blog | 4min Read
Published on June 30, 2022
STEM is an academic philosophy and approach that integrates the four core academic disciplines – science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Many schools and educational institutions have adopted a STEM-focused curriculum to prepare students to meet growing industrial and labor demands.
Robotics has been one of the most popular fields that promote STEM education principles because it marries the core disciplines of STEM.
Robotics’ Relation to STEM
Robotics, in terms of elementary and high school education, refers to the application of knowledge in electronics and engineering to produce simple robots that move according to commands set by a coder.
While there are schools that include robotics in their curriculum, many still don’t offer this program. These schools may not have the resources and educators to conduct robotics classes. Some of them may be offering other STEM programs but not necessarily robotics.
Whatever the cause may be, there is no denying that robotics is still one of the best ways to ignite interest and long-term passion in STEM fields.
How does learning robotics accomplish this?
When you take on robotics, you need to learn a strong foundation of knowledge of the STEM fields in order to design and program a robot successfully. In other words, robotics is an interactive way of learning science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
If robotics classes are not available at school, you can still reap the benefits of this STEM-related discipline by joining a robotics workshop.
Benefits of Robotics Workshops
Demystifying STEM Fields
STEM fields like mathematics and science are often perceived to be difficult and only enjoyed by smart people. However, robotics workshops will make you realize that it does not take a Math genius to create a working robot. You actually need just a receptive attitude to learning and making mistakes.
Similar to robotics classes in schools, robotics workshops can make you apply what you learn in STEM fields to build a simple machine. Concepts in engineering, mathematics, science, and technology don’t just remain abstract in robotics. They are actually applied to produce tangible products.
Robotics workshops will not only help you understand STEM fields like mathematics and science but also appreciate them because you can see first-hand their practical applications and uses in the world.
Active and Tactile Learning
In robotics workshops, you are not just a passive listener to a lecture. A big part of this workshop is about doing things yourself. As you go through the processes of building robots, both your mind and hands will become busy.
At one point, you could be on the computer trying to code commands for the robots or debug the program. On another, you could be tightening screws or moving parts to solve a structural or mechanics issue with the robot. By doing such tasks, you develop a deeper understanding of how coding and engineering contribute to the overall makeup and functionality of a robot.
Some students may find the coding part more interesting; others may think the engineering component of robotics is much more exciting. Either way, an initial robotics workshop experience can lead to serious pursuits of careers in computer science, technology, or engineering.
Stress-Free and Fun Learning
There are pressures to deal with when you’re in a formal class at an educational institution. Students can be more worried about meeting teacher and parent expectations and performing well academically.
In formal classroom settings, not solving math equations correctly or writing a science essay up to standards result in a low mark. In these scenarios, the emphasis is more on test marks. The stigma of getting low marks can result in disappointment and disinterest from students.
After getting low marks in science and math, the immediate thought may be that you are not good in these subjects. This thought can prevent anyone from being passionate about these STEM disciplines.
Robotics workshops take away most of those familiar academic pressures because high marks are not the goal. You don’t have to be at the top of everyone to succeed at a robotics workshop.
Robotics is a field that welcomes mistakes as it is part of the learning process. You cannot be an excellent robotics engineer or encoder if you don’t make errors along the way. If there is no pressure to get something right the first time, it makes learning more stress-free and fun.
Promotes Collaboration and Teamwork
STEM fields like engineering and computer science are perceived to be individual-based disciplines. How good of an engineer or coder you are, depends on individual skills. In classrooms, you usually solve math problems or take a science test alone.
However, in robotics – collaboration and teamwork are important aspects of learning.
Robotics workshops force you to work with others closely because they model real-world robotics applications, where projects are too big to be handled by just one person.
In robotics workshops, you will learn to communicate clearly and compromise when necessary. You will not be sitting in one corner solving problems on paper by yourself. Your knowledge in STEM fields will not be for your own use and benefit. You will need to share them to solve project issues and produce the best possible robot product.