Why bringing robots to your classroom might be a mistake

Here's a common mistake educators make:

You can't just bring robots into your lesson and assume your students will be engaged.

If you don't have a plan, you will put them off STEM instead.

Surprising but true.

STEM subjects are hard.

Robotics is too.

The first barrier to break down if you want engagement is the:

'This is great, but I can't do it.' mindset.

A lot of students think like that.

So by all means impress them with flashy kit and cool robots.

But make a lesson plan that has small, fast, incremental successes.

A good STEM lesson shows students that great things are possible.

A great STEM lesson allows students to do those great things.

Use resources that help your students believe in themselves.


It's easy to assume that your students might enjoy building robots, especially if you have a lego robotics or Vex robotics kit.


The reality, however, is that following precise building instructions or trying to design and build a robot without instructions is extremely hard for students.


Following precise instructions with a used kit is frustrating, most parts will be missing or used by someone else. Even with a brand new kit, building takes time. Students want to see something they've done working. They want to feel a success and quickly.


Most students do not have the engineering experience to build their ideas without a lot of help. Also their expectations of what these kits can do is usually way off.


So always start with pre built robots, where students can get it up and running quickly. And something that they can build onto in small stages when they feel ready.



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