RobotLAB Blog

Everything You Need To Know About Robotics in Education and Businesses

What makes a Good STEM/STEAM Toy?

Having probed parents for their feelings on STEM/STEAM, we now turn to toy experts for their perspectives on what makes a good STEM/STEAM toy.

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This section consists of input from a survey in which 67 Toy Association members and toy experts participated. This was followed with 26 in-depth phone interviews along with insights gathered from two expert panels hosted at both the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and at the 116th annual North American International Toy Fair.

Based on the above input, the Toy Association identified 14 unifying characteristics of STEM/STEAM toys, including 2 mandatory and 12 strengthening, all of which are detailed below.

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Parental perspectives about STEM careers and the role of toys in helping their kids master these concepts

Parents are the gatekeepers of toys for their kids, especially for younger children. Their attitudes and appreciation of toys and play are paramount to providing kids with playful opportunities to grow, learn, and explore their ever-changing world.

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The Toy Association asked parents to share their understanding and insights about how science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics skills relate to toys, play, and their children. Here’s a summary of what was revealed by investigating the thoughts, fears, and beliefs of 2,000 parents.

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6 Characteristics of Effective STEM Classroom Design

Centered around project-based learning, an effective STEM classroom fosters a positive culture that allows students to problem-solve, collaborate, create, test ideas, and build with their hands. The goal of stem classroom design is to inspire students to think, innovate, prototype, and research in teams.

Here are 6 characteristics of effective STEM Classroom Design that you can implement to encourage a positive STEM environment.

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By Sonja Jacobson

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4 Benefits Of Learning Programming At A Young Age

Computer coding is the universal language of the planet. People who know how to code will be able to communicate across countries and cultures, be innovative, and solve problems more efficiently, with no barriers to impede their success. Learning programming at a young age helps your children solve everyday problems and get set up for a lifetime of opportunities.

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By John Porter

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Feature a Teacher: NAO as a dancing tool to understand human-robot interaction. 

Amy LaViers is an Assistant Professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, and director of the RAD Lab a website of Robotics Automation and Dance (RAD). During her PhD Thesis she realized that Nao robot is the tool for her engaging for the public and researches alike.  

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Who needs robots in the classroom?

Programming and robotics seem to be the new, hip thing in today’s classroom. STEM concepts are being taught from elementary school, sometimes alongside core topics like English and Math. But why is teaching STEM topics to young kids so popular? How useful could it possibly be? (It’s not like the average person interacts with robots all day) 

I’ll take you through my morning just to show you how silly this fad is!


7am

First things first, I got up and brushed my teeth. My toothpaste tube was nearly empty, so I pulled out my phone and ordered a new one on Amazon with one click.

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Breaking the habit of too much screen in school by using physical devices

There is no shortage of articles and think-pieces on the evils of “screen-time”.Everyone from the National Public Radio to Psychology Today are bemoaning the negative impact of our dependence on screen-based entertainment and utilities. Here at RobotLAB, we don’t dispute the research.  

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Students at Folsom High School learned how to program with the Nao Robot check out the amazing results!

Beginning computer science students at Folsom High School, in Folsom, California, have been learning how to program using the NAO Robot. After the lessons in the curriculum completed, teams of four students were required to write a lesson plan before they started programming which would include the following:

  • Grade level taught 

 

  • Subject NAO will be teaching

 

  • Summary of the lesson

 

  • Materials needed to complete the lesson

 

  • A detailed description of the program by using a textual storyborad format

 

They were then to work as a team to program this lesson, problem solve, work out bugs, and then video tape the lesson once it was working properly. check out the videos, programmig can be fun! 

 NAO robot teach Bowling

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Coding, Programming and Computer Science are not the same

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You’ve probably heard about the push to provide students with coding and programming skills as a way to better prepare them for the 21st century and possible future careers. Many companies like code.org, code academy, tinker, programming basics, RobotLAB and many others, offer to students a variety of learning exercises to teach them coding and programming in a fun and easy way. There are even online platforms for children as young as 5 years old.

Nevertheless, exists big differences between coding and programming and it is important to know what makes them unique. Each student has a different goal for their learning; whether it be to improve a specific skill, further a career path or engage with their passion, they should be sure if they want to become a coding or a programmer.

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