Posted By christina On May 22, 2018
Our CEO, Mitch Rosenberg, was recently interviewed by Simba Information. The interview, entitled, “KinderLab Introduces Robots at an Early Age” is featured in their May Electronic Education Report.
The article reads:
Companies are offering, and schools are considering, more options for using robots in primary education as research indicates children are capable of STEM learning at an early age.
KinderLab Robotics (Waltham, MA) CEO Mitch Rosenberg told EER that much of STEM education has focused on late elementary and middle school, but robots, which offer physical rather than abstract learning, are uniquely capable of getting younger students excited about STEM.
The most important thing, according to Rosenberg, is to get the entire student population involved in STEM early, before some students decide STEM is not for someone like them. One way to do that is to integrate STEM into other subject areas and to show how building something physical and mechanical can connect to art, design and social issues, while offering the opportunity to learn skills like sequencing and conditional learning.
There are a lot of cool kits out there, but KinderLab is not about robots for play, Rosenberg said. The company has 80 hours of curriculum, with plans to expand to 100 hours in the next three months
What Makes up a Robot Kit
A KinderLab KIBO robot kit comes includes a blank robot form with additional parts that are understandable to a four-year old—for example, wheels that can click in. Metal, plastic and wood elements are included because early learners are attuned to exploring different physical materials, Rosenberg said.
Supplies include pipe cleaners and tissue paper tubes that can turn the robot into a helicopter or a ballet dancer. Sensors give the robot capabilities—if an ear is added the robot can respond to loud noises.
Wooden blocks with pictures represent software code and can be assembled in sequence for the robot’s sensors to read. Children understand the robot is scanning the blocks in the same way bar codes are read at a supermarket, Rosenberg said.
KinderLab continues to add capabilities, like enabling robots to carry multiple marker pens so they can chart their paths as they move. Robots can be built on with other physical components like Legos. At least two more capabilities are planned for 2018.
Once the robot is built, the question becomes what to do with it. Rosenberg said the options range from racing the robots to dressing them to act out a story. Students can learn trouble shooting; it is acceptable to get something wrong and to course correct. They learn both structure and open-ended exploration, as they proceed step-wise acquiring specific skills, but without a specified outcome.
KinderLab kits are sold at four price points, between $230 and $500, with the price dependent on how many blocks, motors, sensor modules and art platforms are included. Kits can be purchased individually or bundled for an entire class with teacher materials that include interactive training.
To Rosenberg’s surprise, most education customers select the two highest-priced kits. Customers are curious, he said, but the concept is new to them, so they are asking questions rather than saying what they need.
KinderLab is open to partnerships with content providers and has had some early conversations about those. In April, KinderLab was added to the program list put out by STEMworks, part of the nonprofit research agency WestEd (San Francisco).
KinderLab, founded in 2013, has shipped product to 52 countries and all 50 states. Company revenue grew 30% last year and is on track to grow 40% this year, as more large customers are added.
Read the additional article Robots Coming to Classrooms to Engage Young Students.
Posted By christina On May 15, 2018
New York Parenting recently reviewed the KIBO Robot and included the review in their New & Noteworthy section. The article reads: “Children have to obediently follow instructions at home and school, but with a KIBO robot, they’re giving the commands. Kids can begin to understand the basics of coding with Kinderlab Robotics’ adorable KIBO Robot Read More
Posted By christina On April 27, 2018
In this EdSurge article, authored by Bryan Flaig, the science and mathematics instructional coach for the Redwood City School District in Redwood City, CA, Bryan delves into merging computational skills with social-emotional development using programs like KIBO and ScrathJr. Bryan continues, “One phrase we often use in our district is, “It’s not about the robot.” Read More
Posted By christina On April 19, 2018
In Nibletz’s ISTE 2018 preview, they cover the news that KinderLab Robotics has been added to the STEMworks database. The article reads in part: “KinderLab Robotics and STEMworks both aim to develop 21st-century skills by providing effective STEM education and inspiration.” See the full article.
Posted By KinderLab Robotics On April 17, 2018
KinderLab Robotics is thrilled to be included in the “10 Most Innovative Robotics Companies to Watch 2018”. Enclosed are robotics companies that cover the gambit of industries, including solar, engineering, medical, mining, education, and more! See the full article on the 10 innovative robotics companies to watch. You can learn more about the KinderLab Robotics Read More