As parents these days, it is difficult to take your kids away from the violence of video games. When we see our kids playing those videogames with such a passion, we always wish we could find an activity for them that they would commit to in the same degree as they do for those video games. We really wish to be able to find an activity that could teach them something extraordinary for their future.
By: Johana Vargas - CEO Buildbots Robotics Academy
As a computer engineer and mother of 3 boys, I found in robotics the perfect balance to do exactly that. To teach our children about science and technology, while keeping them interested in an activity that they love (building, and designing their own characters and worlds) and keeping their imaginations active by allowing them to create their own stories in which their characters interact.
Using games as a way to teach children is the best way to keep them interested and introduce them in any science that we like.
Children these days have been in contact with imaginary realities and characters through video games since they are very young. In some of these games, they can create their own avatars and be in charge of their imaginary lives.
By involving robotics in this process of creation, the children are able to bring elements of their virtual worlds into the physical world making it a pseudo-imaginary playground. They will have the chance of becoming the creator of the characters that are going to be interacting in this pseudo-imaginary play-ground.
For example, if the game involves a car, instead of having to pick a car design from a list of car pictures (the way they do it in a regular video game), the children will have to design and build their own car using tangible material instead of choosing from a picture in the computer screen.
When creating a car for their game, the children are going to have to go into a process similar to the one when creating a real life car. They are going to have to design the car keeping in mind mechanical principles. They will need to learn how, for example, the movement has to be transmitted from a motor to a wheel, and how the process can be optimized by the use of gears.
At this moment the children will be self motivated and will be using their creativity, imagination and open mindness to create their own game character. During this process, they will have to use the re-engineering process many times, in order to make it more and more efficient every time. We have to keep in mind that all this work that the children are doing, is not because of a school chore or because they have to, but just because they want to improve their chances of success in the game.
By using games as a tool to teach children science and technology we are also involving a social aspect in the process due to the fact that these games include many children.
In order for a child to be successful, he/she has to not only be able to design and build his character (car, animal, human like character, etc) as efficient as possible but has to interact with the group in a way that team work, brainstorming and gracious professionalism play a very important part in the process.
Bring your child to our summer camps or after school programs and you will see with your own eyes what we are talking about.
Learn more at: htttp://buildbots.com/summer
Robotics is a tool that teaches children not only about science and technology but also about being persistent and open minded.