It’s back to school time! That’s quite evident driving past any campus. Band music can be heard wavering across the practice fields filled with athletes practicing for the big game. But if you go into the school building, an excitement is in the air as students across the nation start opening the current year’s robotics competition field.
Every year students work together in teams to manipulate targets and score the points that will take them to the top. I once read somewhere that “Robotics is the sport of the mind”. This is a very true statement. Teams will collaborate together for weeks to refine and perfect their programs while practicing their driving skills. Robotic competitions incorporate physics, math, and communication skills into a fun event that the whole family can participate in and introduce a whole new generation to engineering in a new type of learning environment outside the classroom. As Andreas Schleicher states,” Education today is much more about ways of thinking which involve creative and critical approaches to problem-solving and decision-making. It is also about ways of working, including communication and collaboration, as well as the tools they require, such as the capacity to recognize and exploit the potential of new technologies….” Robotic competition programs offer a means to accomplish this goal.
As more and more schools introduce their students to robotics, the growth of local competitions is astounding. This explosion has risen to the international stage. Just this past year, the Robotics Education Competition Foundation broke a world record for the largest robot competition after 30,000 competitors, volunteers, and spectators, came to Louisville, Kentucky to compete against over 30 nations.
So as the school year begins, let’s wish all our students good luck in their efforts as they work hard to bring the prize home to their schools, no matter where they take the field.