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What robotics does for kids

February 2015

What robotics does for kids:

This week we have been working with young carers and, like all of our teaching with kids and schools, its been a lot of fun.

It also made us focus more on the social benefits that robotics gives to kids. Sure we've considered and discussed this before, but with most of our teaching being about the learning aspect and explaining the worth of robotics in light of the new curriculum, sometimes that part of it is only touched upon, which is a shame.

Seeing the kids this week, who were having time out from their usual routines, was a fantastic reinforcement of a: why we do what we do and b: the skills and experiences that stay with the kids.

Yes its important for kids to learn to code and this does that and when you type this instruction blah blah blah - really? You think that's the bits the kids will remember?

No. It's more about this:

“Oh my gosh, look what its doing now!”
“Hey, look at mine!”
“Our team name is Jigglypuff.” 
“Can we show what our robot does now?”
“This is epic!”

So which skills exactly?

Well there're the usual ones: Team work, problem solving, confidence, self esteem etc. but my favourites, the ones we emphasise are:

- Awareness of teammates' feelings and suggestions.
- Acceptance of failure: I tried that and it didn't work, this is what I learnt from it. This idea is crazy, it probably won't work but we're gonna try it anyway and see what the outcome is.
- Not giving up: So I've failed - how can I use that to succeed.

So what's it like working with young carers and doing what we do in general?