Integration of Robotics to other School Subjects and Projects
As time goes by, I am more convinced that history was right. STEAM might be a new term but it is not a passing fad or teaching trend. Historically, mathematicians and engineers were often accomplished artists and poets. King Solomon was in charge of building the First Temple and he was also the author of Song of Songs; Leonardo Da Vinci was an accomplished engineer and inventor before he painted The Mona Lisa; and Marie Curie was a renowned scientist and writer.
I truly believe that integrating many subject areas helps make learning more meaningful for students and also allows students to make stronger connections among the different concepts they learn. One of the ways to accomplish this is by the use of Robotics integrated into different subject areas. While for some students the incorporation of Robotics is a perfect fit right from the beginning because they love to code; to others it might not be “a love at first sight” situation. Often, families believe that Robotics will only attract the kids that are already keen on coding, only to discover that when Robotics are integrated into areas that they wouldn’t have thought compatible, their kids develop a new passion.
In my opinion, Robotics allows children to understand abstract concepts in a more concrete way. This is why in our school we integrate Robotics with Math in different grades. From learning measurement units to learning multiplication, our friend Dash shows our students what it means to roll forward 30 cm or that walking 100cm once equals to walking 10cm ten times. Robotics even helps students improve their understanding of the basic principles of computer science because they can see the results of their coding as the robot follows those specific instructions. We have included Robotics in learning the world map and our students have even created Yavneh’s first droid/human modern musical band, The Dashing Musicians.
In conclusion, Robotics has the potential to open many possibilities of curriculum integration and partnership. It meets the students where they are and allows them to express themselves, while often forgetting that they are actually coding or solving math challenges. From the beginning, students see concrete results from their interaction (coding) with robots and eventually students solve more complex challenges such as the ones our middle schoolers are now facing in the final round of a worldwide robotics competition.
As always I am an email away.