Learn Robotics for Kids
From Star Wars’ R2-D2, to Wall-E and Big Hero 6, robots have fascinated generations of kids and adults alike. It is also one of the fastest growing areas of technology in recent years. Self-driving cars, rovers exploring Mars, and robots capable of making fancy parkour jumps are all making the field of robotics ever more exciting. Because of its hands-on nature, it is also one of the best areas for kids to start learning technologies and coding, and then expand to many other areas. So why learn robotics, what kind of career opportunities are there in robotics-related industries, and what are some of the best ways to learn robotics? Let’s take a look!
Game Industry & Career Opportunities
Key Technical Skills for Careers in Robotics
- Mechanical engineering: Whether it is building robot arms for assembling cars, humanoids, or drones, knowledge of mechanics, materials, and design principles is essential for building robots and their components.
- Electrical engineering: Similarly, understanding of electronics and electrical systems is crucial for designing and building robots that can sense and respond to their environment.
- Computer programming: Robots are controlled by computer software. Proficiency in coding such as Python, C++, and Java is necessary for developing software that enables robots to perform specific tasks.
- Artificial intelligence: AI plays an increasingly important role in robotics. For example, computer vision allows self-driving cars to "see" - recognizing objects, tracking movement, and detecting obstacles. AI is also used in robotics for path planning, decision making and a lot more.
- Data Science: Many advanced robots collect data in real time from sensors and other data sources. The ability to analyze data quickly is critical for robots to perform their functions.
- Design: Robots need to be visually appealing and well-designed for practical use, which requires advanced design skills. 3D modeling skills are also important for prototyping and testing.
Why Learn Robotics for Kids?
- Learn coding: Learn more advanced electronic concepts while finding out how to make robot toys do a lot more interesting things.
- Diverse tech skills required: Robotics is one of the most diverse subjects, so every student is likely to find something they like.
- Accessible: Many tools and resources have been developed to help students learn coding with virtual robotics environments, rather than needing to purchase a physical device.
- Motivating, fun, and engaging: Kids are a lot more motivated to learn if they are excited about the topic. With robotics they can also see the results of their coding come to life in the real world, opening up a whole new realm of possibilities.
- Hands-on: Many kids appreciate the virtual and physical world combination (they can watch their coding come to life in the real world!), which inspires them to really dig into coding.
- Creativity and problem solving: Kids are able to design and build their own robots, program them to perform specific tasks, and come up with new ways to solve problems - all of which encourages creativity and innovation, and helps students to develop an entrepreneurial mindset.
- Teamwork and leadership: Many schools participate in robotics competitions with help students learn how to work with friends and provide leadership opportunities.
How to Learn Robotics for Kids
There are several dimensions we consider when evaluating what to teach students
- Ability to create fun, diverse projects based on students interests
- Enable learning in age appropriate ways and at the same time build computational thinking skills that are in line with what’s used in the industry
- General quality of the tool e.g, performance ease of use, feature richness
- How well students will resonate with it
- Accessibility of the tool, free and well built tools are the best
|Platform||Best for Grades||Why we like it||Block/Text Coding||Our Classes|
|Snap Circuits||2 - 8||Best STEM kits for younger students. It is a great safe way to learn electrical engineering, like sensors, circuits, and more.||Physical STEM Kit|
|Minecraft Redstone||2 - 5||Redstone is like the electrical circuit of Minecraft. As with electrical circuits, it's possible to build incredibly sophisticated automated machines in Minecraft based on the combination of Minecraft components and creative engineering.||Minecraft Redstone|
|Scratch||K - 9||Scratch is the best way to start learning coding for kids, as it introduces essential concepts that robotics builds upon.||Block|
|VexVR||2 - 4||Navigate robots through a virtual environment and gain a deeper understanding of how robots can be used to solve problems through many real-world examples - physical device optional||Block|
|VEX IQ||4 - 8||Create within a virtual robot world using software, so you don't need to purchase physical robots, but the experience is just as powerful and fun.||Block|
|Micro:Bit||2 - 4||This little device packs very powerful capabilities: LED lights, speakers, a temperature sensor, a microphone, and even an accelerometer. Coding is done in a simulator that works just like the physical Micro:Bit. You don’t need the physical device to take the class.||Block|
|Arduino||4 - 9||Design simple electronic systems for alarms, home sensing, motor controls, etc, as well as create code to control these systems. And does not require a physical device.||Block and Text|
|Python||5 - 12||One of the most popular programming languages for professional engineers. It’s also the easiest text-based language to learn.||Text|
|Artificial Intelligence||4 - 7||AI applications for image recognition, chatbots, and machine learning.||Text|
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Free Intro to Scratch Coding
Creative Minecraft Building
AI Explorers - Introduction
Free Intro to Intermediate Minecraft Modding
Learning Pathways for Different Age Groups
Does my kid need to take all of these classes to learn robotics?
Except for Scratch coding, which we recommend for every student as the starting point, you can pick and choose what you enjoy from the list of the classes. The classes all cover very different content and we do recommend taking most of them, which you could do over the span of several years, to learn different skills related to robotics.
Tell me more about Scratch and why my kid should learn Scratch if they are interested in robotics?
Scratch is a simple drag-and-drop programming language that’s a great introduction to programming for beginners. As students learn Scratch they’ll grapple with problems, build their creativity, and master core coding concepts that will all apply to their future work in robotics.
What is arduino?
What are some of the major robotics competitions?
You might also enjoy exploring the history of robotics for kids.
These virtually taught classes are so engaging, my son really enjoys them and is so excited to show us the coding projects he has completed on all 3 levels of Scratch Ninja. We will definitely be signing him up for more classes and thoroughly recommend Create & Learn to other parents.
Create & Learn Parent
Amazing instructor. Can really keep my daughter engaged in a fun way. Thanks to Create & Learn my daughter's tech scores have skyrocketed at school.
Create & Learn Parent
Amazing virtual classes that taught my son about coding. He has taken 3 classes and he loves them all. They have some really good programs. I would definitely recommend this website and I plan to sign him up for more classes.