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Posted By KinderLab Robotics On April 23, 2015

The rising need for STEM skills

KinderLab Robotics is committed to making 15 years of research into child learning available to every young child. As hundreds of educators, teachers and parents have found out, KIBO does just that – children build a robot, program it, control it, and decorate it – all without a screen, PC, tablet, or smartphone.

We’ve previously written about why children should learn about programming and technology and shared Marina’s TEDx presentation of why coding is analogous to literacy and part of a life skillset. To paraphrase Marina’s views on literacy: “We don’t teach young children to write so that they will all become professional journalists and novelists. We teach them to write so they can create a shopping list, draft a business plan, share a love note.” By extension, we don’t want children to learn about technology so they all grow up to be programmers or work in technology.

Yet we are surrounded by technology in our everyday lives, and there is a need for children to be interested in STEM, and to break down barriers and attitudes by integrating technical skills with expressive arts, math, literacy and culture. Meanwhile the future requires an increasing number of STEM-related jobs in a broader range of roles. These stats from the U.S. Department of Education show the growing demand:

US Department of Education

Also according to government figures, only 16 percent of American high school seniors are interested in a STEM-related career. According to the National Center for STEM Elementary Education, by fourth grade a third of children have negative interest in science. This lack of interest increases to almost half of children by eighth grade.

This is why encouraging children aged four to seven to have fun, explore and feel comfortable with coding, technology and developmentally-appropriate toys is important – not just to them, but to our economy and our future.

Posted By KinderLab Robotics On April 17, 2015

Getting funding for technology in the classroom

Technology and innovation is increasingly important in education. Our world is increasingly immersed in, and controlled by technology, and children need to understand what it is and how it works – and there are significant benefits to them doing so at a young age. Despite the immense need and opportunity, the curriculum is slow to Read More

Posted By KinderLab Robotics On April 15, 2015

Join KIBO next week at Imajine That Academy!

Parents, teachers and children, get ready tocelebrate – it’s almost April vacation week! New England-based parents, if you’re looking for fun activities for your kids, check out Imajine That, which will feature KIBO from April 20 through April 25 at the Imajine That Academy. Imajine That is an interactive children’s play center based on the Riverwalk in Lawrence, Massachusetts. There’s a Read More

Posted By KinderLab Robotics On April 14, 2015

Blog poll: As a parent, are you worried about your ability to teach your child to code?

Posted By KinderLab Robotics On April 9, 2015

Brown Bear, Brown Bear: What Can You Code?

It’s National Robotics Week and to get everybody in the spirit, we thought we’d share a fun video about how our own robot kit – KIBO – has been used in the Kennedy-Longfellow Elementary School in Cambridge MA. Sue Cusack is an assistant professor at Lesley University and has been working with Cambridge-area schools to embed learning technologies to early education classrooms. KIBO Read More