Robotics: Role in inculcating science, technology, engineering & maths in schools!

Through the year, technology has undergone immense change and it will continue to evolve for better efficiency, precision and productivity. Despite the evolution of industrustries, primary education is still following traditional methods. Even subjects like computers, science and technology, where-in a lot of application based knowledge is required, the focus largely remains on theoretical knowledge and evaluation. If we are to have students that graduate high school with a readiness to face the technology driven world we must lay emphasis on technology right from primary school.

E-learning and digital classrooms have already become a part of our lives owing to the pandemic and technology has already entered our education system. It is time we take this one step further with the introduction of robotics in our curricula and use it as an effective pedagogy.Robotics is a branch of engineering and therefore is an amalgamation of science, technology and mathematics making it the perfect candidate to teach these subjects. Here are few ways that robotics can help students with their academic and with the future:

A Head Start
The job market today is dominated by STEM(Science, Technology, Engineering and Math), and this trend is only likely to continue if not spread more widely. The demand for candidates with qualifications in robotics has seen tremendous growth and it will continue to grow in the foreseeable future. Introduction of robotics in schools will lead to a faster and more efficient working of how the industries currently work and it will keep the students abreast of the technological advancements we are making every day. Students will not have to do extracurricular reading to keep themselves updated and technology will come more naturally to them.

Robotics gives students a hands-on and project-based approach to learning which engages them far better than theoretical teaching

Generating Interest
Robotics gives students a hands-on and project-based approach to learning which engages them far better than theoretical teaching. Using the concepts they have already learnt, and creating machines themselves, keeps them involved leading to the students taking more interest in the learning process. Research has also proven that those students who express an interest in STEM in the 8th grade are not only more likely to have better grades in math and science but are also more likely to take up careers related to the same when they graduate.

Demonstration of Practical Knowledge
The construction of robots itself, and the task of making them function properly, teaches the students a lot of concepts. They learn a lot in the process as opposed to learning first and applying later. The DIY approach gives the students a better understanding of the concepts and helps with better retention.

Interdisciplinary learning
Robotics and coding or programming go hand-in-hand. To develop a well functioning and flawless robot, it is important to have knowledge of both. It presents students with an opportunity to gain command over STEM subjects and makes robotics interdisciplinary in nature.

Cognitive Abilities
Learning robotics fosters higher order thinking capability and problem-solving skills. It also helps in imbibing skills such as design mindset, computational thinking, adaptive learning, physical computing amongst others. Robotics stimulates maturity thinking due to complex task performance. The learning process does not involve wrong or right methods, it involves finding the more effective method. The process, therefore involves thinking about various possibilities, analysing and using logic and reasoning to come up with the method best suited to their goals. All in all, it enhances their decision-making ability.

Collaboration and team work
Creating a robot is always a group project in which each student takes up a different task and contributes equally in building it from scratch. This promotes and teaches children to value collaboration and students learn to work in teams.

Making robotics a part of school curricula will not only benefit the pupils with their academics and learning, it will also make them future ready. It is something institutes must think about and if possible, implement at the earliest.