Learning Robotics is One of the Most Effective Ways of Engaging Kids of All Kinds of Abilities

Abhishek Sharma, Head of RoboCHAMPS at BrightCHAMPS lives by this principle. Dedicated to delivering nextgen skills powered by tech-based learning kids from every corner of the world, Sharma is currently leading a team of more than 50 of the most brilliant minds in education to provide a fool proof model for interactive learning. Sharma has a demonstrable track record of creating best-in-class learning experiences and outcomes for kids. Sharma is breaking the chain of conventional education ground up so that learning new skills becomes increasingly enjoyable, satisfying and rewarding.

Historically, India has produced some of the sharpest scientific minds recognized globally, including APJ Abdul Kalam, Janaki Ammal, Homi Jehangir Bhabha, Anandibai Gopalrao Joshi, Jagadish Chandra Bose, Srinivasa Ramanujan, Asima Chatterjee, CV Raman, and so many more. Today, we are the largest exporters of IT and BPO services globally, and are well-positioned to become a global technology and innovation hub.

While we have been making rapid progress in critical technologies and sectors, such as renewable energy and semiconductors, which are vital for the country’s growth and development, our students still lack the relevant skills required to adapt to today’s evolved economy. As per a NASSCOM survey, among the 15 lakh engineering students that graduate every year, only 2.5 lakh succeed in getting jobs in the core engineering industry.

Learning of robotics not only ensures a holistic learning and development for kids but also teaches them crucial soft skills such as empathy

To my mind, an excellent way to fix this shortage in skill development and introduce children of all capabilities to STEM education and careers in IT is through robotics. With robots and AI becoming a part of our daily lives, it is likely to become essential for success in many of the careers your kids choose in the near future. And even if not an essential, it is likely to open up for them many upskilling and career advancement opportunities. Moreover, knowledge of the latest developments and technologies will help them make informed decisions that can shape our world, independent of somebody else’s guidance and biases.

Robotics can seamlessly combine technical, motor and soft skills and help children advance in all the three aspects. For a creative kid who is a little under confident in maths and science, robotics can help them witness their ideas come to life using mathematical and scientific operations and programming. This is likely to help them get over their fear of numbers and hone their problem-solving skills. Conversely, when dealing with a kid who is technically sound but lacks spatial imagination and basic design skills, building robots that will look a certain way and perform a certain function will help them tap into their creative side.

Combined knowledge of the diverse fields of engineering, programming, logical-thinking, problem-solving, creativity will not only help them grow into well-rounded individuals but also open them up to lucrative careers in the future such as app designing and development, website creation, drone development and more. Research has shown that engagement in robotics programs can help children greatly enhance their critical thinking, problem solving, spatial ability, team work, social interaction, and self-confidence.

Lack of focus in their children is yet another common problem that parents face. Theory alone can put the best of us to sleep! Introducing kids to hands-on learning will not only keep them motivated, engaged and interested for longer but improve their focus and retention. Our child safe robotics kits are designed to provide kids with hands on experience, pique their curiosity and help them learn while doing. These kits also get more nuanced as the course advances. As kids witness their learning in action, they are likely to be more engaged and achieve superior learning outcomes. This is precisely why our curriculum at RoboCHAMPS is centered around solving, playing, experimenting and learning.

Robotics can also be deployed to help neuro divergent kids learn better. For instance, autistic children experience learning difficulties primarily due to their inability to focus for extended periods and anxiety in social interactions. Actions such as eye contact and gestures tend to be difficult for children with autism. Learning using robots can prove to be more engaging and fruitful since they can be programmed to perform a specific task repeatedly and generate predictable responses. This will make them less intimidating than an unpredictable human and help reduce the level of anxiety a kid would face, ultimately allowing them to focus and learn better. Not only are robotics consistent and non-judgmental, but can also maintain eye contact, orient itself towards the child, deliver pleasant facial expressions and constant feedback, thereby improving engagement and learning. Research has shown that adapted robotics programs are a promising mechanism for fostering interest in STEM in differentlyabled youth and children. For instance, children with visual impairments and cerebral palsy showed increased confidence in using computers after engagement with robots.

Learning of robotics not only ensures a holistic learning and development for kids but also teaches them crucial soft skills such as empathy. Discussing real-world problems and building tools that would help solve them will teach them how to question and discover answers later on in life. At a time when technology is changing forms at such a rapid pace, the best we can do as parents and educators is to equip our kids with the tools that will help them navigate the future and emerge as successful citizens, entrepreneurs, artists, scientists, creators and whatever they wish to be. We may not be able to provide them with all the answers but can teach and guide them to think and process the information they have to reach the most logical conclusions. Hands-on experience in robotics will help kids develop a thinking mind and tap into their innate talents and skills to discover answers and solutions.