Introducing a robot into the classroom is a surefire way to grab students’ attention–but robots do more than excite. When educators use programmable robots for K-12 learning, they’re helping students develop important skills such as critical thinking and teamwork.

Robots are accessible for students of all ages–even younger students who don’t yet have strong coding and programming skills. Research says students are more likely to maintain their interest in coding if they’re exposed to it at an early age. One engaging solution: robots for K-12 classes.

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Maybe you know that robots are a fantastic way to teach students programming skills while making sure they’re engaged. Or maybe bringing coding to your classroom was one of your New Year’s resolutions.

Whatever your reason, you’re here and you’re checking out these programmable robots for K-12. This list can get you started as you explore different kits and decide which robot is the right fit for your students and classroom.

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The eSchool News Robotics Guide is here! It features strategies to help you effectively integrate robotics into instruction, along with tips to find the right robotics resources to successfully teach key concepts. A new eSchool News Guide will launch each month–don’t miss a single one!

6 fun robots for K-12

1. Ozobot features robots Evo and Bit. Bit gets kids coding and loving robots with the stroke of a marker. Once students learn to code Bit with color codes, they advance to OzoBlockly, the programming language. Evo, for slightly more advanced students, can be coded with color codes or with OzoBlockly.

2. Wonder Workshop‘s Dash, Dot, and Cue are aligned to different skill levels. Coding ranges from block-based, state-machine, or text-based. The site also features comprehensive curricular resources with lesson plans aligned to various standards.

6 robots that can help students develop a love of programming

3. Edison is a programmable robot designed to be a complete STEM teaching resource for coding and robotics education for students ages 4-16. Edison’s robotics capabilities can be unlocked with ease through simple barcode programs. Students can then progress their robotics, coding and STEM education journeys using Edison with three progressive programming languages.

4. Sphero SPRK+ is equipped with Bluetooth SMART, programmable sensors like motor encoders, LED lights, accelerometer, and a gyroscope–all these components allow for countless experiences and coding conditions. The Sphero Edu app empowers anyone to program their robot. Drag and drop actions, controls, operators, and more to give your bot the orders.

Read more: 3 reasons to introduce kindergartners to robots

5. littleBits features STEAM-focused activities for educators and students, and there are a number of programmable robots and machines on the site, including a programmable droid that’s sure to be a hit with Star Wars fans.

6. Makeblock has a variety of programmable vehicles and robots for K-12, but the most entry-level one is Codey Rocky, which combines hardware with software and lets children learn about programming as they play.

Laura Ascione
About the Author:

Laura Ascione

Laura Ascione is the Managing Editor, Content Services at eSchool Media. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland's prestigious Philip Merrill College of Journalism. Find Laura on Twitter: @eSN_Laura