Robotics in Your Homeschool

Mention robotics and my 40+ year old mind goes to Rosie The Robot, the Jetsons’s housekeeper. I used to love that cartoon. My young mind could just imagine the automated life of the future with robots doing all my chores.

Fast forward to 2017. Where is Rosie? She hasn’t shown up in my house yet. While we might not be interacting with our robotic housekeeper on a daily basis, robots do play a huge part in our modern way of life.

How Are Robots Used Today

We might not have Rosie The Robot, but we do use robots in our homes. Roomba vacuum cleaners are robots that vacuum our floors for us, and there are robots that will clean our swimming pools, as well.

Robots have been used for years in manufacturing performing monotonous jobs that may be boring or too repetitive for humans like tightening screws, welding, or painting. They can, also, do manufacturing jobs that require incredible precision like creating very small computer components.

There are some jobs that are just too dangerous for humans These might be bomb detection, exploring dangerous environments like inside of volcanoes, or jobs in outer space. Robots are used in these situations.

The medical field uses robots for surgical procedures and pharmaceutical preparations that require precise movements and measurements. Robots aid in patient rehabilitation, and are used in some types of prosthetic limbs.

Robots are becoming more and more useful to humans. As our technologically driven society develops, so will the need for more and varying types of robots.

How To Prepare For A Career In Robotics

Robotics combines mechanical and electrical engineering, with coding, design, and other disciplines. It takes all these components to design and build robots. As the need for robots increases, the need for people to create them will, also. Looking to the future is always good when choosing a career. Go where the jobs will be.

We have seen the push for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) education. This push is to prepare students for the high tech world and job market they will be entering. As homeschool parents, we can assure that our children get the type of education that they need. Search for quality math, science, and technology curriculum. Then, use the ones that appeal to your child’s learning style, personality, and interest. That’s the beauty of homeschool. We can adapt everything to each child!

Here are a few math and science resources that have worked well for us and that  I would recommend:

Elementary Math: Singapore Math

High School Math: Teaching Textbooks

Elementary Science: Nancy Larson Science

High School Science: Apologia, BJU Press

Once a student has a solid background in STEM, the opportunities are endless. They can choose go into areas that design, build, or program robots. All are necessary.

How To Gain Robotics Experience

My children really enjoy STEM subjects and ways to put their knowledge to use in hands-on ways. Robotics fits their interests perfectly! Of all the robotics related resources we have used, these are the ones that my children have enjoyed the most.

EEME – This is a kit based resource that teaches the basics of electronics. Each month, EEME sends a box containing a hands-on electronics project kit that links to a web-based curriculum. Each successive kit builds one skills learned from the kit before. One of the boxes contains Q The Robot. Q is a simple robot that students can build themselves. Additional kits allow students to add components, plus learn to code.

Bitsbox – If coding scares you or you think your kids are too young to learn to code, Bitsbox is for you. Bitsbox is a subscription based box program that sends children a themed kit with TONS of simple coding resources that allow kids to create, code, and modify their very own apps and games within minutes! Your kids will be coding in no time and have fun doing it.

FIRST Robotics – My high school daughter is in her second year as a member of a local FIRST Robotics team. FIRST is a set of mentor-based programs from K through 12 that seeks to inspire future leaders in STEM careers through robotics. My daughter has learned to much through this program. She is applying what she has learned in her studies, plus learning new skills. Most of all, she is excited about it. Find a FIRST program near you.

Have you thought of using robotics to interest your children in STEM subjects and careers? What resources have you used?

About Marci Goodwin

Marci Goodwin can be found blogging at TheHomeschoolScientist.com, where her goal is to take the fear out of and put the fun into homeschool science.

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