Breaking the art/science binary
Reach Robotics can help young people realise their potential before ‘STEM anxiety’ sets in
Students find themselves split between two subject groups all too often. The perception that you can be good at either the arts or the sciences has persisted, resulting in an artificial split between skill sets and a lasting legacy of STEM anxiety.
At the beginning of their formal education, learners are unlikely to be entrenched with these ideas, simply engaging with lessons that they find interesting, regardless of content.
But a move from more fluid, play-based learning into an increasingly structured curriculum beyond Key Stage 1 carries with it the risk of drawing red lines between different subjects. This, in turn, leads to the insinuation that different skills are required for each. Students can feel themselves filtered based on their perceived predilections rather than realising how these aptitudes are relevant across their studies. After all, there’s a reason that girls asked to draw a scientist stop drawing female ones after the age of 16 (Miller et al. 2018).
Taking into account that an estimated 85% of jobs that will exist in 2030 are as yet undefined, it is essential that the next generation are fully literate in both STEM and the so-called ‘soft’ skills that will equip them for a post-fourth industrial revolution economy.
Problem-solving and critical thinking were recently listed by The World Economic Forum as the top skills children need for success, along with creativity. It has, therefore, never been clearer that separating the arts from science does a disservice to the learners of today and the workforce of tomorrow.
ReachEDU uses the highly advanced MekaMon robot to entertain, inspire and educate the next generation of innovators. With four legs, lifelike locomotion and a personality of its own, MekaMon captures the attention of a classroom from its first wave hello.
Top tips for breaking the binary
1. Lower STEM anxiety
STEM doesn’t need to be intimidating. Fun challenges like obstacle courses help demystify abstract concepts by offering a recognisable challenge.
2. Creativity is key
Those in STEM careers use creative thinking every working day. Imbue STEM lessons with creative tasks to set students up with the skills they need to succeed.
3. Engage and inspire
Entertaining edtech can be the key to getting children on board with a lesson. Showing where their learning can take them is vital for ongoing engagement.
From there, learners’ imaginations are sparked and lessons lead from a place of inspiration. Coding, robotics and engineering are demystified with the help of a characterful sidekick that encourages students to creatively apply what they’ve learned right across the curriculum.
Crucially, the ReachEDU app is designed to make coding education as instinctive and user-friendly as possible, ideal for any teacher regardless of their level of computer science experience.
ReachEDU offers several applications to help jump-start students’ passion for STEM:
From manoeuvering around obstacle courses to testing MekaMon on different terrain, Free Drive offers unparalleled freedom of robotic movement.
Trace a line across the screen and MekaMon will follow. Add animations and head colour changes at different points on its journey to fully customise the robot’s journey across whatever obstacle course or terrain you can imagine.
Code directly on the MekaMon robot. Move each of MekaMon’s limbs to build up a series of movements and create unique animation that can be used across MekaDraw and MekaCode.
Gain full control over MekaMon by coding direct commands in Scratch-based block coding, building programs and creating games.
Guided Learning Missions
Learn everything from loops to variables to debugging processes. An ever-expanding roster of missions offer entertaining challenges and puzzles designed to test learners’ understanding of programming concepts while inspiring their next project.
Discover Mars with MekaMon as your Mars Rover, delve into the MekaMon universe to inspire creative writing and use MekaMotion to create short films or futuristic drama projects. From Maths to Art, Physics to English, MekaMon is widely applied across classrooms.
Beyond the core app features, new experiences, missions and resources will be continually developed in conjunction with experienced teachers to deliver a truly effective cross-curricular tool for all students.
For more information on getting MekaMon and ReachEDU in your school, visit edu.reachrobotics.com or contact firstname.lastname@example.org