Coding and robotics can help students develop critical skills for success after high school--here are some resources for the classroom

6 tools to help kids learn coding and robotics


Coding and robotics can help students develop critical skills for success after high school--here are some resources for the classroom

Introducing students to coding and robotics gives them early exposure to STEM in general. This early exposure, according to research, is key to the future of the workforce.

Aside from the cool factor K-12 coding and robotics offers, students will learn a number of skills they’ll take with them well into adulthood, including creativity, problem solving, and the ability to fail without quitting. These skills stick around even if students don’t pursue STEM-related study paths or careers later in their lives.

Coding and robotics can be introduced in any subject, with a little creativity.

Here are 6 tools to help students develop these valuable STEM skills:

1. CoderZ: Grounded in STEM and coding, CoderZ trains students grades 4 and beyond in computational thinking and technical ability. Confronted with real-world problem-solving, students must adapt to advance, strengthening their inner coach and developing the skills they’ll need beyond the classroom.

2. Tinkercad: From Autodesk, Tinkercad is a free web app for 3D design, electronics, and coding that helps educators build STEM confidence in their students through project-based learning in the classroom. Hands-on projects build confidence, persistence, and problem-solving skills.

3. Blockly: Blockly, for Dash and Dot, is a drag-and-drop visual programming tool that introduces children as young as 6 to fundamental programming concepts including Sequencing, Loops, Sensors + Events, Functions, Variables, and Conditionals through creative problem-solving.

4. KIBO: KIBO is an easy and fun way to bring robotics and coding to your young learners and spark their interest in STEAM. This hands on, screen-free robot kit for kids let 4- to 7-year-olds create, design, decorate and bring their own robot to life. When children code with KIBO they are learning invaluable skills that will lead them on the path for success in science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics (STEAM) skills and future careers.

5. VEX Robotics: VEX Robotics is educational robotics for everyone. VEX solutions span all levels of both formal and informal education with accessible, scalable, and affordable solutions. Beyond science and engineering principles, VEX encourages creativity, teamwork, leadership, and problem solving among groups. It allows educators of all types to engage and inspire the STEM problem solvers of tomorrow. VEXCode VR is a great virtual robotics resource for those without access to physical robotics tools.

6. Blackbird: Blackbird offers cross-curricular coding units for core K-12 classes. The online platform for grades 6-12 makes it possible to teach coding to all students, without electives, train teachers, and hit key CCSS, NGSS, and CSTA standards. Blackbird is browser-based so students can use it with any computer, at school or at home. Teachers can monitor progress, review code, manage classes, and more–all through an easy-to-use platform.

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Laura Ascione
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