Ok. So engaging students with coding is becoming difficult. Especially for those kids who want to see quick, automatic results of their lines of codes.
There are hundreds of programming languages available for our kids to learn with, and some of them can allow them to see the results of their programming skills quickly, but there is one thing that is the ultimate way of engaging students with Java, C++, or even with Blockly: Robotics!
Learning how to code through robotics is a great way to engage students within the STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) fields with coding and programming. The ones that are closer to the art area of this paradigm, will love to put the pieces of the robot together, creating a great flow of teamwork, where one designs, and the others program something accordingly, based on that design.
Giants understand that programming through robotics is a great thing to do
Do you remember LEGO? The little pieces that more than one of us stepped on when they were spread around the floor? Well many years ago, LEGO created their Educational division, designing interactive robots kids can both put together and program. One of the best examples is the LEGO Mindstorms EV3, a very popular educational robot that kids can make do outstanding things (even to play piano or guitar).
After LEGO Education launched these kinds of useful tools for kids, students and schools, many online tools appeared. One of them is CoderZ, an online learning environment to learn STEM and coding by programming a virtual EV3. And you want to know a little secret? Very soon, you’ll be able to learn how to program your own virtual robot with Tekkie Uni!
Coding Robotics Competitions: Incredible events all over the world!
This field has gotten so big and interesting, that millions of students all over the globe have entered a number of competitions in which they have to design, arm and program their own real robot to make it do different kinds of things, in order to achieve goals and win the competition. And yes, everything starts with an idea and with a bit of coding.
Competitions like FRC (First Robotics Competition), FLL (First LEGO League), CRCC (Cyber Robotics Coding Competition), and more, engage thousands of participants in each one of their versions involving them in a great environment of knowledge, critical thinking, teamwork, fun, pressure and success.
It is incredible to think about the amazing things students can achieve with coding. We’re not only talking about creating an app, developing a phenomenal website, or even programming a house (as we mentioned in the article about IoT), now kids can program robots and make their parents feel like they are living in a futuristic era.
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A number of 21 st century skills students can get from learning how to code with robotics
As we mentioned before, robotics could be the doorway to coding for those artists in the class, or for the potential engineers that are always looking for new ways of building great and solid structures. But overall, and regardless of the background of the student learning how to program a virtual or real robot, the skills they can receive from this are limitless: Teamwork, critical thinking, creative thinking, lots of problem-solving skills, and a big quote of algorithmic- computational thinking.