Simple Robotics Projects for High School Students to Discover New Talents

Simple Robotics Projects for High School Students to Discover New Talents

High school students who become involved in robotics do so for many different reasons. Some students may already have an aptitude for subjects like math and science, while other students are testing the water in STEM-related fields for the first time.

The skills young people hone as they develop their robots are not only applicable to the robots workshop settings but will also benefit them further down the road. Major benefits of becoming involved in robotics at a young age include practicing computer programming skills, learning actively, understanding the depths of applied mathematics, taking on advanced technology design, and practicing communication, judgment, and decision-making.

Robotics companies are more driven than ever before to create simple robotics projects for high school students that will build on each of these fundamental skills.

 

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Becoming an Expert Programmer

Gaining practical skills in computer programming expands exponentially students’ career prospects.  Robotics projects utilize different programming languages such as Java, Python or C++ that are commonly used in mobile apps development and computer technology.

Luckily, in a robotics setting, students can build these skills from the ground up, even if they come into the workshop with very little previous knowledge. As students put their programming talents to the test, they’ll be able to see the results right in front of them, as their robot makes its first movements.

For example, simple robotics projects for high school students that will build their computer programming skills include creating a robot prototype using Computer-Aided Design (CAD). Students with access to a 3-D printer will even get a chance to see their designs come to life.

Learning Actively

Not all students learn in the same way. For some students, science class material taught through textbook is sufficient. For many other students, a live, representative model of the science concept is extremely helpful for detailed understanding.

Robotics teaches kids many of these same concepts and also lets them take the lead in their own learning. Kinesthetic (learning by doing or building) lessons plans get kids’ wheels turning and keeps them engaged throughout the process.

A simple robotics project for early high school students sure to keep them actively engaged is, for example, robot cars with a pen attached to the floor, making for the perfect impromptu robotic art project. Not only will students have to program their car using computer programming skills, they’ll also learn how to manipulate their robot with great precision to draw careful images.

Digging into Applied Mathematics

Robotics is a great way for students to utilize mathematics, in a new environment. For any inquisitive student in class, who wonders when the formulas and protocols set out in a math class will ever be used in the real world, robotics is it.

A robotics classroom lends itself to trial and error where students should not feel pressured to get it right the first time. The input/output robotics building process lets students experiment with the interactive process of building, programming, testing, improving, testing, rebuilding and keep going until they are satisfied with the outcome.  A very close process to product development in todays' technology oriented world.

A typical robotics project for early high school students intended to hone math skills includes programming the robot to move with graceful motions—like turning in tight circles, or raising up and lowering down.  People unfamiliar with the world or robotics have images in their mind of jerky movements to get a robot for Point A to Point B. A term known as kinematics explores the full range of motion of a robot, so that robots can move more precisely and more gracefully.

Cracking Advanced Technology Design

Many high school students, who have already grown accustomed to technology in their everyday lives, are immediately attracted to robotics. And for good reason. There are lots to explore from blueprint design to mechanical adjustments, computer programming and bug fixes.  All of these require a level of comfort with technology and it evolves with time.

Pursuing robotics open up a world of career paths closely related to the technology industry. When students are able to see the influence of their design on the final robot product, they’ll be more motivated to contribute to similar projects in the future.

A interesting robotics project for high school students interested in the design aspect of their robot can practice making a basic robotic hand that is capable of picking up small items, like drinking straws. Although the task is simple, students will also require careful concentration and precision to execute the task properly.

Communication, Judgement, and Decision Making

Working as a team to build a robot provides benefits far beyond skills related to science, technology, engineering and math. High school students who become involved in robotics will also see changes in the way they communicate and reach decisions as a group. Collectively, students will have to decide which design will best suit their robot’s needs, what setbacks they anticipate, and how to negotiate among themselves, once they come across unforeseen challenges.

The purpose of robotics workshops is that students are largely in charge of judgment and decision making tasks. They’ll have to reason with group members and persuade others why their idea is more likely to succeed.

Students who want to hone these skills can practice using a robot car which moves along a suspension cable (taught strings strung across a classroom or from the kitchen counter, across the room). This Simple robotics project for high school students will call on students to communicate effectively in order to manipulate the cable car from one end of the room to the other.

There are so many valuable lifelong skills to be gained from participating in robotics that high school students shouldn’t let themselves get deterred simply because math or science has not been their strong suit in the past. Starting with simple robotics projects at the get-go gives students the opportunity to develop STEM and interpersonal skills that they’ll undoubtedly benefit from in their professional lives.

Robotics has the ability to uncover the great scientists, engineers, mathematicians, and computer programmers of the next generation.

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RoboLoco, Inc.