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Monday, February 13, 2012

Why Are Robotics for Kids Important Educationally?

Robotics for Kids

Robots and kids go together like peanut butter and jelly, ice cream and cake, shoes and socks resistors and capacitors. Today there are many low-cost construction kits — and many popular movies that glamorize automatons. Today more and more children are exploring the exciting world of robots.

Robotic toys educational value

Kids excitement about robotics is not a bad thing. Robotics and education go hand in hand.  There are multiple disciplines involved, including software programming, mechanical engineering, electronics, and potentially human psychology. For each child there is a potential for many options for further study and exploration.

Play time as education

The best use of educational time is experiential.  That is not book learning, but learning from actually doing.  While building a robot can be a time consuming affair, there are many simple assembly kits that can combine playtime with learning about robots.  These ready to go kits provide the necessary components for quick assembly and educational value.  The award winning kits of OWI Robots are a good example of these kinds of kits. There are many such kits available, at prices starting at about $20.

For example, the robot may merely react to sound, or follow a line. The OWI-991K Weasel is an example. Weasel is a tenacious little robot warrior that embodies two sensors that allow it to “see” a line or “feel” its way along walls and around corners. Weasel has been selected by the Children's Institute For Childhood Resources as one of the "100 Best Children's Products" and "10 Best Software/High Tech Products" for 2003.