Robotics education is gaining STEAM (pun intended) in classrooms across the nation, and for good reason–it’s engaging, hands-on, and students learn real-world concepts as they solve challenges.
And as K-12 robotics education grows, so do resources for teachers to strengthen their own robotics skills and transfer that knowledge to students.
If your K-12 robotics program is in its early stages, you may feel you don’t have enough resources to support the program as it progresses. If that’s the case, or if you’re simply looking for some new K-12 robotics resources, explore the following list to find something new to use in your classroom.
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!
[Editor’s note: Many of these resources come from companies selling robots. We have not tested these robots, but the sites offer teaching tools, many of which are created by teachers, to help integrate robotics into your instruction.]
1. Seek out robotics professionals in your school community. Spread the word that you’re seeking to boost your K-12 robotics education and you want to bring in professionals with real-world robotics experiences. These professionals can help students connect what they learn in the classroom with what they can do in the real world.
2. The Arduino Project Hub features robotics teaching resources and project tutorials covering challenges such as a printing robot, a robotic arm, a robot controlled with a PlayStation controller, and a robot controlled by hand gestures.
3. Wonder Workshop, maker of Dot and Dash, offers robotics and coding curriculum for teachers, including lesson plans and individual activities. The standards-based curricular resources spark creativity and self-confidence while helping students develop lifelong skills and competencies.
4. If you’re using LEGO Mindstorms, browse these lessons, which range from beginning to advanced, for fun and engaging ideas for robotics lessons such as a breakdancing figure, a sorting machine, and a speed control system.
5. The mission of FIRST is to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders and innovators, by engaging them in exciting mentor-based programs that build science, engineering, and technology skills, that inspire innovation, and that foster well-rounded life capabilities including self-confidence, communication, and leadership. Engage kids in kindergarten through high school in exciting, mentor-based, research and robotics programs that help them become science and technology leaders, as well as well-rounded contributors to society.
6. Carnegie Mellon University’s Robotics Academy develops tools to make it easier for teachers to implement robotics curriculum into today’s classrooms. The research-based curriculum aligns with standards and focuses on developing 21st-century skill sets in students. The Robotics Academy creates easy-to-use Robotics Education Curriculum that allows students to go from having no robotics experience to programming advanced behaviors.
7. Got robots or physical computing kits? Use them with activities from Code.org and make a tangible Hour of Code for students of any age. Some activities even offer a simulator so you can get started without any hardware.
8. Khan Academy, which provides free lessons to anyone interested in learning, offers LEGO robotics education lessons including programming basics, a light guitar, and an ant bot.