Robotics as a career choice is gaining popularity among in current generation of students. Robots are machines that can either independently or on command carry out a series of operations and functions. Robotics is as a branch of engineering involves the design, construction and operation of robots. From moving goods around on a production floor to performing complex medical procedures and being on space exploration missions, robots are fast becoming an important part of our lives. Coupled with advancements in other areas such as Artificial intelligence (AI), robotics will play an increasingly integral role in our daily way of life. India is still at a nascent stage when it comes to the rise of robotics. As per a global report in 2017, there are only three robots per 10,000 employees in India. This is clearly insufficient to support the country’s industrial growth targets for sustained growth.
Interventions, therefore, must be made in our education system to prepare the young students for the future by introducing robotics early on. Learning through robotics can be more effective in engaging the students and also instil scientific temperament in them. Technology is what drives the world today and students must be adept with the latest developments to be a productive member of the society.
Introduction of robotics in schools:
- In a job market that is dominated by STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), demand for candidates with qualifications in robotics has seen a near 200 percent growth. This trend is likely to sustain for the foreseeable futureas the demand-supply gap stabilizes.
- By introducing robotics in schools as part of the educational curriculum, student’s interest in the field can be nurtured early on.
- Learning robotics also encourages the development of higher-order thinking capability and problem-solving skills to produce highly qualified and productive talents for the future.
- Robots are being developed and deployed in an increasing number of roles across different industries. With the increasing sophistication of robots, robotics calls for greater collaboration and communicationin inference drawing, model construction, testing and controlling of a robot.
- With students exposed to robotics from a young age, they also learn valuable life skills in teamwork, communication and even community participationin the process.
Benefits of introducing robotics in the educational curriculum:
Introduction of robotics in schools will, therefore, deliver benefits on multiple fronts. Ironically, schools despite being centres of learning and education are startlingly resistant to change.
Even today, all schools are largely dependent on teacher-led instruction despite the demonstrated benefits of theoretical learning. However with rising awareness and in-parts due to increasing demand, schools are making headway in adopting new technology and introducing new courses such as robotics.
In this regard, Govt has established Atal Tinkering Laboratories (ATLs) in schools across India with an aim to foster curiosity, creativity and imagination in young minds. It also helps in inculcating skills such as design mindset, computational thinking, adaptive learning, physical computing etc.
Under this initiative, young children get a chance to work with tools and equipment to understand the concepts of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). ATL contains educational and learning ‘do it yourself’ kits and equipment on – science, electronics, robotics, open source microcontroller boards, sensors and 3D printers and computers.