Programming and robotics for kids. Where to start?

Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning…… no doubt you’ve heard these terms, but are they just buzz words used by those to sound more important or is there something more real to it and can help our children???

The answer is a bit of both!

Growing up, our minds were corrupted by all those sci-fi movies that painted a near-distant future of flying cars, personal robot assistants (Tony Stark’s Jarvis), and being able to take a vacation to Mars!  In recent years, many of these ideas have become more tangible as businesses and individuals find more practical use cases for them.  From driverless cars, smart home appliances, finding cures to diseases, predicting stock prices, finding the next gold mine, to the trusty voice assistant on your smartphone that finds the nearest café when you need a caffeine hit… this technology is becoming more a part of our lives.

So if this is the future, how do I get my child ready for it?

The good news that that schools across the world are starting to teach kids programming as early as 5 years of age. Designing their own virtual car, then coding to teach it how to move in different directions on a virtual street map, has replaced the old box of crayons in the primary classroom!

But what if your child is like mine, who now wants to create more things using her iPad? I faced this predicament and like any parent I went to google for help.  But all it did was leave me more confused!

What should she learn at her age? How can it still be fun for her (she’s still a child after all), but also help her build her skills? And what’s the next step after she’s built up some skills?

This all led to me deciding to create my own unique online science and technology education platform that teaches kids of all ages cover fundamentals in robotics, programming, engineering, science and emerging technologies in a fun and interactive way. And in doing so it also teaches those valuable core life skills just as problem solving, critical thinking and communication.

How I do this is primarily through two ways:

  1. Creating activity boxes which take some of those traditional toys kids love to play with, but take them to another level! Imagine your child building their own robot which follows their commands, a plane launcher that takes the humble paper plane to heights no other paper plane as gone before, or a motorized boat that can change to a robot that can draw!
  1. And for those whose thirst for such knowledge does even deeper, STEM connects industry leading teachers with students through a structured online learning program. Each lesson is online with no lesson is the same! Courses are designed for to suit kids of all ages as well as parents so you can learn together! So why not make it a family learning experience!