The robotics field is growing at an incredible rate, and students are benefitting from the inclusion of robotics in STEM education. Robotics in the classroom has positive results on students such as encouraging students to pursue more STEM career paths and develop the necessary 21st century skills that will enable them for success in the future. Caitlin Howe, author of Innovative Teaching Blog, asks teachers to ponder the following question, “not only should we look at how robotics can improve what we are currently doing, we also should ask ourselves the question, what the integration of robotics, together with other new technologies, makes possible that was previously impossible?” By internalizing this idea, robotics can make waves in any classroom.
Robotics is actively becoming used in a wide variety of learning environments, and the market shows no signs of slowing down. It has been proven that the use of robotics can help to encourage confidence and a positive attitude toward education in students, which helps to reinvigorate classrooms with cross-curricula activities. STEM education proponents are looking for more ways to incorporate robotics classes into schools at the earliest of ages. Peter Turner for Tribotix wrote in 2009, “Robotics will play a major role in the future, so it is important we prepare the current generation of students for this.” With this in mind, robotics is an obvious and important field of the future which helps students to develop important skills for the 21st century.
21st century skills are pertinent for success in jobs of the future. Howe has also claimed “Learning environments should therefore be agile, student centred, have appropriative and adaptive levels of challenge and, value independence,” in order to instill the type of 21st century skills necessary for success in the future. Robotics in the classroom is a logical and effective way to foster higher scientific reasoning, critical thinking, and other important skills. By using problem solving to understand coding, students also gain important lessons about trial and error leading to success. All the skills which robotics helps to instill in students prepares them for STEM-based careers, as they are also growing faster than any other field today (Stem Connector).
STEM careers are some of the lucrative jobs on the market, and their potential for growth is nearly limitless. With such large openings in STEM careers, it is necessary to inspire younger generations to pursue these market jobs (Tribotix). The solution is to include STEM education early on, such as robotics. In addition, students that express an interest in STEM in 8th grade are much more likely to pursue a STEM career, than simply having high test scores in math and science areas (Krishnamurthi, 2010). Therefore, the incorporation of robotics in learning environments has proven itself to be necessary to fill these STEM careers!
Krishnamurthi, A., Ottinger, R., & Topol, T. (2010). STEM Learning in Afterschool and Summer Programming: An Essential Strategy for STEM Education Reform. Retrieved from http://www.expandinglearning.org/expandingminds/article/stem-learning-afterschool-and-summer-programming-essential-strategy-stem
Munce, R., & Fraser, E. (2013). Where are the STEM Students? What are Their Career Interests? Where are the STEM Jobs? STEMconnector, 2012-1013. Retrieved from http://www.stemconnector.org/sites/default/files/store/STEM-Students-STEM-Jobs-Executive-Summary.pdf
Howe, C. (2013, January 28). Retrieved from http://www.macict.edu.au/blog/2013/01/robotics-in-education/
Turner, P. (2009). Why use Robotics in Education... Retrieved from http://www.tribotix.com/EducationInfo/WhyRobotics.htm