When we predict back on our kindergarten days, most of us remember the uncomplicated things like picture books, recess, and nap time. But now, a latest tech challenge is bringing twenty first century skills to kids as young as 4. And while that may not be the kindergarten you remember, experts say it’s one of the best technique to prepare young students for the longer term.
The “Ready, Set, Robotics” challenge is an element of the summer program at Primrose Schools, which operates greater than 400 early education centers across the country. Their STEM-based learning curriculum is putting a heavy give attention to technology, teaching students the way to construct and program a robot from the bottom up. “That is where all of our future sensible thinkers are starting,” in line with Dr. Maria Shaheen, Primrose’s Early Childhood Education Senior Director, who says kids from kindergarten to fifth grade at the moment are learning skills which are normally taught to much older students. “Young children love robotics, they’re in a position to code and so, we designed a developmentally-appropriate robotics competition only for early elementary.”
The primary week of this system introduces the fundamentals of constructing: the scholars get acquainted with the technology by attending to understand how the robots actually work on each a mechanical and a programming level. Then, the competition begins. Students work in teams to assist the robot, nicknamed ‘Dash,’ navigate mazes and complete special missions – including rescuing their favorite stuffed animals. The winning teams got funds to donate to charities of their selection. Dr. Shaheen says what struck the teachers probably the most was the way in which the younger students dove right into learning the brand new technology. “The kids absolutely love this robot,” she says. “It has very easy drag-and-drop coding, and that is the very starting of robotics.”
Along with constructing those key engineering and programming skills, the robotics challenge also focuses heavily on character development, teaching young kids problem-solving and collaboration while they have a good time within the classroom. “They’ll use coding,” says Dr. Shaheen, “but more importantly, can they use their character development skills? You recognize, sharing and respect for others, developing friendships.”
The give attention to STEM and robotics will proceed – and possibly expand – next 12 months, when Primrose kicks off the 2nd Annual Junior Robotics Competition. And similar programs may very well be coming soon to a classroom near you; it’s estimated not less than 70% of American schools will offer robotics classes by 2030.