It has been another busy week here at Zobotics.
One of my highlights was doing some maze solving with a group of children whom I know fairly well now.
Watch our highlights here:
I had forgotten how frustrating maze solving can be for students. The maze has to be fully solved before they feel a sense of achievement and this can take a while – even for more able students.
So its always a risky lesson plan, but what’s the point in teaching if you’re not going to take risks?
As always, the students did me proud. They really went for it and there were so many failures, so many crashes and wrong turns that at times I wanted to give them a working solution.
That’s not what Zobotics is about and more importantly that is not what the students wanted.
Help? Yes. The solution? No.
And the result? They learnt so much!
Many of the kids who usually avoid the programming got involved, because they really wanted to get to the centre – did I mention there was a chocolate sweet waiting there for them?
They had to understand the programming and took it upon themselves to do so, which was far more effective then me telling them to learn programming because… “well, you need to learn it, its a good skill to have”.
Despite all of the mishaps, the kids really enjoyed themselves. The thrill of a challenge and knowing that they had figured it out, that is what kids find fun and that is the way to motivate them.
It is a shame that we shut them away in schools for 6 hours a day, when kids are happiest playing outdoors. And then most of what they are doing is learning how to pass exams.
That is one of the reasons why a number of kids think STEM subjects are dull – but I will get into that in another article.
Passing exams is important as we do need a way to test their knowledge. But so is knowing how to learn through experimentation.
Or the ability to find knowledge – in a book, from a person, or even google- and how to apply that in different contexts or use that knowledge to generate new ideas and methods.
We need to rethink the way kids are learning in schools and only then can we start to address some of the issues in the UK STEM industry.