Robots standing guard over animal welfare
STEAM Education

Robots standing guard over animal welfare

Robo Wunderkind Team

Robo Wunderkind has recently announced their partnership with the Scottish SPCA. Our most promising educational collaboration of the year aims to combine the best of robotics, coding and humanistic approach to education to teach thousands of Scottish primary kids empathy towards animals.

Starting January 2019, SPCA will be offering primary school pupils across Scotland free workshop-based activities, in which they will build and code their own animal-themed robot using Robo Wunderkind blocks. Robo educators and designers have created 4 robotic animals for this mission. Meet Caitlyn the Chicken, Campbell the Cat, Rhu the Rabbit and Oscar the Owl!

The SSPCA educational team has created three unique STEM-inspired workshops called Pawsitive Pets, Go Wild and Farm life. In each of them, young students will get to talk about animals and engage their senses to create and code their own robotic animal.

The main focus is equally shared between building robotic creatures and reflecting on the respective animals: how they move, feel and react. SPCA educators will show kids a video footage of real animals and talk about why and how these animals are special – and that they, too, are born with inbuilt “sensors”, or feelings (similar to what the students have just coded). The moral of the story will be to teach kids to keep animals’ senses in mind when interacting with them in real life, and to encourage children to connect with animals through empathy, ensuring that they grow up to become responsible and caring citizens.

Why do kids need to learn about this? The Scottish SPCA helps thousands of animals every year, including cats, rabbits, chicken, and many birds, such as owls. Very often, these animals are brought to SPCA precisely because people didn’t ever learn how to care for them or how to recognize that they need help. Once an animal is rescued by the SPCA, it’s most important for them to understand the senses it has, how fast it can move, whether it has good eyesight, which helps it avoid objects and good hearing. All these factors determine the animal’s rehabilitation, as well as the way and time when it will be rehomed or released.

By recreating animal mascots using Robo Wunderkind modular kits, the SPCA will be executing an important mission to inspire Scottish children to become responsible citizens that care and act responsibly to animals. This means recognizing that we share the same world with them, learning more about both wild and home animals, and learning how to get help for the animals that should need it.

And now, off to save the animals we go!

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