Tonight’s entry is another programming tool but this one is geared more specifically to teachers of technology and specifically Robotics. RobotC is a subset of the C programming language geared specifically for controlling robots and other microprocessor powered automation. I have been using RobotC for over 3 years now and I really appreciate the control it provides my students in performing the tasks and assignments I set for them.
If you are a physics, math, middle school science, or basically any teacher in any discipline, a robot kit would be a worthwhile addition to your classroom. A wealth of resources is available on the Internet covering lessons in math, history, language arts, or any subject you can think of. A robotics kit can be found to fit any budget. Most will run perfectly fine with RobotC.
If you haven’t learned by now, I am a proponent of teaching coding to anyone who will take the time to learn. As with any new language, it is much easier to teach to the young than the old. The problem-solving skills inherent in programming make it a valuable discipline for any educational environment. More than technology, more than computers, more than anything, we can use problem solvers. Programming is an excellent way to learn the skills. RobotC teaches valuable analysis tools like the idea of “Divide and Conquer” for making one big problem into a series of small problems.
If you are interested in robots for the classroom there are many organizations that will help get you started. You might consider beginning an after-school club through First League or contacting a local university for help. Most of them have some sort of STEM department. Talk to local businesses about sponsorship to provide funds. If you can bring robots and kids together you will be amazed at the synergy that results.