Within the period between the months of February 2016 and May, 2017 ESI CEE organized free educational robotics workshops with more than 700 Bulgarian students from several general education schools in Bulgaria. We used Arduino microcontrollers and visual programming languages to teach children between the ages of 7 and 15 the basic concepts of robotics and programming by building a robo-tank. The workshop also includes a creativity seminar based on the mind-mapping concept of Tony Buzan, which aims to encourage the children to discover additional practical applications of robotics in various fields of science and in everyday life. We also developed and applied an educational robotics workshops for visualizing basic mathematical concepts, stipulated in the Bulgarian national curriculum for mathematics for the 4th grade. Find out more about our our workshops here.
This school year (2016/2017) we will continue to work with another 300+ students and deliver free robotics workshops, but along with last year’s robo-tank workshops, we wanted to create brand new content that would further assist general education and especially mathematics. So, we created a whole new workshop, tailored for students in 4th grade – the Mathbot. More information about this workshop is coming soon here.
Within both these workshops, students will be able to learn the basic concepts of robotics like human-machine interaction, sensors, actuators, autonomous life of robots, AI, programming, science, etc. In addition, the school students will work in small groups on different projects developed by themselves and thus will gain valuable skills like teamwork, problem definition and solving, creative and strategic thinking etc. In our workshops, children are “learning by doing” – they learn by discovering, experimenting and having fun.
The workshops are in support of the general education and are organized within the project ER4SREM “Educational robotics for science, technology, engineering and mathematics”, funded by Horizon 2020 program for research and innovation.
We believe that children are naturally curious about the scientific disciplines, technology, engineering and mathematics due to their general interest about the world – the way the world functions, the way that the different elements connect and interrelate. When this interest is not stimulated or encouraged on their road to maturity or during the course of education, it often disappears. From a subject of natural excitement about the world, science becomes a boring and an abstract subject with an unclear practical application or purpose.
ER4SREM aims to encourage this curiosity of the children, showing them one really exciting hands-on application of science – robotics. We think that inspiration with the scientific disciplines, especially in younger children, could be encouraged very successfully with a project-oriented approach, which aims to teach theoretical concepts from science, technology, engineering and mathematics through their practical application.