Virtual Robotics Competitions: Rebuilding STEM Momentum
- 4 min read
Learning new things through team building, and accepting challenges can be fun and a great experience. Robotic competitions in the world are not only for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Maths) enthusiasts but also for the young learners who are motivated to create momentum in schools, clubs, and districts. The COVID-19 pandemic had paused the STEM momentum that was held every year as there were continuous school closures, resulting in postponement or cancellation of the completions. To avoid this situation, virtual robotics coding competitions came into the picture and revived the momentum. Read on to know more.
CoderZLeague and its role in virtual robotic competitions
CoderZLeague was initially known as Cyber Robotics Coding Competition and is organized by ISCEF Foundation. It was created keeping in mind the social distancing norms. This is a robust community consisting of district programs, clubs, and schools, aimed to retain the magic of coding competitions virtually.
It engages the students, focusing on critical 21st-century skills. Gaming, imparting tech literacy to students, coding, and competition in STEM are common ways in which schools can engage themselves in such competitions.
CoderZLeague aims at bringing coding to everyone and, hence, it doesn’t have any criteria of previous experience or expertise. Anyone can take part and avail the benefits. All that is needed is a computer with internet connectivity to access CoderZLeague since it is cloud-based. Complex challenges and missions are accomplished through the use of virtual 3D robot simulations.
Students can take part in competitions within their class, school, district as well as state for getting more points and moving a step closer to the finals by learning to program, plan, and make strategies for the virtual robot so it efficiently accomplishes the missions. Teams from various nations take part in CoderZLeague. This includes those from Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Latin America, and the US. The inclusivity of the competition is a strong point as it ensures welcoming everyone and closing STEM education’s gender gap. It is such a wonderful platform for amateur candidates to become capable programmers just after completing a few lessons and practice sessions.
CoderZLeague evolved to make sure that all get the opportunity to join it and compete, irrespective of their learning level. The primary advantage students have in joining CoderZLeague is a golden opportunity to take part in STEM robotics competitions. This will help them acquire skills to succeed in the competitive world.
Need for robotic competitions for rebuilding STEM momentum
Robotics is one of the perfect examples of scientific innovations which has proved to be useful in numerous industries. The primary aim is to build a robot that is intelligent and can assist humans to fulfil complex tasks efficiently. Currently, it is at the onset of its development, hence, teaching robotics and making students aware of it, so they take interest in pursuing it as their career, is important. Here are some advantages that students can have in taking part in robotic competitions:
i. Showcase their strategies and designs for robot building and learn how the new technologies can be used for society’s betterment.
ii. Students can actively solve problems with their strategical and logical reasoning, learning mechanical engineering and computer programming at a practical level.
iii. Boosts interpersonal skills, and critical thinking abilities, gain more confidence, strengthen team-working skills, and apply their theoretical knowledge in the real world. This makes them innovators for the future.
Some Popular Robotics Competitions
Here are some interesting robotics competitions in which students should take part:
i. Soft Robotics Design Competition
This lets participants create wearable robots to assist the movement of humans as well as manipulate objects.
This includes various robotic events to stimulate STEM learning in a fun-filled and interesting way. The participants are involved in designing the robots, constructing as well as programming them.
iii. VEX Robotics Competition
The game-based engineering challenge is used in this case where the candidates play against each other.
iv. FTC and FRC
FIRST sponsors these competitions in which different future-oriented robotic skills are incorporated. The time commitment is more and the robot size is bigger in the case of the FRC competition, unlike the FTC competition.
Science has significantly influenced our lives with meaningful discoveries made using technological advancements. This has made educators come up with innovative ways of making learning more interesting for students, through hands-on experience. Robotic competition plays a major role in the learning process as it helps students contribute to society by making things easier for everyone. It also helps them get the best jobs in the evolving market.
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