Published : Monday, February 25, 2019 | 5:31 PM
In the past, parents and children would sit down and build model airplanes and cars together as a fun and educational activity. Now, instead of working with modeling glue and a diagram, you have a chance to teach your child invaluable technology and engineering skills by building a robot together.
Not only will you get to spend quality time with your child, but you will also enhance learning and development for a lifetime. Fun engineering activities like building a robot aren’t just about having fun – they are about giving your child a leg-up for the future.
Introducing technology and engineering concepts to children at a young age sets the stage for success not just throughout their academic career, but their professional one as well. The number of new jobs in computers and engineering is expected to reach almost 600,000 by 2024. The earlier you can start them down the path to success, the better!
Why build a robot with your child?
Hone soft skills
Immersing your child in technology activities like making a robot brings out creative and out-of-the-box thinking. The robot’s design and code that operates it is in your child’s hands – they have space to test out new coding commands or a unique design.
While building a robot together, you are also modeling soft skills like teamwork and listening. Problem solving, critical thinking, and conflict resolution skills will also improve through the process.
Teach sequential and algorithmic thinking
Building a robot requires following instructions and sequencing. By taking it one step at a time, your child learns to plan, think in stages, and to have patience when things don’t always work out.
Spending time with your child building a robot is an excellent activity that touches on all the higher-order skills your child will need to succeed throughout life.
Understand programming basics
The highest demand in the workforce of the future is engineering and computer and a significant portion of robotics is centered around programming. Coding is like a foreign language: the younger you learn it, the easier it is to understand and retain. By building a robot with your child at home, you set the stage for later success when he or she starts learning coding as part a school’s STEM curriculum.
Where to start
There are a growing number of companies dedicated to providing children and parents with kits designed to foster a child’s understanding of engineering and technology. Start with a simple kit, and upgrade in complexity as your child is able to grasp the more advanced components of robotics.
To further cement the essential skills your child learns while building a robot, ensure that the integrated technology and engineering education continues at school. A STEAM curriculum, like the one offered at Stratford School, will build on your child’s programming and engineering knowledge to set him or her up for success far into the future.
Learn more about Stratford School’sunique curriculum by scheduling a tour of your local campus today.