Smiling child holding a robot

Programming Robots in STEM Camps Prepare Kids for the Future

.What was once only possible in science fiction novels and movies is becoming an everyday reality. While we may not be battling robots for control of the world, robotics is a field that is growing and becoming a major industry. It is an industry that is shaping the future world our children will inherit. Kids are programming robots in STEM camps as young as 5 with more advanced robotics building and programming in their teen years. As parents, it is critical for us to help prepare them for a world that looks very different from the one we grew up in.

Just consider the ways robots are already influencing your children’s lives. Many of us have already installed a digital assistant at home such as Amazon Echo or  Google Home. Kids use digital technology and computers in the classroom, at home, at summer camps and science fairs. Are you purchasing STEM toys and robots for kids? Have your kids showed interest in computer programming? If so, your kids are not the only ones. Parents are recognizing the potential power of robotics programming and are looking for ways to inspire their children. Hence, the booming market for coding robots for kids.

If you remain unconvinced that your child needs to understand robotics to succeed in the future, keep reading.

The Robots Have Arrived and They are Here to Stay

Robots do not necessarily resemble what science fiction writers envisioned. However, robots and artificial intelligence are becoming commonplace. For instance, the auto industry is utilizing robots more than ever. Self-driving vehicles are quickly becoming a reality and investments in these technologies are steadily growing.

Artificial intelligence is showing up across devices we use in our homes are paving the way for a future where everything from education to business is capable of being handled by technology and machines. According to The Economist, 75% of executives say Artificial Intelligence will be “actively implemented” in companies within the next three years.

Today’s Kids Must Have STEM Skills for Success in Tomorrow’s World

Our kids will live in a world where robots and artificial intelligence not only exist but also eliminate jobs and create new ones. While we may not want to raise all of our children to become computer programmers, it is important for children to have digital literacy beyond being consumers. Our kids and teens want to understand how computers work and the role they will play with them in the future. Basic computer science skills will help them do just that.

According to the World Economic Forum, 65 percent of the children entering primary school now will ultimately work in a job that doesn’t exist today. In order to prepare children for careers that do not even exist, we must teach them STEM skills. STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) skills will help kids adapt to tomorrow’s workplace.

Schools are Limited in Robotics Programming Classes

Unfortunately, while most schools have implemented a STEM curriculum, not all schools have the necessary tools for teaching robotics or programming. If a school does not have a budget for technology, it is difficult to teach all kids (and not simply those on the advanced track) basic robotics programming. Look for after-school clubs, or workshops at your local library to supplement what kids are learning in school and to build upon their STEM knowledge. Kids will have a blast learning how to build, design, and program robots – and they will be light years ahead of their peers who do not spend time learning about and playing with robots.

Robotics Camp Exists and It is Worth Every Penny

Summer is a great time for kids to learn about robots in STEM camps. If the school year is just too busy, then you should consider a STEM summer camp with robots. You might be surprised to find them being offered nearby at your local community center, YMCA or local STEM provider.

These specialty camps allow kids to be curious and tinker without the homework. For example, camps may combine programming robots and games  where kids collaborate to complete robot challenges. Ultimately, these camps introduce kids to robotics in a way that makes them feel confident about their roles in the future. 

If you live in Washington, check out TechVenture’s camp offerings.

The Difference Between Your Kids and Robots

While robots will change the world, there are some things that will never change. For instance, a child’s innate curiosity when given room to explore will always lead to new discoveries.  Robots aren’t coming to make the world a harder place for our children to live in. With the right knowledge, our kids and robots will work together to achieve great things.

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