SummaryTechnology is critical for innovation, yet schools struggle to get students interested in this area. Teaching robotics, and programming which is closely connected to robotics could change this. Robotics matches the new digital technologies curriculum, strongly supported by the VET schools and other school institutions all of Europe, however, not enough is done to get it taught more in-depth in schools. There are at least five reasons to teach robotics in schools:
- students find it fun,
- it is an effective way of introducing programming to students,
- programming and robotics provide skills useful in future employment,
- it is suitable for students with a range of abilities,
- it demystifies a complex technology.
The project "Modelling educational robot" is meeting the necessity of the 21st Digital Century Society to implement as much as possible in the regular and open curriculum the subject programming and robotics. Robotics helps address the growing demand for teaching science, technology, engineering and maths in schools. By exemplifying technology directly by programming the robot, students also learn about science, engineering, and maths and get an understanding of how these subjects link together. It is enhancing the student's understanding of what machines CAN and CAN'T do, which is also the best way to address student's fears in this area. By programming robots, students can discover if they have the aptitude and interest in the job market of the future, and the truth is, that there’s no doubt that there will be a need for people to be involved in programming mechanical devices in the foreseeable future.
In this project are included three vocational school centers from Slovenia (Solski center Novo mesto), Italy ( ITIS Polo Tecnico Fermi-Gadda), and Turkey (Muratpasa Mesleki ve Teknik Anadolu Lisesi), two Universities, from Slovenia (Univerza v Ljubljani - Faculty of Electrical Engineering) and Bosna and Hercegovina (IUS Sarajevo) and one technological institute from Spain (AIJU). All the institutions have a huge background in programming and construction of robots as also huge teaching experiences in this area. Students from these institutions are already engaged in the robotics, however, the institutions are also aware of the fact that in the future almost 40% of jobs will be replaced with robots, which means that an extra emphasis should be given in implementing as much as possible the modern technologies in the school curriculums.
Two main outputs will be developed by this project: Educational modular robot (01) and E-learning online course "Make your own robot" (02).
The main purpose of the Output (01), Educational modular robot, is to build an educational modular robot in different levels, from the very basic level, mid-level, high-level to the extra-high autonomous level (with two solutions from the Universities) and to upgrade at each level programming codes and structural units.
The main purpose of the Output (02), E-learning online course "Make your own robot", is to build up a complete online e-Learning course, with the implemented different levels in the construction of a robot from Output (01), always leading the player (constructor) to the right path in case the solution for programming and construction is not the right one. This course is not only about the construction of a robot but also about programming codes, which are also user-friendly and leading the student (constructor) from the very basic codes to the most complex one in a playable way, through the game.
Five Transnational meetings will be organized during the two years of the project, and four Multiplier events.
We expect a manifold impact of the project, among others: on the expanding and updating of the curriculum of subjects included in the training cycle Programming and construction of robots, on enhancing the tolerance and diversity in inclusive schools, on teachers through training (as they are the "carriers" of knowledge, and will have a crucial role in expanding all the information, "know-how" methodology), on stakeholders, community (in general), LLL community, on all the audience interested in robotics at local, regional, national and international level.
It is planned that the VET schools (as also other institutions involved in this project) after finalizing the project, continue working with the outputs developed in the project, improving and complementing them after the project and that the partnership will remain active through various dissemination activities planned in this project.