The value of emphasizing STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) is essential since it impacts just about every facet of our lives - checking the news on your mobile phone, using video conferencing software to facilitate meetings, or programming our home alarm systems are all everyday activities influenced by STEM innovations. When we can make connections between topics being learned and our own lives, the learning tends to stick in our minds longer. It seems reasonable then that the study of robotics is integrated into STEM education programs since robotics influences many areas of life – construction, defense, health, maintenance, security, and more. Of course, robotics also allows for learning beyond our general experiences such as space exploration.
While space exploration may seem out of the realm of “real-life application” for some, the wonders of space and all that it entails are fascinating and can spark interest in further study in related career fields: astronomers, atmospheric scientists, aerospace engineers, computer hardware engineers, mechanical engineers, avionics technicians, and much more. By incorporating more robotics learning in the classroom, students also learn key skills such as critical thinking, programming, coding, teamwork, and problem-solving.
NASA has excellent resources for teachers and students related to robotics and more! Their NASA STEM Engagement page (click here) includes activities on the Ingenuity Mars Helicopter, information on the Perseverance Rover, and even sounds of Mars! Students can also ‘Meet the Martians’ which could spur more interest in space-related education. Encourage your students to do their own research on the STEM fields of the ‘Martians’ and create a list of questions they would ask any of them if an interview opportunity presented itself. Who knows? You might be able to invite a NASA Martian to your class via video conferencing!
Even with the best-laid plans, materials to create a truly interactive experience may be hard to find. The Mimio MyBot educational robotics system is designed to help teachers use more robotics-focused learning and making it relatively simple to do. The MyBot system engages both teachers and students from every level of skill from beginner to advanced, exploring engineering principles from simple to advanced mechanisms. Activities can be related to what students are currently seeing on the news or NASA website such as the Perseverance Rover Campaign on Mars.
To further simulate the experience of exploring Mars, the Mimio MyBot and ShareSpace Giant Mars Map™ allows students to program rovers to investigate Mars similar to what scientists and engineers are doing. For example, pose the question, “How difficult is it to navigate a rover over the Mars terrain?” The MyBot system has activities that focus on maneuvering the terrain including understanding Mars topography. Students can also collect, analyze, and graph data such as travel distance and speed.
To simplify including MyBot activities, the award-winning MyStemKits curriculum has lessons tied into the MyBot system such as Rover Wheels, Tour of Mars, Moving Mars Rocks, and project-based learning (PBL) challenge Mars Colony. For a free trial of MyStemKits, go to mystemkits.com and explore the variety of kits available for robotics, sensor technology, and 3D printers. Who knows? You may be the start of a school-wide STEM movement beginning with the innovative and user-friendly Mimio MyBot!
If you or members of your school STEM team would like a demonstration of our MimioSTEM solutions, contact Hannah Olson, MimioSTEM Product Manager – firstname.lastname@example.org.
Register for the MimioSTEM Webinar – MyBot Educational Robot on Wednesday, June 16, 2021! Braydon Moreno, Boxlight Director of STEM and Hannah Olson will discuss all things MyBot. Don’t miss out on learning about the MyBot ShareSpace partnership and how students can learn to code. To register, click here.
To learn more about Boxlight MimioSTEM solutions, including our award-winning Virtual STEM Kits, go to boxlight.com/stem-education.