blog | 5min Read
Published on May 10, 2022
What Are Robotics Workshops For High Schoolers Like?
A robotics workshop is an interesting way to enhance a high school student’s knowledge in the field of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). It has many benefits that can help students in their future careers. Other than that, robots are so cool! This is probably one of the best parts of joining a robotics workshop.
Benefits of a Robotics Workshop
Attending a robotics workshop has many benefits. It can build life skills and prepare high school students for the future, especially if they are interested in pursuing a career in STEM. Here are a few of the benefits that students can enjoy from joining a robotics workshop.
- Discover New Skills
The foundations of robotics center on STEM knowledge. Many students tend to shy away from learning science or mathematics because these subjects can seem tough and intimidating. But in a robotics workshop, students will have a chance to discover new skills such as coding, programming, and building from scratch. With the proper guidance and hands-on experience that a robotics workshop can offer, students that were once afraid of STEM subjects will find that they can learn these subjects at their own pace.
- Teamwork and Leadership
During a robotics workshop, students learn how to work with others to build the best prototype. Collaborating with teammates and testing their leadership skills are useful in the workshop and later on in life. Whether or not the students will pursue a career in STEM, these skills can help them become better members of society.
- Continued Interest and Curiosity
The best part of a robotics workshop? It can become a life-long hobby or interest that nurtures curiosity about the world.
Building a robot from scratch is a great way to understand how each part contributes to the final product. It is an enjoyable activity that can contribute to a sustained interest in STEM. Through robotics, high school students will get to have fun while applying science and mathematics concepts. This is a huge advantage especially if the student chooses to pursue a career in STEM. Even for students who will go on to pursue a career unrelated to STEM, the foundations of STEM knowledge can also help them tremendously! Aside from gaining technical STEM knowledge, students will learn how to be a leader and work collaboratively with a team – both are important skills in any field.
Parts of a Robotics Workshop
Robotics workshops generally include building, programming, implementation, and task execution. More complex programs can include the conceptualization of a prototype. In these programs, students create the whole idea of the robot and its purpose. A good example of this is building a robot to pick up trash or communicate with humans.
Of course, the parts of the workshop will depend on the curriculum of the school or club that teaches robotics. Here are the basic parts of a robotics workshop.
- Building the Robot
The first part, and for some the most enjoyable, is building the robot! Many robotics programs use Legos to build prototypes. And who doesn’t love Legos, right? At a program like Build Robots That Matter, students are even provided a free and extensive toolkit to construct their robots. Students can have fun with this part because it is up to them how they will design their robot. The designs usually start simple and functional to get the basics down.
In robotics, students will learn the basics of coding and programming. The code will serve as the backbone of the robot that will be built. Without the proper code, the robot will not work as intended. Several programming languages can be used for robotics; the most popular languages are C/C++ and Python.
Although programming may seem like a difficult task, there is no reason for students to be afraid! Codes are generally straightforward, and with the right guidance, anyone can create a proper code for the robot to work. This code can be as simple as making the robot’s arms move or moving the robot forward if it has wheels.
- Implementation and Testing
The next part of a robotics workshop is the implementation and testing of the code created. Once a student has the code ready, it should be connected to the motor that runs the robot. The critical part of this step is to ensure that the code is implemented correctly for it to work.
- Executing the Task
When the robot is built, the code is created and connected to the motor, it is time to execute the task! Task execution means running the code to make the robot move. In this part of the workshop, the students will get to observe the work they put in. It is the role of the teacher to guide the student through all the parts of the workshop so they can successfully build and command a robot.
- Problem Solving
What happens when the task is not executed correctly? This is where problem-solving comes in. Aside from building a robot, the teacher must also guide students in learning how to troubleshoot any problems that come along. The error may be in the code or the connection. Teachers must always take an encouraging approach to help build confidence in their students.
Enrolling in a Robotics Workshop
Enrolling in basic robotics classes will allow students to discover new skills and gain more STEM knowledge. Some schools even have robotics teams that join national competitions! Nowadays, there are even robotics online courses that students can join to learn the basics of the subject. Any student is welcome to join a robotics workshop.
Robotics is a fun and exciting way to learn a new skill. Students can express their creativity when building robots while also enhancing their STEM knowledge. There are many benefits to joining a robotics workshop, and all students should be given an equal opportunity to try their hand at building their robots.
A popular virtual robotics workshop is our summer workshop, Build Robots That Matter, in collaboration with Maker’s Asylum. Conducted by Boston University graduate Vaibhav Chhabra, the program teaches students to build robots that solve world problems while being aligned to UN Sustainable Development Goal 12. They learn the basics of electronics and robotics, circuits, Arduino programming, and sensor interfacing with Arduino; and work on projects like Circuit prototyping on a breadboard and Intruder Alarm.