Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Robots Teach Children Science and Math in Engaging Ways

"4 Robots That Teach Children Science and Math in Engaging Ways -
Modular, programmable automatons make STEM learning fun"

"Robots can capture a child’s imagination like no other tool by creating a fun, physical learning process. With robots, kids learn programming via interactive play by moving a robot in various sequences and using intuitive, visual programming on a computer screen. The children also learn STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) by watching and interacting with robots that demonstrate the practical results of the day’s lesson. “Kids recognize when they are learning something themselves—robots give them that,” says Larry Johnson, CEO of the New Media Consortium, a research organization that specializes in educational technology. Robots are proving to be valuable educational tools from the lower grades all the way up to graduate school. “Building and programming these devices is part of becoming a creative science and engineering kind of person,” he adds.

Furthermore, by interacting with robots, kids learn a component of programming known as computational thinking—without even realizing it. This programming may be visual at first but over time it transitions to the kind of character-based coding that enables machines to execute more complex missions.

Educational automatons take many forms—including mini humanoids, boxes on wheels and multirotor flying drones. Scientific American highlights four platforms that demonstrate a robot’s educational prowess...

... robots are designed to engage children by making the abstract concepts of programming more accessible. These ball-shaped bots—named Bo and Yana—have distinct educational roles. Bo is made up of four connected spheres that children program to glide along the floor on three wheels, avoiding obstacles and delivering small items in the process. Yana is a single sphere laden with sensors. The robots connect wirelessly with a variety of Apple iOS and Google Android mobile devices using Bluetooth 4.0. The programming process and subsequent play encourages kids to engage in computational thinking, for example by instructing the robots to recognize objects in their environment and react in different ways. “The goal is to keep interaction open-ended and free-play so kids discover what they can do with the robot. The robot draws them in while posing new challenges over time,” says Play-i founder and CEO Vikas Gupta. Learning activities include hide-and-seek, solving a maze, racing the robots and scenarios in which children program how their bots will play. Bo and Yana benefitted from Play-i’s successful Kickstarter fund-raising campaign and are expected to be available by year’s end..."

Read the full article at its source: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/4-robots-that-teach-children-science-and-math-in-engaging-ways/  

Click on book cover for information

Click on book cover for information
Getting Started with LEGO Robotics. Anyone who works with kids can do LEGO Robotics, a rich and highly motivating platform for important STEM Learning! (surprisingly affordable, too) This books explains it all!

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