How K-12 Students Can Benefit from Robotics
Robotics engage students on a new level. Access to technology provides students with a unique opportunity to explore different types of learning. You’ve probably heard of unstructured play and flexible learning environments but what about Project-Based Learning and 360-Degree Learning? Both approaches are hands on and engage students on a deep level.
- Project-Based Learning: PBL focuses on giving students real-world challenges that help them develop problem-solving skills. After a basic introduction to concepts or events, students work in groups to engage with what they’ve learned. Tech integration — like robots — aligns with students’ everyday experience and helps them connect with critical concepts.
- 360-Degree Learning: As noted by Building Design and Construction, schools are now “emphasizing practical, hands-on experience and personalized learning” by creating new learning environments that include outdoor and offsite classrooms, and natural play spaces. Here, the goal is to combine kids’ need for active play with the development of social and STEM skills by adopting a comprehensive learning approach. (source)
About the Program
The Robotics Academy of Nevada – a new statewide professional development program funded by Tesla’s K-12 Education Investment Fund – is being developed by the Desert Research Institute, the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and the University of Nevada, Reno. Facilitated by DRI’s Pre-K-12 STEM education and outreach program, Science Alive, the new academy will launch this summer in partnership with the Colleges of Engineering at Nevada’s research universities in Reno and Las Vegas.
The funding of the Robotics Academy of Nevada is part of Tesla’s $37.5 million investment in K-12 education in Nevada aimed at programs that encourage students of all backgrounds to consider a career in STEM or sustainability. Tesla began rolling out the education investment in 2018 and will carry it out over five years. (source)
Mike Kazmierski, EDAWN president and CEO, sees the K-12 Robotics Center helping to answer a big question: “Where are we going to be as a region in 10 years? If we are going to be a tech hub, we need to reinvent how we think about and teach technology.”
As a growing technology hub, the Reno-Tahoe area is seeing many new job opportunities in Robotics and STEM-related careers. EDAWN is proud to be joining forces with the partners behind Nevada Robotics, including the Desert Research Institute, Tesla, and Nevada Gold Mines, to support engaging robotics education to Nevada’s K-12 students. This collective state-wide effort is designed to inspire K-12 students to pursue careers in STEM fields.
Companies have also reached out to EDAWN looking for ways to engage in ways that will have an impact on local K-12 education. Nevada Robotics provides a way to do that. For example, Tesla currently matches donations for secondary robotics programs while Nevada Gold Mines supports professional development initiatives.
EDAWN is supporting Nevada Robotics in seeking partners within our community to serve as mentors, volunteers, career advocates, and STEM connections between schools and our employers.
Ready to get involved?
We ask for your support in 4 simple steps.
- Watch this 2min video: This isn’t a Robot
- Complete and share this survey
- Consider coaching or mentoring a Robotics team
- Share the Design Squad Global site with parents and educators.
“Robotics Center for K-12 Students.” KTVN Channel 2 – Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video, Jan. 2021, www.ktvn.com/clip/15180476/robotics-center-for-k-12-students.
“New Robotics Academy of Nevada to Offer K-12 Teacher Trainings.” University of Nevada, Reno, www.unr.edu/nevada-today/news/2019/robotics-academy-announced.
Doug Bonderud Doug Bonderud is an award-winning writer capable of bridging the gap between complex and conversational across technology, innovation and the human condition. “How K–12 Classrooms Can Benefit from Robotics.” Technology Solutions That Drive Education, 15 Sept. 2020, edtechmagazine.com/k12/article/2019/09/how-k-12-classrooms-can-benefit-robotics-perfcon.