Should Kids learn robotics?
From Siri and Google Assistant to huge Industrial Arms, robots are everywhere and we use them in our daily lives. The applications of robots are only going to increase over the years as more and more areas of our lives become automated. A few decades ago, computers revolutionised the world. Now, it’s the turn of robotics to do the same. Robotics is where computers meet the real world.
So why should kids learn robotics? The reasons are plenty. We will discuss a few of them here.
1. Learning outcome: Robotics is a field that covers multiple disciplines. Kids start to explore the world around them and develop an interest in learning as they see textbook concepts come alive. Some of the major fields that stand out are the following.
Learning computers and programming: Robotics is a fun way to see computer programs work in real life. They will learn how a smart program makes a smart robot. Students get acquainted with a wide variety of software while trying to develop and program robots. They will be far ahead of other students when it comes to using computers and other digital devices.
Learning Electronics: A robot runs on motors which are controlled by microcontrollers and electronic circuits. A student learns how to use these electronic devices and starts to build other circuits that are not necessarily robots.
Learning Mechanics: Robots can’t move without mechanical systems. Students will learn how different mechanisms provide the desired type of motion.
Learning Mathematics: Every step from design to prototyping of a robot involves use of mathematics. Programming, electronics and mechanics uses mathematics in some form or the other. Unlike solving equations on paper, students apply math to see physical output.
Exploring different fields of science: The science behind working of different types of sensors cover a wide variety of scientific principles. Infrared sensors and Ultrasound sensors work on the theory of reflection of light and sound. Some robots are shaped to mimic animals to replicate the way they move, fly or swim. Topics like distance, speed and time are dealt with to plan the motion of a robot. In the end, students will develop a love for science.
2. Sharpening focus: Students working on robotics projects improve engagement. In today’s world, attention span in kids is on a decline due to exposure to various electronic gadgets. Working on physical projects helps develop the ability to focus and engage in a task for a long time.
3. Improving hand-eye coordination: Building robots involve mechanical assembly, wiring and many other physical tasks. These tasks need a high level of dexterity, precision and hand eye coordination.
4. Reducing screen time: Students find interest in making things and start spending more time away from the screen. To create a robotics project, a student has to first build the robot (physically) and then program it (virtually). This balance between physical and virtual engagement is carried forward to other areas of life.
5. Creativity: The possibility of using motors, sensors and mechanical parts to create infinite combinations of robots and automation systems evoke creativity and an urge to experiment. Students start building projects on their own and a spirit of exploration is kindled.
6. Valuable life skills: Skills like perseverance are gained when a student tries to troubleshoot a robot or when trying to write complex programs to make a robot work. While programming a robot to solve a problem, debugging the program or adjusting mechanisms that don’t give the desired output, a student hones problem solving skills. When working in a group, students will learn how to brainstorm, communicate ideas and to work on a project as a team. These are skills that help them in every area of life as they grow up
7. Preparing for future jobs: Most jobs in the future will involve interaction with an automation system in some way. Learning robotics puts a student ahead in line to secure a job as the ability to program, use technology, design and build things will always help in future professions.
8. Choose a career path: Since robotics deals with streams like Computers, Electronics, Mechanics, Physics, Mathematics, Art, Design, Artificial Intelligence, Biology, etc. students can choose the career of their liking and pursue it in future.
There is every reason why a child must start learning robotics. Make sure that your child doesn’t miss out on being a part of the robotics revolution!