Why Having a Robotics Team Doesn’t Mean You Have it All Figured Out

Why Having A Robotics Team Doesn’t Mean You Have It All Figured Out

Rebecca Gray Education, Teachers, Tech Leave a Comment

When It Comes to STEM For Your Students, You Might Be Missing An Important Step.

When it comes to STEM for your students, you might feel like you have it all figured out.  After all, you have an established robotics team.  Last year you only had 8 members, and this year you’ve grown to 11!  You’re holding your own in some big competitions.  You’ve even got your own team photo in the yearbook! Things are looking good.  But if you step back and take a look at your student population as a whole – are you really proud of the percentage of students that feel confident participating in robotics?

Why aren’t there more kids clamoring to join this team?  The short answer:  Most kids are intimidated by the idea of robotics.  Programming and coding seem hard.  They don’t think they can hold their own on the robotics team side by side with all the “computer nerds”.  Maybe it’s that girl who has been told all her life that scientists and engineers are men.  Maybe it’s that student with a reading disability who has struggled with grades and thinks they’re not “smart” enough for computer programming.  Who knows? 

Whatever the reason – the barriers for participation in a full blown robotics competition team are high.  How can you bring those barriers a bit lower, and give more non-traditional students a chance to participate?

Create a Stepping Stone Between the Robotics Team and Non-STEM Students

At Thimble, we have a little bit of experience introducing non-STEM students to coding and robotics.  We’ve brought technical STEM learning to kids with no previous experience, and no prior knowledge, and watched them blossom into functioning coders making their own creative robotics projects.  Trust us when we tell you that this growth wasn’t one giant leap.  It was a journey – made up of tiny baby STEM steps that took them deep into the coding forest – on the computer science adventure of a lifetime.  But it all started with step one. 

Many of these students didn’t even know they had a knack for computer science, coding, or robotics.  Our lessons build upon each other to feed students increasingly more difficult subject matter over a series of online lessons – without leaving them feeling behind. It’s this no-pressure, easy-entry introduction to robotics that creates students who are confident enough to join your competitive team.  

Growing Your Robotics Pool with Thimble

When we approach a school to gauge their interest in our robotics curriculum, many mistakenly get the impression that we are trying to overhaul their robotics team’s programming.  

In reality, our intentions are to encourage school districts to use Thimble’s carefully planned scope and sequence to give non-traditional students a chance to participate, by starting from step zero.  Bring in students with zero coding experience, and no robotics knowledge, by getting them started in a fun way.
Thimble’s comprehensive kits, live lessons, and online learning modules are the perfect stepping stone from “I don’t know anything about coding.” to “I think I can show you a different, creative way to solve this robotics problem.” We’re all about helping you increase your talent reservoir by giving inexperienced kids the confidence they need to join your robotics team.

So if you want that bigger spread in the high school yearbook for your robotics team – you’re going to have to figure out how to grow your group.  Let Thimble handle that for you.  

Keeping the Competition Fierce

FIRST® is the one of the world’s leading STEM Education non-profits.  FIRST creates robotics and engineering learning competitions that combine the excitement of sports and competition with STEM learning.  In the 2019-2020 season alone, they held over 3500 events and had almost 4,000 high school robotics teams compete worldwide. 

In order to keep these competition teams fierce and growing, we need to open up the doors to robotics early.  Thimble can make that happen.  If you’re wondering how you can help keep the competition fierce, consider investing.  Investing in Thimble is essentially investing in the growth of competition, and it’s easier than ever.

Simply visit Thimble’s Republic Campaign Site. Delve deeper into our story, our vision, and our mission to bring STEM to everyone. 

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