As our STEM redevelopment gradually reaches completion we have been able to update our robotics kits to more current technology, reinvigorating our robotics program.
To cater for R – 12 and provide at least two different platforms for students we have purchased the following two robotics kits:
The Mindstorm kits will replace the old Lego RCX programmable robotics kits while the Sphero’s will provide a flexible robotics platform that can be used R-12.
The company Tactile Theory explains through their website the following reasons why robotics is beneficial for student learning:
- It’s a fun and hands on activity.
- Using robotics kits can assist with developing fine motor skills. Children are involved in manually manipulating sensors, motors, blocks, remote controls, gears, joints, switches, and axels (Lego Robotics).
- Robotics provides a base for teaching programming. A physical robot allows students to test out what works, and what doesn’t and have a better understanding of the importance of precise instructions. Research also indicates that by starting children early in robotics, the gender bias in STEM subjects is decreased significantly.
- The teaching of robotics allows schools to address a variety of Government and education department initiatives including of the The National STEM School Education Strategy, the Australian Curriculum and the DECD STEM Learning Strategy.
- Robotics can assist students to learn skills that are applicable to future employment. Involving children in quality robotics programs can provide students with opportunities to be critical thinkers, innovators, collaborators and leaders while applying scientific, technological, engineering and mathematical principals.
- Teaching robotics assists with computational thinking. Recognising aspects of computation in the world and being able to think logically, algorithmically and abstractly. Robotics can help develop computational thinking by teaching children how to “think like a computer” and use concepts of computer science to solve problems.
- Allows students to be creative. By allowing students to explore, experiment and investigate with robotics they can create their own programs, load them onto the robots and watch them perform the programmed tasks before their very eyes.
During our first days back in 2018 Jackie and Kelly are going to talk about the STEM training they undertook in 2017 (continuing in 2018) and take us through some activities using the Sphero Sprk robotics kit.