July 9, 2015

To say that robots have invaded school systems might sound more like the plot of a SciFi movie than a reality.

And to be fair, they haven’t quite invaded schools, but thanks to programs like FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) and IEEE’s Robotics and Automation Society (check out their Robot Challenges!), students have plenty of opportunities to get up close and interactive with robotics.

FIRST has been around since 1989, and it’s one of many programs that taps into technology to teach students about engineering and technology. FIRST also teaches kids about practical problem-solving strategies through teamwork.

In an article from eSchool News, teachers explore the benefits of robotics in schools, and debunk some of the most common myths, including cost. Article author Lynn Paul explained that after attending a STEM workshop about underwater robotics, she discovered just how inexpensive the parts for the robots were, and how students would learn to think creatively in the process of construction through soldering.

In addition to busting some of the common myths that serve as roadblocks to robotics, Paul also shared some of the benefits to robotics, including teaching kids about programming (she argues that anyone can code if they put their mind to it), and getting more girls involved in STEM subjects. Ultimately if there’s one overarching benefit to introducing kids to robotics, it’s that they’ll think about STEM realistically, and as part of long-term career possibilities.


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