Are you interested in robotics or considering enrolling your child in a robotics course? Today we're going to share insight into what STEM robotics is, why it’s important, and where it falls in a STEM education. We'll also reveal some great robotics programs, kits, and competitions so you can jump right into the fun!

Discover STEM robotics

Learn more about STEM robotics, and how robotics relates to STEM.

Is robotics included in STEM?

Robotics is included in STEM. Robotics can also boost STEM learning, as technology can play an important role in STEM. Technology, such as robots, can help students engage with these subjects. Robotics is an interactive approach to science, technology, engineering, and math.

What is STEM robotics?

Robotics is the intersection of science, engineering, and technology. Since the birth of STEM, robotics has taken a central place in the practice of STEM education, also known as STEM Robotics. Robotics provides a microcosm of technologies that support STEM education. STEM Robotics involves engineering, and computer science incorporated with design, construction, operation, application, and computer systems to produce something called robots.

What are the 5 major fields of robotics?

The 5 major fields of robotics are:

  1. Operator interface: This refers to the Human-Robot Interface that explains how the human and the robot communicate.
  2. Locomotion based robots: Robot locomotion is the collective name for the various methods that robots use to transport themselves from place to place.
  3. Component-based robots: In this case, it is the component within the robot that makes it do the specified job.
  4. Ways of delivering a message to the robot: Commands need to be given to the robots with the help of different means. Today there are over one thousand programming languages and each robot interprets the given instructions in their own way.
  5. Based on how robots sense and perceive: This component helps the machines identify things in and around their environment and react.

STEM robotics is important to learn, although it can seem very abstract, especially to younger students. Reading about technology or robotics in a book is perhaps the traditional way to learn, but putting that theory into practice by building or controlling a robot is hands-on learning that sticks around for the future. It also takes teamwork to make a robotics project run smoothly, and that’s a skill everyone needs.

STEM robotics teaches children more than science, robotics, and mathematics concepts. The focus on hands-on learning with real-world applications helps develop a variety of skill sets, including creativity, problem-solving, critical thinking, creativity, curiosity, decision making, leadership, entrepreneurship, and 21st-century skills. These are all skills that will further their continuing education and prepare them to be innovative.

(21st-century skills include media and technology literacy, productivity, social skills, communication, flexibility, and initiative.)

Real-world applications of STEM robotics

Here are a few ways STEM robotics jobs impact the real world:

Robotics Engineer: Robotics engineers are responsible for designing, testing, and building robots.

Robotics Technician: A robotics technician builds, installs, tests, maintains, and repairs robots.

Robotics Software Engineer: Robotics software engineering is the field where you develop software for robot control and automation.

Robotics Operator: Robots can reduce human effort and save time, but they cannot do any of this without human involvement. They need constant and consistent controlling or at least monitoring, this is where a robotics operator becomes important.

STEM robotics programs

A STEM robotics program is designed to help children to work on life skills along with social skills while having fun! Be prepared to learn, brainstorm, and put together robots using various kits. Children learn new skills such as problem-solving, leadership, community involvement, communicating across different technology platforms, finding their passions, and teamwork, which will position them for success.

1. Create & Learn robotics

Create & Learn's robotics classes for kids provide the unique opportunity to learn from experts in the comfort of your own home. Our live online robotics courses are designed by experts from MIT, Stanford, and more. And are taught by premier instructors who’ve undergone rigorous training. Our curriculum is designed to fuel creativity and make real-life connections across industries so your child can explore the latest technologies and have fun! Start with Junior Robotics, and progress to Robot Adventures, and more.

2. Brickz4Kidz

Bricks 4 Kidz LEGO Robotics Classes break down complex STEM concepts into hands-on lessons for kids of all ages. Students as young as 5 years old can use LEGO Bricks to build models and bring them to life while learning teamwork and communication skills.

3. Snapology robotics

Snapology provides several interactive robotics classes and coding programs for children ages 3-14 using LEGO bricks. Students in their robotics programs learn pseudo-coding, coding, robotics and engineering principles. Using fun topics and themes, such as animals, games, space and battle machines, they offer classes that embrace children’s interest and curiosity to guide them through robotics and engineering principles.

4. Engineering for Kids

Engineering For Kids offers a variety of classes and workshops that kids of all ages can enjoy. Their Robotics camps and classes give students the opportunity to dive deep into the world of robotics and explore how computer programming and robot design can solve problems big and small!

STEM robotics toys

STEM robotics toys are Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math based robot toys geared towards learning, curiosity, and education. STEM-related toys and products are important to help kids develop useful skills in areas in which the career industry is continually seeing growing in. STEM Robotics toys teach kids to focus on the four subjects of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math while playing with robots and learning in a fun way. A great STEM robotics toy would be one that is fun for your child and suitable for their age, developmental needs, and personality.

1. LEGO Star Wars Boost Droid Commander

Kids will learn to code and develop creative problem-solving skills as they play with this interactive educational toy featuring 3 brick-built LEGO Star Wars droids and over 40 interactive missions and buildable props.

2. ROBO-MAX T-Rex

ROBO-MAX is the ultimate robot dinosaur. Standing at over 3 feet tall, this build and play robot action figure will inspire kids to become expert builders, fostering confidence, developing problem-solving abilities and fine motor skills — the perfect gift for boys, girls, and kids who love a fun challenge! STEM authenticated to develop young, bright minds.

3. Dash Robot

Dash helps kids learn to code. Dash makes learning to code fun for kids. Kids can give Dash voice commands and explore loops, events, conditions, and sequences.The coding skills kids learn while playing with Dash will help them as they prepare for middle and high school while also helping to develop their critical thinking skills Dash is great and very entertaining because it comes with hours of interactive challenges and 5 free apps for endless hours of fun.

STEM robotics competitions

STEM Robotics competitions are events where the abilities and characteristics of robots may be tested and assessed all while aiming to engage students in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). Individual or student teams solve a specific challenge or problem through science, technology, engineering, and/or mathematics with the use of robots. STEM Robotics competitions increase learning, and prepare students for the future.

1. VEX Robotics Competition

The VEX Robotics Competition, presented by the Robotics Education & Competition Foundation, is the largest and fastest growing middle school and high school robotics program globally with more than 20,000 teams from 50 countries playing in over 1,700 competitions worldwide. Each year, an exciting engineering challenge is presented in the form of a game. Students, with guidance from their teachers and mentors, build innovative robots and compete year-round.

2. World Robot Olympiad

This is a robot competitions platform that is dedicated to Science,Technology and Education. The mission of WRO is to help young people to develop their creativity and problem-solving skills in an engaging and fun-filled manner. WRO is an independent non-profit organization. All the revenue collected will be invested in support of their mission called STEM education worldwide to support robotics.

3. Best Robotics Competition

Best Robotics is is a national six-week robotics competition that was designed to generate interest in possible engineering careers. This is a 2-3 day event open to middle or high schools. Same rules apply to everyone, the same kit is provided, and the same schedule.

Explore even more fun STEM competitions here.

Best STEM robotics kits

A STEM robotics kit helps students learn basic fundamentals of science, technology, engineering, and/or mathematics. A STEM robotics kit is a special construction kit for building robots, especially autonomous mobile robots. The kits can consist of: structural elements, mechanical elements, motors (or other actuators), sensors and a controller board to control the inputs and outputs of the robot. Students can practice STEM skills in an engaging and fun way with these STEM robotics kits.

1. Tin Can Edge Detector

The 4M Tin Can Edge Detector Science Kit: Part of the Eco-Engineering/Green Science Series Fun science project is an edge detecting robot. This robot kit allows kids to be creative on the cheap. This kit is great because it introduces the basics of robotics and renewable materials in a fun, hands-on way. Have fun while exploring the exciting worlds of robotics and green science with the 4M Green Science Tin Can Edge Detector Robot Kit. Assemble the robot using a recycled soda can for a body and turn it loose to roam around a table. Sensors in the robot's base detect the table and turn it aside every time.

2. Makeblock mBot Robot Kit

This robot is an entry-level coding robot for beginners. Designed for learning electronics, robotics and programming in a simple and fun way. From Scratch to Arduino, it helps kids to learn programming step by step via interactive software and rich tutorials.

3. ChampBot Kit

This kit invites kids to take their STEM education skills to the court by programming robots like ChampBot, BasketBot, and ScoreBot to shoot and score points – with precision. With three servo motors, two DC motors, and an IR sensor, this kit is designed to bring fans to the STEM field with competitive fun and learning.The JIMU Robot app connects with ChampBot Kit seamlessly and makes it easy to build, program, and bring to life every JIMU Robot kit creation. There’s also a Pose-Record-Play tool that lets students easily program motors to create their own actions. Flexible functionality lets students imagine and design their own models.

Start your STEM robotics learning adventure

Now that you've learned all about STEM robotics, check our robotics for kids classes. The best place to begin is our Junior Robotics class, with a curriculum designed by Google and Stanford experts. Up next, read more about robotics and coding.

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Written by Create & Learn instructor Sharmain Henderson. Starting at an early age, Sharmain developed a passion for STEM, and currently holds a bachelor's degree in physics. She has been in the field of teaching for six years and has taught various subjects and students of all ages. Teaching effectively, and communicating complex information in a simple manner, is something she is passionate about.