There are a lot of robotics learning opportunities for kids available both online and in person, through private and public offerings. In this post, we’ll cover some available opportunities to increase your awareness on what robotic learning opportunities for kids are available.
Ages 14+ (High school)
FIRST® Robotics Competition
From their website, First® Robotics combines the excitement of sport with the rigors of science and technology. Facilitated through high schools who organize teams and provide mentorship through teachers, parents and local industry professionals, the competition sees teams of students working to have the highest scoring robot for the given competitions task.
This is a great opportunity not only for students to work on teams with like minded individuals while gaining STEM skills, but to attend fun events to demonstrate their work with the support of a like minded community. If your child is interested in robotics, this is a good avenue for them to explore once they reach high school. If your school does not have a team, you can create one yourself!
Udemy has an entire topic dedicated to robotics, and is an online education platform aimed at teaching via online modules.
Coursera is another education platform, with various lessons on robotics offered by some of the leading universities in the country.
Robolink robot kits for students that want to program via blocks or code and learn how robots work.
We’ve also created a post with the best STEM Robotic Kits for high school students (ages 14+).
Ages 10+ (Middle school)
VEX Robotics competitions are an opportunity for students interested in STEM to pursue an extracurricular activity that sees them both exercise their engineering and soft school to collaborate and work as a team on a fun project. With95% of participants reporting an increased interest in STEM subject areas and pursuing STEM-related careers, this is a great tipping point to getting your child on the STEM track in a fun manner.
Children love building Legos as a creative problem solving and fun activity. Did you know Legos also have a line to encourage STEM and robotic learning?
With easy to follow instructions, multiple robots to build and the option to connect to a computer to control the robots with code like interface, the Lego Mindstorms are the perfect fun educational robot learning opportunity for young ones.
In addition to LEGO Mindstorms, Carnegie Mellon University has an entire set of online resources dedicated to teaching robotics with Legos.
We’ve created a post with the best STEM Robotic Kits for middle school students (ages 10+).
Ages 6+ (Elementary School)
STEM Summer Camps
STEM summer camps are a great way to get your young one introduced to STEM and robotics concepts. Even if you don’t have a robotics specific camp in your area, there are several related summer camps that may be available, such as in programming, coding, computer science, engineering, electronics, science or general STEM. You are best googling for camps in your local area, but there are sites available such as activity hero to help find them.
STEM & Robotic Children’s Books
Just like summer camps, during the school year books are a great resource for young ones to get a soft introduction to STEM & robotic concepts. To learn about robots there are books such as:
Robots, Robots Everywhere!: A very light colorful rhyming book with plenty of robot drawings, this very light and high level book is great at showing robots doing real jobs and introducing the concept of a robot.
Lots of Bots!: A Counting Pop-Up Book: A robot based introduction to counting, with each page featuring a given number of robots that pop out of the book and help teach counting
For older readers, there are good hands on books with activities to follow such as:
Nick and Tesla’s Robot Army Rampage: A Mystery with Hoverbots, Bristle Bots, and Other Robots You Can Build Yourself: A brother and sister pair build robots with household items to solve mysteries, with step by step instructions on building your own (paper) robots.
Homemade Robots: 10 Simple Bots to Build with Stuff Around the House: This book is unique in that offers activities for you to build, like a cookbook for your own stem projects!
Bots! Robotics Engineering: with Hands-On Makerspace Activities. This book is more advanced and teaches children more about real robotics engineering.
We’ve created a post with the best STEM Robotic Kits for elementary school students (ages 6+)
For more formal advanced robotics instruction material, the Robotics Education organization offers robotic learning material.
Youtube videos are a great source of learning. Some channels we suggest:
Simon Giertz: Inventor and breaker of things, rise to fame included turning everyday objects into robots.
There are additionally various videos available that teach robotics: