We wholeheartedly agree with this insightful article in eSchool News: 3 Reasons to Introduce Kindergartners to Robots.
Children need to actually touch, manipulate, and experiment with objects in order to fully understand them. Robots bring this physical interaction to the potentially intimidating process of understanding engineering and programming.
Robots are a great platform for learning at any age. Robotics projects are great STEM activities for kindergarten students because they are hands-on, problem-solving activities that promote abstract and sequential thinking skills. Thats why Creative Learning Systems STEM education SmartLabs feature robotics systems across the full K-12 grade spectrum.
Here are some best-practice guidelines for selecting a robotics system for kindergartners:
- Programming logic should be limited to highly simplified step-by-step functions (e.g. forward, backward, turn, distance in simple units)
- Programming interface should feature large, intuitive buttons
- Sensors should be integrated and perform simple functions (e.g. follow a line, stop at a wall)
- Robot must be durable (note that many commercially available robots are made for consumer, not classroom use)
- Robots must be affordable as a full class set (we provision one robot for every two learners)
- Articulates well with other robotics systems for later elementary grades.
Creative Learning Systems tests and evaluates numerous robotics systems each year based on the above criteria. In addition, our curriculum ensures that the principles of robotics and control technology articulate from kindergarten all the way through high school.