Benefit 3: Making robots to grow positive mindsets

By Qing Hua, CEO

One of our STEM partner schools used building robotics as a Problem Based Learning project in a 4th-grade math class to help students learn math and reflect on why students seem to have more patience when it comes to building a robot but less tenacity when it comes to solving a math problem. Students reflected on the process and shared that they have a strong desire to see the robots move, light up, and make a sound while math didn’t bring them that satisfaction. The innovative teacher then asked students to celebrate their capability to be persistent and embrace the growth mindset and encourage students to transfer what they have learned in one area and transfer it to other areas of their studies. 

I have an educator friend who thinks that robotics is an inefficient way of teaching kids coding. I agree and disagree. I agree because if our only goal is to teach coding, then certainly the time spent on finding and sorting robotics parts, putting them together, troubleshooting, reworking are all overhead. However, at Build A Robot, our philosophy is not to teach kids a single skill, but to help them build a strong foundation of combined transferable skills. From that perspective, we have observed that building, connecting, coding, troubleshooting, and presenting their work in a group setting have been very beneficial for kids to grow many skills that they would need to be competitive in the ever changing world we live in. 

Deep learning is often inefficient but worth every minute. From a technical skill building perspective, it reinforces student’s understanding of the concepts we want to teach them. From a problem solving skill and growth mindset building perspective, building robots really does require students to block a set of time to get into deep learning mode to build and create. Many times, after a robot is built, our students are reluctant to disassemble and build a new one because they really did commit hard work to make the robot work. Eventually the desire to build something newer and better will win and off they go: tackling a more complex project! 

Check out other benefits here.

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- Author -

QING HUA

Founder & CEO

Qing is passionate about fusing education, technology, industry, diversity, and human empathy to make this world a better place through education. Before starting Build a Robot K12, Qing worked in the telecommunication industry for 15 years as a senior engineer, engineering manager, and a product manager. Qing holds a MBA and a MS in Telecommunication from University of Colorado at Boulder, a MA in Communications from University of Delaware, and a BS in Electronics Engineering from Tsinghua University in Beijing, China. She currently serves on the Colorado Department of Education Gifted Education State Advisory Committee. Outside of work, Qing enjoys books, new tech, music, the outdoors, and exploring new places and cultures.

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