kit from littleBits, inspired by the franchise. Boasting high end hardware complete with motion sensors and wireless peripherals, this home kit is fully customizable and works with a free app that contains educational missions on engineering, coding and design. Not only does it inspire creativity, it also gives kids a sense of progression because the home kit can be expanded and upgraded, depending on the user’s needs.
Future of Robotics
Nothing speaks futuristic more than robots. And the future is now! Robots are really becoming a reality, from self-driving cars and drones to robot pizza delivery droids!
Learning robotics is a great activity for children of all ages that builds a range of skills from design thinking and application to electronics and coding. As part of the STEAM education toolbox it’s something kids gravitate too, find fun and challenging, with almost endless project possibilities and meaningful, laddered learning pathways.