Robotics is a field that has only relatively recently become accessible to children as a medium to learn the fundamentals of computer science and programming. Robotics is an inherently fun way to learn, and is becoming one of the most popular mediums to learn programming because of its hands-on approach to learning.
Programming can be often be abstract and difficult to understand. By giving students control over a physical robot which can easily demonstrate errors students quickly learn the need for clarity and precision in their instructions. Robotics-based learning helps address the growing demand for teaching science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM-based subjects) in schools. Through programming a physical device, students gain an important understanding of how these subjects link together.
The robotics industry is becoming larger and more relevant every year – automating menial tasks is a growing practice adopted by employers worldwide, and this will have a significant effect on the set of skills desirable to employers of the future.
A report by the Committee for Economic Development of Australia speculates that robots could replace 40% of Australian jobs by 2025, which equates to around 5 million jobs over the next two decades – an indication of what will likely be a worldwide trend in the coming years. Skills relating to programming and robotics will inevitably be highly sought after and are currently in short supply against demand.
There are a number of other benefits inherent to teaching robotics in a classroom-based environment, such as promoting team-building skills, shared problem-solving among students and developing a strong incentive to coordinate toward a common goal.