The Benefits of Elementary School Robotics Club

The Benefits of Elementary School Robotics Club

It’s no doubt that American teenagers today have busier schedules than ever before. Between school, homework, sports practices, and school clubs, it can feel like a full-time job keeping up.

On the bright side, this also means that young people are exposed to more activities outside the typical school day that stimulate them in a different way than traditional academics and open up possibilities for their future.

Students who have a passion to compete can participate in school football or basketball teams. Likewise, students who want to become involved in their communities have opportunities to get involved at a local animal shelter or food pantry.

School extracurriculars have a wide range of benefits for students, and becoming involved in robotics is just another way for students to discover their underlying passions. Students who take up a particular interest in the world of robotics can improve their academic standing as well as future career pursuits.

Here are a few perks when it comes to exploring an elementary school robotics club.

Changing the Way We Look at Academics

First, attending robotics workshops or joining elementary school robotics clubs gives students the outlet to explore academics in a non-traditional setting. Many times, because of curriculum restraints or other pressures, students are given the unrealistic expectation that they must master all material in a lecture setting, or from a textbook.

Unfortunately, this is not representative of many learners, who need to do, in order to learn, not just hear or read about sometimes abstract topics.

In a more flexible setting, students are able to test out scientific procedures on their robot in a trusted environment. At the forefront, they’re bouncing ideas off of classmates, plotting out diagrams, and digging into the robotics kit materials. However, in the background, students are cementing concepts of mechanics and physics which reinforce what they’ve already learned in the classroom.

Elementary level students that may seem subdued, reserved, uninterested in a traditional classroom setting can find their niche in after-school robotics.

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Finding Their Place in a Group

Many students struggle with learning issues that are not directly related to academics, nevertheless, are problems that affect them in a classroom setting.

Some students have learning disabilities or attention difficulties which make learning in a traditional classroom setting difficult. Other students may have difficult family situations, for example, that affect their day-to-day concentration in core classes. Addressing each student’s individual obstacles within a large class can be a struggle for many teachers.

When students are put in small groups in an elementary school robotics club, students who struggle with some of these obstacles have a chance to reestablish themselves in a new environment.

Students who are given a specific role within a group begin to adopt feelings of pride and responsibility in carrying out their task at hand.

Meanwhile, students that struggle in a traditional classroom are gaining important information about themselves transferable to any group setting: What are my strengths? What am I usually able to contribute to a group? What’s frustrating to me? What makes me feel proud?

Keeping Busy

As parent’s children grow up, they worry about the effects of peer pressure and temptations to loose all academic interest.

While fitting robotics into an already busy student schedule might seem tough, it’s also a great way to keep young people motivated and supported by positive peer influence.

No matter what career path your child chooses to pursue—STEM or not—skills gained in robotics, like communication, problem-solving, and initiative will serve them well in any direction their future may lead.

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Finding Meaning and Self-Worth

Joining a robotics workshop or elementary school robotics club is not only about how you fit into a group but also about how you see yourself as an individual.

Some students who face struggles outside the classroom, particularly at home, are searching for a place to feel comfortable and supported. Getting involved in robotics not only gives students something to do after school but a chance to build new skills and improve self-confidence.

Young people need to be a part of projects with a big end goal. This fosters a sense of commitment and perseverance, even when the work is hard or success feels impossible.

This is also especially key amongst girls, in communities with high rates of poverty, and among minority groups.

Getting Prepared for University

Becoming involved in elementary school robotics clubs also gets kids on the college track. Whether college was on their radar before, extracurriculars that boost students’ self-esteem help them to believe they have the power to succeed at the university level.

Beyond a desire to go to college, the hope of getting students involved in robotics from a young age is that students who never would have considered choosing a career in the STEM fields may give that another thought. While manipulating robotics calls on mechanical science and physics, that’s not to say that students won’t, in the process, pick up other interests in the wider realm of science, technology, math and engineering.

More importantly, yet, students will feel they have a support system in place backing them up and wanting them to succeed.

As students begin to apply for colleges, listing extracurriculars such as robotics can only be a plus when it comes to high admissions standards at top universities across the country.

Choosing robotics today will benefit students many times over. The positive effects are almost immediate, as parents and teachers might observe a change in attitude towards school and rigorous academics. All of a sudden, students are handing in homework on time, passing exams with high scores, asking questions in class.

But of course, it also goes far beyond that. Students also carry themselves differently, have a higher opinion of themselves, and grow more confident in other passion they may choose to pursue.

So whether in the end, students pursue a career as a physicist, or computer scientist, or musician, or actor, the time spent with robotics will have been well worth their time and energy.

Derek Capo