This week is the national conference for the Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA). In recognition, I want to highlight an important, and growing, approach for exposing K-12 students to computer science and STEM principles—Robotics.

Robotics activities have been offered in K-12 school for decades. Robotics is a great way to introduce students to important concepts in math, physics, coding and engineering. Because of this, recent years have seen increasing interest in robotics education; reports estimate that by 2023 schools will spend in excess of $600 million on robotics product and curricula.

Traditional, physical robotics programs work great in many situations. However, some elements of physical robotics programs tend to limit participation and exposure of these critical skills to just a subset of students on a school campus. Traditional robotics programs can have expensive upfront costs, plus additional hidden ongoing expenses in maintenance, storage and repairs. Schools often struggle to find capable and interested teachers, which limits exposure to the important concepts that students can learn from these activities.

At Learning.com, our purpose is to Prepare Students for Success in the Digital World–and a big part of that mission is to tackle issues of Digital Equity. We believe that all students should be exposed, in some fashion, to the concepts encompassed in robotics. To address this, we’ve recently launched EasyCode Virtual Robotics (ECVR), in partnership with Robotify.

The cost of virtual robotics is far lower than a traditional robotics program, allowing the opportunity for ALL students in a school to participate in some manner. ECVR is browser-based, with no special software required—further enabling broad participation. Instructors don’t need special training in coding or robotics to get students up and running in ECVR—we provide a short training course that helps educators prepare to lead their class.

There are many approaches that schools take to exposing their students to the STEM and computer science principles that are important to prepare them for success in our digital world.  We support the CSTA in its efforts to expand these approaches, and are happy to offer Virtual Robotics as one approach to tackle these Digital Equity issues.

 

Want to find out how you can get EasyCode Virtual Robotics for your students? Contact us today!