Robotics is all around us- from our gym equipment to food appliances, to helping perform life-saving surgeries. Robotic technology aids us in our everyday endeavours, enabling us to aim higher than ever. Robotics are an unavoidable keystone of the future, so who better to teach their importance to than the future generation. Here are a few ways to help get your child interested in robotics.
Start them early
No matter how young your child is, you’ll find that their toys encourage creativity and imagination. Leggo and Meccano are some of the best toys to encourage an interest in robotics. With a durable and diverse range of building pieces, it allows your child to build whatever comes to mind. From building houses, vehicles and people to anything else their imagination fosters. You can even join in and actively encourage your child to build a wondrous range of objects and structures.
It’s important to foster your child’s imagination positively and playfully in early childhood. This allows them to obtain an enjoyable interest in the basic facets of robotics. It blossoms into an understanding of mathematics and science, which opens them up for a world of possibilities. Career-wise, there is a globally increasing demand for engineers. Knowledge in mechatronics applies to a wide variety of fields while also being useful in a practical sense. It is one of few areas that can be both an occupation and a hobby to those who find it engaging.
Use pop-culture to your advantage.
The growing influence of pop-culture on younger generations means that children are increasingly aware of robotics. From superhero and villain robots to pet robots, there is something to capture the interest of every child. This is a brilliant way to captivate and spark an initial interest in robotics for your children. Encouraging them to watch movies and television shows about robotics will foster interest. This can then be transferred to learning robotics as a hobby.
So, your child has an initial interest in robotics, now what? Do-it-yourself projects are a great way for children to put their interests into practice. You can start them small with at-home children’s DIY kits and move onto more advanced projects as they enhance their skills. Eventually, under your supervision, they can assemble flat-pack objects and fix broken toys and gadgets. Challenge your children to think of any innovations they could use to make the assembly easier. A child's mind develops at a rapid pace, meaning you will find yourself surprised at how their thought-process evolves.
Practical knowledge is just as important as theoretical knowledge of engineering and robotics. One of the best ways to teach theory is while encouraging your child to move beyond their skillset. As well as doing this at home, there are great options for coding and robotics camps for children. These camps teach coding and practical skills. It allows children to further develop their skills in a safe environment. As an added bonus, your child can make friends with similar interests, gain new social skills and a sense of independence. All of which are important outside of robotics- from university to building a career.
Social clubs are a great way to maintain your child’s interest in robotics and engineering. It develops social skills and helps them find other children interested in the same hobbies. This makes the learning experience more enjoyable. Enquire at your child's schools, check through Facebook groups, and the like. Search for something suitable for your child's ability and interests. There are also workshops specialising in introductory robotics and engineering. These are a great place to learn foundations along those of the same experience.
The world is shifting to a heavier reliance on technology. It is paramount that our children understand the world around them. Getting them interested in robotics is a great way to enable this and set them up for a future ready to greet them.
My name is Harper, and I’m a freelance writer based in Auckland, New Zealand. I’m interested in anything related to design and technology. When not geeking out over these, I'm likely writing content for tech and local business sites such as Keith Andrews. Follow me on Tumblr.