Anything that can move, crawl and communicate catches the attention of and brings joy to children. Robotics (part of STEM Education) is catching up and making waves in classrooms. One initiative under STEM Education program has been started by Radio Active CR 90.4 MHz. In this episode, Anto Jerlin, Nikhilesh, and Gunjan from QtPi Robotics Bengaluru speak with RJ Santosh Avvannavar about Robotics and the importance of the subject when it comes to children.
An understanding of team building and presentation-making, along with technical know-how, can be enhanced from an early age. QtPi believes in a ‘top-down approach’ where children are allowed to build and re-build by dismantling building blocks, with the desired level of a child in mind. This helps create room for creativity where the final design belongs to the child.
Teaching their own children programming and bringing up their interest in STEM led the QtPi member to form the organisation. This tells us that children can indeed teach elders! “We are creating an ecosystem that lets participants ideate, experiment and test the project (bots) built by participants. Defining the age group or the appropriate age is the next hurdle.”
Convincing oneself and others that a 6-year-old child could do STEM begins at home. Several research papers suggest that ‘thinking skills’ are developed in children before ‘verbal skills’. Several in-house experiments have shown that children display logical skills (for example, programming) as early as at 6 years of age. “We have developed a top-bottom approach where participants are exposed to various terms related to Design, Electronics, Software, and Integration & Innovation. We call it the DESI model. Several other skills, like motor skills, are enhanced through iterative designs.” Some people still harbour inhibitions towards technology in general and hence it has become a challenge to create awareness about it. “We strongly believe that Robotics should be made a compulsory subject like sports because children are naturally capable of learning it. This could eventually lead to making children progressive.”
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