Since the arrival of STEM, robotics and electronic equipment have taken a central place at the custom of STEM instruction. One can easily say that one of the greatest fields out there which can be an intersection of modern science, technology, engineering and math is Robotics. Nowadays, we look at Robotics with a STEM perspective and comprehend its own subtle and not so subtle advantages.
But before we jump into exactly what Robotics has in store for STEM students and possibly students from all walks of life, we will need to comprehend what’s the scope of robotics being discussed here. The robotics here, generally, is referred to like the simplistic approach to the use of electronics that students in elementary and high school degrees can cope with, and enjoy. This doesn’t bring us into the AI issue we’re all afraid of, and does it lead to a future portrayed from the Terminator franchise.
Moving Robotics learning may entail a very simple robot which abides the consumers’ commands in movement and does tasks that are fundamental in understanding the scientific and mathematical background of the concepts involved thereof. Hence, we look at a field that shall not only make students want to create more, but also be more and more imaginative about what they can do with the machines and what problems they can address. When it comes to robotics and STEM, the sky is the limit!
Robotics, as mentioned above, is simply the finest field there is which is the intersection of science, tech, engineering, and math. From designing and programming to building a machine that does it’s user’s bidding is something that demands a highly interdisciplinary knowledge and makes the student go through a series of tasks based on learning by doing. Robotics, involving programming and electronics, is hence an integral part of STEM which acts as an embodiment of DIY and problem-based learning.
Apart from a direct DIY approach, we also have something which every DIY enthusiast goes through — learning from mistakes. Be it from the perspective of debugging, solving issues relating to the physical model of the bot, or simple tightening of the screws; the creator makes many mistakes and correcting them is indeed an important aspect of the learning curve. Say for example a small line following robot made can have issues in the logic of the code, the hardware, the setup and what not. This makes it important for the student to look for errors and solve them, on their own. This in its own right is something which can make better problem solvers than what conventional education brings to you.
Robotics and the Interdisciplinary Edge
For many students who are not exactly inclined to the fields of engineering and technology, robotics is indeed a plus. Learning programming in this ever fast developing world makes it important on how to learn to understand a machine. A doctor who knows his electronic equipment is always better than one who doesn’t! This makes STEM’s robotics important at the elementary level, where students can learn the basics of electronics, programming and robotics.
Implementation of Robotics
One must understand that the amount of exposure to the students at an elementary level is something that should be judicious. The goal is to expose the students to the right kind of aspect of the problem while they see their curriculum’s theory become a practice right in front of them. Hence, we a carefully designed curriculum is required, or else the niche understandings can easily overwhelm a learner who isn’t ready. This also signals to the need for highly trained individuals who give away the right kind of training to the students.
Inculcating electronics, programming, and robotics also require access to the right kind of resources which enable the instructors to strike the right chords with the students and their appreciation for science. From Arduino to scratch programming, many tools make it accessible for the instructors to get a command over students and tap into their understanding.
Once hardware, instructors, and infrastructure have been taken care of by the institute or parents of the ward, comes the true implementation of robotics in schooling. STEM-based learning involves what we call experiential learning.
Here are a few ideas on how to implement the right kind of pedagogies, according to Makeblock:
Hold a contest based on which robot can complete a given task the best
In this activity, students are required to think creatively and maximize efficiency in their design. With AI implemented into robots like Codey Rocky, students have a lot more opportunities to get creative and innovate their own solutions.
Design a “Debugathon!” Whoever can detect errors in the codes the quickest wins
Create a code that is supposed to carry out a particular task. Then enter some mistakes and also have your students form groups to try and mend them. This exercise revolves around problem-solving and fast thinking in addition to group work and leadership.
Allow students to design their very own robot, make posters advertising its own uses, and show it in front of the whole class.
Creativity is your main ability being brought out for this action with students considering how STEM can be applied to everyday uses. This is related to the way the true tech world marketplace functions: Companies are looking for problems to solve through technology. Students will need to consider writing, presentation skills, and lastly, layout.