More schools may look to of­fer ro­bot­ics

China Daily (Canada) - - DEPTH - By FAN FEIFEI fanfeifei@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Like in the United States, knowl­edge of ro­bots will likely be­come an in­te­gral part of school ed­u­ca­tion in China in the not-sodis­tant future, if some for­ward­think­ing tech­nol­ogy firms have their way.

Al­ready, STEM — an acro­nym for sci­ence, tech­nol­ogy, en­gi­neer­ing and math­e­mat­ics — is part of an in­ter-dis­ci­plinary ap­proach that marks school ed­u­ca­tion in de­vel­oped coun­tries.

The US is the leader in this re­spect. The Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion al­lo­cated $240 mil­lion last year to pro­mote STEM-cen­tric ed­u­ca­tion. The to­tal in­vest­ment in this sec­tor so far by the US gov­ern­ment has reached $1 bil­lion.

Sui Shao­long, chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer of RoboTerra Inc, an ed­u­ca­tional ro­bot­ics com­pany lo­cated in Sil­i­con Val­ley in the US, said: “Com­pared with the tra­di­tional ed­u­ca­tion model, school ed­u­ca­tion that in­cludes ro­bot­ics in the cur­ricu­lum could let stu­dents learn how to an­a­lyze and solve prob­lems. Build­ing or as­sem­bling a robot could strengthen stu­dents’ skills and sharpen their think­ing abil­ity in terms of space and struc­ture.”

De­sign­ing and writ­ing the robot’s pro­grams will de­velop stu­dents’ log­i­cal think­ing, and team work will en­hance their in­ter­per­sonal com­mu­ni­ca­tion and abil­ity to co­op­er­ate, Sui said.

RoboTerra has pro­vided so­lu­tions for robot cur­ricu­lum and STEM-cen­tric ed­u­ca­tion to dozens of schools in Bei­jing, Shang­hai, Xi’an and Shen­zhen.

CHEN FEI / XIN­HUA

Chil­dren play at a Lego Ex­pe­ri­ence Cen­ter in Shang­hai, the 14th in the world, which opened in April. Chil­dren are in­creas­ingly show­ing keen interest in in­tel­li­gent toys as toy­mak­ers use ad­vanced tech­nolo­gies to in­te­grate learn­ing and an­a­lyt­i­cal skills into play time.

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