STEM Technologies in kindergarten Leave a comment

The most intense development of a person takes place in childhood. A child discovers how the surrounding world works. As a result, the teaching of robotics as programming technology in kindergarten significantly narrows the chances of learning the real world and its rules. The most pressing question at this age is “why?”. The transfer of material to children should, therefore, answer this question.

The traditional approach in technology answers the question: “How to do something?”, therefore, for many, robotics is a separate research topic in kindergarten. Let’s compare the STEM approach and regular one.

Let’s look at the examples. One of the most common tasks in robotics is an orientation in the room and step-by-step actions. The directions – right, left, forward and backwards – can be learned by the repeat method. Children repeat the robot’s activities with pleasure. When they press the left or right key again it answers the question: “how?”, in this case: “How do I turn left or right?”

Until then, everything has gone well. Now we take the task step by step: twice to the right, once to the left, one to the right. If you line up the children in two rows of mirror images to check the learned material and ask them to repeat the order at the same time, the confusion will surely begin. This is because there are not links to explain the action in a child’s brain. To the question: “Why I am turning to that angle?” was not answered during the teaching process.

Let’s look at the second approach with the answer to the question: “Why?” Adults often don’t understand the reasoning logic of a child, for which the logical answer to the question is, “Why does a rooster scream?” the answer is, “Because he’s a rooster.” It means that someone has this kind of passion. In other words, if we associate a character with an activity, that’s the answer to the question, “Why?” This communication through a character becomes the checkpoint that a child can use in an unusual situation. In addition, the communication of activities through the character becomes part of the game. Turning to a character is natural. The boys used to play like they were soldiers, the girls played like they were talking dolls, then the boys played Spiderman and the girls played Barbie dolls and Monster High, let’s make a robot or system a character. It provides more opportunities for learning. First, the creative ones, because you have to create a character, second, the sensational ones, because knowledge can be transferred through relationships between the characters. Children easily memorize activities and mimic those they admire.

Let us return to the task of learning directions. Imagine we created three characters. The first one can only go backwards, such as cancer. The other character can only go left, be it the dog running after his tail. And the third character is a sweet-eater who can get a treat if he lifts up his right hand, with which most of us hold a spoon. Learning directions can touch other knowledge that will remain in your memory for a long time. I believe every teacher has already been able to keep thinking about what he would do to complement his character’s story. For example, when imagining cancer, it must be said that he has had to move back quickly so that his natural enemies do not eat him. But cancer wants to be eaten by an otter, water birds, and fish such as a grave and a perch. Therefore, when attacked under water, the cancer abruptly bends its tail, swims back and saves itself in this way. A dog that runs to the left after its tail all the time, runs counter-clockwise, he plays like that out of boredom. The characters created must have their own final story.

Of course, visual shapes, images, video clips, or cartoon clips must beused for a clear image of a character. And, as we have already pointedout, memorabilia takes place through the mutual actions of thecharacters, and it is most interesting for the children. Specifically, noteven the game itself, but the participation in it. Apart from beingmemorable, it is possible to practice social skills here, to help the childopen up. To give children the opportunity to talk when creatingcharacters, they are comfortable sharing in pairs. An important fact isthe possibility of creating a character in a short period of time, becausethere is a great risk of losing interest. Let’s not forget the kids want toplay.

Now we’ll check again how the directions were memorized. Let’s do it in the form of a game. Let’s line up again in two rows and ask children to close the eyes. Give the rotation commands and make pause between commands to give a time for self-control and recall the character story if necessry. Explain to the children that the breaks are given precisely for this purpose. Watch how they get it out and reduce the breaks between commands.

STEM modular kits

The developer of Robo Wunderkind kit took all of the above into account when preparing a training programme for teachers. In order for the teacher to start using immediately, he needs to review the general overview of the composition of the parts of the booklet and then open the lesson program.

Lesson cards explain in an extremely simple way what needs to be done. Each stage of the lesson is divided into parts and has its own description. Each lesson has its own task and is drawn up not only in the form of a teacher, but also in the form of an introductory story for the child. For the sake of comfort, new conditions have been highlighted which will be met during the lesson. In order to verify the acquisition of the completed educational material, the thesis formulates the skills that the child should acquire with the lesson.

A more detailed description of the suites and video references is available in the product catalog STE.education:

Illustrative examples

Soon, a whole series of video lessons will emerge that explain addictions without words. Watch a two-minute video about the features on the switch.

The next just 22-second video is already about how to approach the Halloween theme.

Upgrade options

It should be noted that the manufacturer takes into account the two-year active life of the device. If a base set was originally selected, you will receive ten lesson descriptions along with it. In many kindergartens, hours with five-year-ld children are carried out once a week for an hour,i.e. the first ten hours occur within 2.5 months.

if use chooses Robo Wunderkind educational kit then, in addition to ten basic course lessons, 12 more can be accessed. At the end of this course, or at its discretion in the meantime, additional thematic lessons may be used, such as road traffic rules or animal behaviour.

Then there’s the option to still buy an improved set of innovations. It fitsin with both the primary and education kit. More modules and sensorsthat differ based on functions – more ways to combine these functions.

Interestingly, course teachers often have an interest in trying to combine modules from different sets in one character. Yes, it’s possible. For example, you can take more than one engine and connect to a single control module. Theoretically, the control module supports the 84modules and sensors connected to it. However, we ourselves have not tried to make such a monster, as battery consumption is also increasing. For the development of creative capabilities, adapters are also provided to enable the mechanical parts of the Lego constructor to be added. This makes the design of the character more memorable and attractive.

The company DIFI.NET offers free courses for kindergarten teachers. On courses, you can try the Robo Wunderglove set with your hands and practice a teaching method that answers the question “why”. To register,send your name and contact number to the email ask@ste.education with the subject “why”.

Two weeks before the course, we’ll be sure to warn you as soon as the next group is formed.

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