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Monday, October 22, 2012

Benefits of Robotics for Kids

Robotic education provides kids opportunities to learn core science concepts with a fun, active approach. One of the biggest challenges to teaching young students science is demonstrating these concepts in an engaging way. Robotic kits are designed to help kids learn how solar power works, how physics allow motion and how machines function with the correct commands from humans.

Assembling and experimenting with robotics is ideal for kinaesthetic learners of any age group. These are the students who have difficulty sitting at desks and reading or writing down word definitions or similar material. The ideas have little meaning for these learners unless they get to put them into practice. For example, building and manipulating hands-on projects. Building with robotic kits benefits these kids by connecting science and technology concepts to real-world applications.

Robotics for Kids in Practice and Research

Kids who begin learning robotics early, often develop more confidence in themselves and positive attitudes towards taking on challenging tasks, whether in science or other areas. Some research indicates that young learners who work independently on basic robotics kit projects, strengthen their abilities to follow detailed instructions. They can also improve their problem solving skills over time by completing a series of robotic kits that gradually increase in difficulty. Not every kid may move on to become a dedicated hobbyist who creates original mechanical projects, but all of them can benefit from the skills they will learn with educational robotic kits.

Some other useful concepts kids will learn from robotics include how tools and machine parts work together. Each robotic kit comes with prefabricated parts that need to be fitted together in a specific way for the entire project to work correctly. Working with robotic components and required tools may take practice and will probably not go smoothly the very first time, but these kinds of tasks are instrumental in helping kids develop patience, dedication and persistence.

Robotic Kits Available for Kids

Available kits range from simple to complex and many kids with no previous experience can put together beginning projects successfully. The complexity and difficulty of any finished device depends on the end results. Putting together a solar-powered set of model-sized vehicles will foster understanding of how the included solar panels convert sunlight to energy. The same type of robotic kit also allows for individual creativity. One popular example is the beginner level 7-in-1 Rechargeable Solar Transformers.

Another kit that lets kids put educational robots into action is the 3-in-1 All Terrain Robot. The finished robot can move in multiple directions with the use of a wired remote control. Finishing and experimenting with this robotic project is a fun way for kids to learn the basics of motion dynamics. This type of project also encourages development of hand-eye coordination.

A more advanced kit for young robot enthusiasts is the Weasel, a robot with plenty of high-tech features. The completed Weasel comes fitted with a photo sensor, can navigate its way around a line and has a wall sensor!

Each of these robotic kits demonstrates the potential of educational robotics as either a supplement or an addition to a standard science curriculum. Completing these hands-on projects builds both concept understanding and reinforces kids' confidence in their own abilities. Other benefits include improved problem-solving skills and creative decision-making capabilities.


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