The Spirit of the Robotics Competitions: Strengthening Skills for the 21st Century

Robotics competitions are currently at the forefront of our ever-changing technological world. In the modern day, learning how to navigate the shift from traditional, old-school technology to newer and more advanced tech is essential.

We’ve already given you some of the most valuable 21st Century skills that your students should learn. Now we are going to show you how your students can learn these skills by participating in robotics competitions. Through participating in competitive robotics activities like the Cyber Robotics Coding Competition, FIRST Lego League, and the WRO, students are able to gain a variety of different skills such as problem solving and teamwork.

Problem Solving

Learning how to face a problem is an important skill that every student must learn. Robotics competitions provide a perfect avenue for your students to master it.

Due to the diverse and complex nature of robotics competitions, it is not uncommon for a problem to arise while in action. Whether it be interpersonal, physical, or technological, students will learn how to tackle all sorts of issues simply by taking part in robotics. A 2012 study showed a vast increase in problem-solving capabilities in students who joined a robotics program.

Before participating in robotics, only around 40 percent of the students surveyed said they would try to fix a problem until they were able to find a solution, but upon completion of the course, almost 80 percent of students said they would stick with a problem until they found a resolution. The most compelling argument that this study presents is that at the end of the robotics season not a single student said they would quit when a problem arises.

When you incorporate these findings into a competition-driven environment, it is a recipe for success. Through competition, students can display what they’ve learned and challenged their friends to friendly battles.

Teamwork

Teamwork is something that is commonly intertwined into basic school teachings. Even before formal education, kids learn the concept of “sharing is caring”, but for many students, it may not be so easy to give up the reigns. Understanding that their idea may not be the best, taking constructive criticism, and trusting their teammates, among other skills, can be developed through team-based robotics competitions.

For students, building robots and coding is not a menial task. It requires many long hours of cooperation and concentration from all group members. Through each new attempt, students will have to communicate with their team members and analyze what they did wrong to create a better output the next time. This intricate process of trial and error leaves a lot of room for discord among teammates, but how the group deals with adversity will be evident during competition.

A study done by Muhsin Menekse, Ross Higashi, Christian D. Schunn, and Emily Baehr found that if a team worked well together, it was a “good indicator” of “overall performance” at a robotics competition. Teams with good chemistry and productivity highlight the benefits that robotics competitions can provide to your students’ lives.

Even if at first your students struggle at collaborating with their teammates, they will soon learn that their interactions may affect their performance at competitions, and eventually become better team-players.

Join our next cyber robotics coding competition

Adding robotics to your curriculum will put your students ahead. The earlier they are exposed to it the better, so why not start today? Access our website here and discover new, innovative ways to incorporate robotics and cyber robotics competitions into your lesson plan. May the code be with you!

About the author:

Lauren Rub is a Social Media Marketing Intern at LEÓN Marketing and a second-year Broadcast Journalism student at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. Lauren significantly believes in investing in our youth, especially in innovation and education in the technological field.

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