As we progress through the 21st Century, technology has become more and more an integral part of our everyday life. We cannot go a day without interacting with some form of technology, whether it’s as simple as a microwave at home or the Smart Phone in our pocket, the question is what allows us to perform the many impressive and automated functions we engage in and take for granted on a daily basis. The answer is found in the form of computer programming, the process of using a specific language and syntax to instruct digital devices to perform specific functions and tasks.

This term we introduced Robotics into our curriculum after a very inspiring introduction of the concept to our Grade 7s on a field trip in Term 2. More importantly, Robotics introduces learners to the concept of programming. This concept, is in fact a language designed to provide instructions to digital and technological devices. In the case of Robotics we learn the language and syntax needed to program these robotic devices to perform specific tasks and functions. However, its more than just programming robots. Robotics teaches learners, in a very practical way, important computer programming concepts.

What excitement we’ve had introducing this subject as all learners in Grade 6 were exposed to the introductory lessons on Robotics. They enjoyed learning to setup the device and connect it to the software needed to program these little red robots. It starts off rudimentary, using a GUI (Graphical User Interface) approach to teach the learners the concepts and function of how programming works, the first lessons teaching learners to program lights and sound on the robot then, later teaching learners to instruct their robot to make very calculated movements.

We’ve decided to start this new subject as part of our Thematic Studies in Grade 6 this year as the content is aimed at learners in Grade 6 and 7. This year Grade 6 learners will complete the Robotics 101 course and we’ll then teach them the Robotics 102 course next year when they are in Grade 7.

We also announced the opportunity for learners to join a Robotics Academy which would be run by a company called EDRO. This would have be an externally run afternoon club at an additional cost per lesson. This particular academy is aimed at Grade 6s and 7s and they would cover content we are already covering in the classroom currently. We felt it would not be beneficial as learners would be paying for lessons on the content we are providing for free during school time.

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