A robot is a mechanical device that can be programmed to follow a set of instructions. Robots have processing units, sensors to help them perceive things in the surrounding environment, and motors and actuators so that they can move. Robots may also have the added programmable functionality of lights, sounds or speech recognition.
Educational robotics is a broad term that refers to a collection of activities, programs, physical platforms and educational resources. In addition, behind the physical elements lies a pedagogical philosophy that matches the new Digital Technologies curriculum.
The benefits of teaching robotics in schools include:
• students learn 21st-century skills, which are useful for future employment
• robotics is suitable for students with a range of abilities
• robotics develops students’ critical and computational thinking skills
• it is an effective way to introduce programming to students.
Coding is becoming an increasingly important skill for 21st-century learners. By learning to code, students are also learning mathematical and computational thinking, strategies for reasoning, project design and how to effectively communicate their ideas.
Why Teach with the Hummingbird Kit in Primary Education?
• The Hummingbird Robotics Kit is a tool for true interdisciplinary learning. The kit has been used to integrate robotics and computer science into subjects from English to ecology, math to music, and beyond.
• The Hummingbird Robotics Kit has a low floor and a high ceiling. Students from grade three to high school use this tool to grow their creative, technical, and problem-solving skills.
• The Hummingbird Robotics Kit was designed to break stereotypes. The kit was created to expand ideas of what robotics is, and to promote diversity in engineering and robotics.
• The Hummingbird Robotics Kit features ongoing research and design. The research for the kit started at Carnegie Mellon University in 2005 and still continues with teachers and students today.
“Computers help us with information tasks and robots help us with physical tasks.”