Robotics for kids and adults
There is as much a growing need for adults to learn and develop STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics) skills as there is for kids! The Centurion Robotics Club has identified this need and have programs and tools to address the needs of all people at any skill level.
The STEM skills problem
Today in South Africa, as little as 14% of first year engineering students actually finish their degree. As little as 58% of people have in interest in STEM related careers, which is shocking if you consider that this numbers stands at 80% in India. India is currently considered the biggest ‘producer’ of engineers in the world and the software services industry alone, recruits about 300’00 people EVERY YEAR!
STEM skills development and education not only teaches people practical, real world knowledge about these fields, but teaches critical and problem solving skills. If it is done in a fun, playful manner, the result is people who love to learn!
Learning while having fun
STEM is obviously a very wide range of skills and knowledge, and some of it can get very complicated very quickly. The secret sauce here is that people (young and old) learn through play. As an adult, you may have been taught to refer to it as practical (or on the job) training, but it boils down to the same thing.
If we physically do something, and have fun while doing it, the knowledge gained during this experience is retained better and applied easier after the training is complete.
The Centurion Robotics Club
The need for developing coaches and mentors is critical! People need to understand that they don’t need to know everything about robotics or even the technology inside it. The only thing that is required is the passion to learn!
In many cases, teams that compete in FIRST and WRO with an art or sports coach, will outperform teams where the coach has a technical background. This is because the kids in those teams figure it out for themselves once they have been taught the basics.
Therefore the Centurion Robotics Club (CRC) – and I hope other robotics training organisations across the country – are offering training to coaches, mentors and educators as much as it aims to train and coach kids.
They aim is to show that technology is not so scary! Just about every person knows how to use a smart phone. The apps (on mobile) and software (on laptop or PC) is so easy to use, that you can quickly go from zero to hero.
Some Robotics and education related posts:
- Lego Mindstorms EV3 in South Africa
- Which schools in South Africa offer Robotics?
- Early childhood learning using robotics
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