Learn About Technology and Robotics for Kids
Learn About Technology and Robotics for Kids
From high school students all the way down to toddlers, it’s undeniable that smartphones, tablets, and other on-the-go technology have made their way into the lives of young people in a big way. And are adults really any different? The average person goes just minutes before realizing their phone is out of reach—we’ve got our phones stuck to us like an extra appendage.
In the classroom, teachers must come up with effective ways to use technology in the classroom, without it becoming a distraction or crutch for students.
But why not focus on technology as an avenue to engage students in STEM-related fields, since the natural curiosity for understanding technology is already there? By engaging students with technology models that are already an integral part of their lives, teachers benefit from attentive students that can easily draw links between classroom lessons and real-life practicality.
Here’s where learning about technology and robotics for kids come in. Robotics kits in the classroom instantly put technology at the forefront of kids’ minds, while also calling on students to use their creativity and reasoning skills to create something new.
As students assess the tools in front of them and begin to piece together their robot, they’ll inevitably start to consider how the technology they use everyday functions.
Understanding Technology in Our Daily Lives
With the emergence of smartphone technology in only the past two decades, it’s easy to forget just how much our lives have changed—from how we get new information, to the way we communicate with friends and family, to the means by which we capture memories, and share them with people thousands of miles away.
It’s important for students to consider the role technology plays in their daily lives, and how that may change in the future. Of course, when students are introduced to technology in a science classroom setting, we want them to redefine just what technology is really capable of.
Classroom projects about robotics for kids will call on students to rethink basic technology we often look over, such simple tasks as the gate at a parking garage or the barcode scanner at a library, to complex robots which have revolutionized the field like binary limbs or advancements in computer science.
By understanding that the scope of technology is wide and nearly limitless, students can design more innovative robots than ever before.
As gears begin to turn, students wonder if they’ll design a robot that can do something they’ve never seen before. Or maybe they’ve come up with a list of maneuvers and functions they hope their robot can achieve, and now simply have to figure out how to make it happen.
Not only will students become more inquisitive about robotics for kids in the world of science and technology of today, but they’ll also begin to reinvent what technological capabilities will be in 10 or 20 years from now.
Bridging the Gap between Technology and Science
Academic fields of science, engineering, technology, and mathematics are naturally interconnected, even if students have a hard time bridging that gap initially.
Introducing scientific ideas through hands-on experiments using technology is a great way to engage students in fundamental scientific concepts, even if they don’t realize it.
As students build their robots, they’ll inevitably encounter questions of physics, electricity, engineering, and computer programming to name a few. These same concepts introduced in a textbook simply do not register with most students in the same way that a real-life representative model can.
But when students are given permission to explore, create, and test out, they’ll stumble upon these core concepts without even trying. Students who come into a science class thinking science is not their strength have a chance to peak into the world of science from a whole new angle.
Devising Creative Solutions for Technology Problems
When they’re sat down in front of a brand new robotics kit, students must think about robotics and technology for kids not only as a product—a smartphone or an iPod—but rather a problem to be solved. Working with robotics uncovers problem-solving skills that are not only useful in the science and technology realm but can be transferred to virtually any academic or career-oriented arena.
Better yet, students come to terms with experiments that have more than one best solution. This opens up avenues of creativity, self-expression, and freedom from the fear of making a mistake.
Creative thinkers, big picture people, out-of-the-box explorers have a chance to fall in love with STEM learning like they never have before.
Careers in Technology
Using robotics in the classroom doesn’t just change your students’ thinking for that day, it can also totally reshape the visions they have for their future.
Robotics for kids at a young age also means getting kids interested in exploring passions in science and technology at an academic and professional level.
Take kids with fantasized ideas about one day becoming a video game designer, an employee at a major smartphone distributor, or an engineer who designs test drives for new car models. Working up close and personal with robots gives kids a chance to see these dreams realized. Seeing their brainstormed robot models come to life will boost their confidence and peak their interest.
Of course, there are many related career paths that reach beyond the world of robotics. Many careers in computer programming and engineering, for example, are constantly looking to recruit newly qualified job candidates. So for girls, or children of minority backgrounds who may feel underrepresented in the world of technology, this is also their chance to shine and discover a talent that could change the trajectory of their lives.
From simple daily tasks like chatting with a friend on the way to school or huge endeavors like sending a man to the moon, technology is crucial to human advancement. But that doesn’t have to seem like a big, far-off world to become involved in. In fact, it’s right at your fingertips. So students, take a close look, roll up your sleeves, and get ready to dig into your robotics kit.