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.
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!
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.
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.
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:
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
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.