At Teach Kids Robotics, we think robotics is an excellent opportunity for kids to learn about STEM in addition to other educational benefits. In addition to learning at home, kids interested in robotics may have opportunities at their schools to join robotics teams that compete in local competitions. There are several benefits to kids participating in robotics competitions which support why kids should participate in robotics competitions:
- Problem-solving skills: Robotics competitions require participants to design, build, and program robots to perform tasks or complete challenges. This process requires kids to think critically, creatively, and systematically, which can help develop their problem-solving skills.
- Teamwork: Robotics competitions often involve working in teams to design, build, and program robots. This can help kids learn how to collaborate and communicate effectively with others, which are important skills in both personal and professional settings.
- Technology skills: Participating in robotics competitions can help kids develop technical skills such as programming, engineering, and design. These skills are in high demand in many industries and can be valuable for a range of careers.
- Confidence and self-esteem: Participating in robotics competitions can give kids a sense of accomplishment and help build their confidence and self-esteem. It can also provide an opportunity for kids to learn from their mistakes and improve their skills over time.
- Fun: Robotics competitions can be a fun and exciting way for kids to engage with science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). By participating in these competitions, kids can explore their interests and passions in a meaningful and enjoyable way.
If your interested in finding robotics competitions for your kids to join, start by checking if your school has a robotics club already, as there are multiple leagues for school districts to be part of.
What robotics competitions are available for kids?
There are several robotics competitions that are specifically designed for kids in school:
- FIRST Lego League (FLL): This competition is for kids in grades 4-8 and involves building and programming robots using Lego bricks and components. Teams compete in regional and national tournaments, with the goal of completing missions and tasks that are based on a real-world scientific theme.
- VEX Robotics Competition: This competition is for kids in middle and high school and involves designing, building, and programming robots to compete in a game that changes each year. Teams can participate in local, regional, and national tournaments.
- Botball: This competition is for kids in middle and high school and involves building and programming robots to compete in a game that involves moving and stacking objects. Teams compete in regional and national tournaments.
- RoboCup: This competition is for kids of all ages and involves building and programming robots to compete in various challenges, including soccer, rescue, and dance. Teams can participate in local, regional, and international tournaments.
- FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC): This competition is for high school students and involves designing, building, and programming robots to compete in a game that changes each year. Teams compete in regional and national tournaments.
These are just a few examples of robotics competitions for kids in school. There may be other local or regional competitions that are available in your area. If there are no available teams or clubs at your school, the process to create one is simple.
How to start a robotics team at your school
Starting a robotics team at your school can be a fun and rewarding way for students to engage with science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Here are some steps you can follow to start a robotics team at your school:
- Identify a faculty sponsor: It’s important to have a faculty member who is willing to oversee the team and provide support and guidance. This person could be a teacher, counselor, or administrator at your school.
- Find a location and resources: You’ll need a place where the team can meet and work on their projects. This could be a classroom, lab, or other space at your school. You’ll also need resources such as materials, tools, and equipment to build and program robots.
- Recruit members: Spread the word about the robotics team and encourage interested students to join. You might consider holding an informational meeting or presentation to explain what the team is all about and how students can get involved.
- Establish goals and a schedule: Determine what you want the team to achieve and how often you’ll meet. You may want to participate in a specific robotics competition, or you may simply want to have fun and learn more about robotics.
- Get support: Reach out to local businesses, community organizations, and other schools to see if they can provide support for the team. This might include funding, resources, or mentorship.
Starting a robotics team can take time and effort, but the rewards can be well worth it. By participating in robotics activities, students can learn valuable skills such as problem-solving, teamwork, and technical expertise, while having fun and exploring their interests.
We hope this post has explained why kids should participate in robotics competitions with additional information on how to do so. If you would like your kids to learn more about robotics, consider getting started by following our step by step blog posts explaining how robots work starting with what is a robot?.