Early childhood is a wonderful time to spark children’s interest in STEM.
Young children are curious about the world around them, and today that world includes coding, robotics and engineering.
Here are 5 key benefits of introducing robotics within Early Childhood Education:
1. Coding Teaches Literacy of the 21st Century
2. Coding Teaches Computational Thinking Skills
Educators have begun to explore the connections between computational thinking and the cognitive skills developed in early childhood. For example, when children use code to create algorithms (a series of ordered steps to solve a problem) they develop their sequencing ability: a foundational skill for reading and mathematics.
3. Coding Becomes A Playground
Coding can become a playground. It is an environment to be creative, for students to express themselves, to explore alone and with others, to learn new skills, and to problem solve. All of this, while having fun.
4. Robotics Makes Coding Tangible, Concrete and Screen-Free!
5. Coding Introduces Children to the Engineering Design Process
Working with robotics and coding, especially when facilitated in a classroom, means engaging with the engineering design process. This process encourages children to identify a problem, imagine and plan a solution, build and test their creation, and share their work with peers. In this process, things won’t always work as intended – ask any engineer! The process is set up to expect students to test, fix, and debug their work, so students focus on continually making changes and improvements rather than on being right or wrong. As they seek input and advice from peers, children also develop collaborative social skills around a shared project.
Looking for a robot for your classroom? Here are some of our favourites. Be sure to check out the class sets of each of these robots as well for small group activities or to share with multiple classrooms.