Did you know elementary school students can take robotics classes?
In our rapidly changing world, children need a playful, tangible way to engage with technology and engineering concepts from an early age.
In this article, I will share some insights about robotics classes and why they are important for elementary school students.
The purpose of robotics for young students
Today’s students face a future propelled by rapidly-evolving technology.
Robotics classes are designed to give children a playful, tangible way to engage with technology and prepare for this future at an early age.
Who can benefit
Robotics classes are not just for students interested in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM).
While an interest in robotics can stimulate interest in STEM fields, it can also be useful for future artists, musicians, and other creatives.
These classes help students develop their creative thinking skills to thrive in a world where problem-solving and critical thinking go hand-in-hand with imagination and innovation.
At SCH, we often find that collaboration and team-building is a huge piece of the robotics experience. In our FIRST LEGO League Jr. activities, Lower School students are working in small groups on a challenge set by the FIRST organization.
Teachers can use a wide variety of tools to teach robotics to elementary school children, ranging from highly sophisticated humanoid robots to everyday objects, such as LEGOs.
For example, the NAO humanoid robot from RobotLAB helps students discover a range of fields linked to robotics, such as computer science and electronics.
Many elementary school students enjoy building their creative designs from LEGOs as well as other raw materials. At SCH, these can be found in our science and engineering labs, including specialized parts created by our 3-D printers, which are designed by our students.
What Are Robotics Classes for Elementary School Students Like
In every robotics class, elementary school students explore a real-world science question or problem.
They are challenged to put on their thinking caps and come up with a creative solution to the problem.
The students then design and build their solution in a real engineering and physics lab, using a variety of materials such as littleBits and LEGOs.
Experimentation and problem-solving are at the heart of every robotics class.
Students are encouraged to continuously improve their creations, just like real scientists and engineers.
4 Benefits of Robotics Classes for Elementary School Students
1. Develop 21st-century skills.
The solutions to tomorrow’s problems cannot always be found in a textbook.
In order to thrive in tomorrow’s world, students need to develop their critical thinking, problem-solving, and collaboration skills at an early age.
Robotics classes are the ideal place to do so because they challenge students to work together to come up with creative solutions to real-world science problems.
2. Stimulate interest in STEM fields.
Robotics projects offer a fun, playful way for children to learn essential STEM concepts.
During robotics projects, children explore topics such as electricity generation, the effects of friction on cars, and, of course, building robots.
In addition to giving them a head start in science and engineering classes, these projects can help your child becomegenuinely excited about science and technology, and give them the confidence they need to pursue a STEM career in the future.
SCH Academy has many alumni that have continued on in STEM world beyond graduation. Watch this brief video of recent SCH alumni who are continuing in their passion of STEM-related professions.
3. Master computer science/coding skills early.
Robotics classes give elementary school students an opportunity to get a head start in coding and programming.
For example, SCH’s robotics teachers can use Scratch coding software to help students create their own interactive stories, games, and animations.
Additionally, our Lower School science teachers bring LEGO EV3 robot cars into the classroom to help students learn basic programming functions and apply them to real-life situations like programming the car to move along a line path created by them.
4. Develop creativity.
Creativity is an essential component in all robotics programs.
During robotics classes, students are asked to use their imagination to come up with new, innovative solutions to real-world problems.
They are constantly challenged to keep innovating and improving upon their original solution, which strengthens their creative thinking capabilities even further.
This year’s FLL Jr. (FIRST LEGO League) challenge asks participating students, “What if you could build a better world? Where would you begin?” See more on the FLL Jr. website.
Why You Should Choose Springside Chestnut Hill Academy
In the Spring of 2019, SCH’s high school robotics team, Team 1218, was a part of the winning alliance that took home the title of the FIRST World Champions. In the last 17 years, SCH’s team has finished five times in the top 10 at Worlds and won the coveted Chairman’s Award eight times. Learn more about SCH’s top robotics and engineering program here.
From their earliest years at Springside Chestnut Hill Academy (SCH), students learn to become creative designers and problem solvers through a school-wide engineering and robotics curriculum.
Through a combination of project-based instruction and competitive challenges, students are asked to imagine creative solutions to problems and opportunities, design their solutions through the use of high-speed prototyping, and build their solution in one of our well-equipped labs.
We believe in equipping children with real-world skills that will help them stand out in a highly competitive environment—without sacrificing play or giving up their passions.
With over 150 years of tradition, community, and academic excellence behind us, we are proud to offer a superior educational experience that enables our students to lead incredibly fulfilling lives inside and outside the classroom.
Private school education has many benefits for Lower, Middle, and Upper School education, and helps students to pursue exciting opportunities after graduation.
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