In many primary schools, students spend their days moving from one subject to the next until the day is done. Seeking a more interdisciplinary way of teaching, STEM curriculums emphasize real-world solutions by teaching a combination of four disciplines - science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Robotics will be a stepping-stone for building effective and engaging 21st century STEM lessons. But how can robots complement your STEM curriculum? To help answer this question, we have come up with 3 reasons why you should consider including robots when teaching STEM.
1. Add the Robotics Layer
Is simply being born or brought up in the computer age enough to actually understand how computers work and fulfill the growing technological needs of the future? Robotics is a multi-billion dollar emerging industry that our children must understand and control if we want to maintain our standard of living. Technology will also be increasingly complex and intelligent and kids who are given the opportunity to learn how it works and how everyday devices are interconnected will have a definite advantage. Moreover, robotics can be engaging and fun, giving kids the opportunity to build their robot just the way they want. They will be able to learn STEM subjects more easily while understanding concepts like design and function.
2. Practical Problem-Solving
Instead of seeing education as a collection of subjects that each need to be learned separately, STEM is a holistic approach that exploits the synergies between different subjects. Using robots in STEM is a big plus as it combines theory with practical examples. Programming robots helps students master logical thinking and develop analytical skills. Also, by building a robot, kids learn how functions and statistics work and pick up the basics of engineering. Robots are also helping scientists understand other planets. Students can see how simple math concepts affect how a robot responds. But possibly the greatest benefit of using an interactive approach to STEM is how it teaches students to use a collection of knowledge to solve problems, similar to the ones faced outside of school.
3. Future Needs for Future Jobs
Some of you might still be wondering why robotics is important and that’s ok. There are other teaching methods that exist and traditional education systems have worked - up until now anyway. Problematic is how the current speed of job growth in fields relating to computer science outpaces the amount of students graduating from computer science programs, however. There is already a growing need for people to be involved in programming mechanical devices. To avoid a shortage of skilled employees, education systems should be revised to include more subjects needed for the technological needs of the future. By starting earlier, STEM and robotics can also spark a lifelong interest in technology and science.