Why Build-A-Robot Learning: Fun and Beyond
After hanging out with other curious kids at a Maker Faire or a STEAM Fest, where do kids go to connect with other enthusiastic kids?
After participating in a few fun technology camps and workshops, where do kids go to extend their learning beyond a few hours or a few weeks’ work?
After setting kids up to take online coding lessons or organizing after-school fun clubs for a few semesters, how long can tech savvy parents sustain to keep kids engaged in technology?
The answer is Build A Robot! We founded Build-A-Robot to create a community for sustained learning.
Build A Robot:Deep Learning with Fun for a Purpose!
We believe that the joy beyond the initial excitement of discovering something new will grow when more hours and work are put in extended learning.
We also believe that the ultimate goal of advancing students’ learning in technology is to help them grow to become confident, competent, and compassionate contributors and leaders in the unknown world ahead and to empower them to build a better future for themselves and others.
Three Stages: Charging, Academics, Reflection
We divide the time in each class into Charging, Academics and Reflection
To condition our students to learn with strong intrinsic motivation, eager brains, happy feelings, we start with Charging. We feed our students with engaging life skills activities to foster a safe, enjoyable, and collaborative physical and emotional environment for their learning and exploring.
At the end of each class, during the Reflection session, we lead students to reflect on their individual and group learning and encourage them to share their ideas, thoughts, concerns while working on their own or working with their peers.
In between the Charging and Reflection sessions, during the Academic Immersion Session we lead students to learning not only the technical aspects of Computer Science and Robotics, but also business, societal, and ethics perspectives of these fields.
Three Pillars: Computer Science, Robotics, Life Skills
Literacy and Proficiency in Computer Science will open up a whole new world for students who are committed to put in effort to acquire knowledge and apply their skills through various experiences. In the fast changing world, what, where, and how to learn will be driven by students’ curiosities, interests, imaginations and dreams. At Build-A-Robot, we task ourselves to deliver engaging learning experience to help students discover the joy of Computer Science and empower them with skills and tenacity to build a better world.
The Build-A-Robot Learning System
We use the code.org K~12 CSTA (Computer Science Teachers Association) standard compliant curriculum and the RoboRobo constructive robotics systems as the dual core Computer Science and Robotics education system. We also incorporate other coding platforms and resources such as Tynker, Google CS First, Scratch, MIT App Inventor and Robotics systems such as Dash, OzoBot, Lego, Sphero, Cozmo to enrich and challenge our students’ learning and give them opportunities to practice their system integration skills.
In the Computer Science and Robotics Immersion track, for K~8 students, students take semester-long weekly 1-hr (K~3rd graders), 1.5-hr (for 4th~5th graders), 2-hr (for 6th ~ 8th graders) classes to deepen and advance their learning in their elementary and middle school years. A full-track student, by completion of 8th grade, would have completed high-school level computer science classes and ready to take AP Computer Science. High school students work on capstone projects in with a focus on education, community service, research and development with help of mentors from industry and higher-education partners.
The system is designed to give new and experienced students multi-dimensional learning opportunities. In every class, students are expected to learn and demonstrate progress in multiple aspects of a learner/contributor/leader. Students will have opportunities to advance their skills in technical, communication, collaboration, critical thinking, creativity, and leadership.
Talk on Change, Constraints, Curiosity, and Contribution.