As more students return to classrooms in the fall, they will be looking for the kinds of hands-on activities they couldn’t experience during distance learning. Educators will also be looking for ways to get students problem-solving, collaborating, and sharing ideas in ways that couldn’t happen over Zoom. Making physical computing with robots part of a makerspaces program addresses these issues and re-engages students in learning.
In my work with schools to design makerspaces and STEM programs, I’ve found a few key features that help when introducing robots to young learners. First, the activities should quickly engage students and bring them into the learning process. Second, teachers should consider time and space requirements for robotics activities to get the most out of formal and informal learning opportunities. And lastly, activities should be aligned to grade-level standards as much as possible.