Steam­ing ahead with tech-driven ed­u­ca­tion

China Daily European Weekly - - Business -

Make­block, whose de­vices sharpen kids’ minds, has global de­signs

How­ever, over­seas ex­pan­sion is not an easy path, Wang says, es­pe­cially in such mar­kets as the US, where ro­bot­ics and STEAM ed­u­ca­tion are ma­ture.

Pri­mary school stu­dents in the US are fa­mil­iar with pro­gram­ming, and a num­ber of lo­cal com­peti­tors have been op­er­at­ing in that mar­ket for a long time.

“What we do is of­fer com­pre­hen­sive ser­vices, in­stead of fo­cus­ing only on hard­ware man­u­fac­tur­ing, to add value to our of­fer­ings. For ex­am­ple, we would launch work­shops, train­ing pro­grams and other events to pro­vide var­i­ous lev­els of sup­port to our users,” he says.

The com­pany is also mak­ing ef­forts to en­hance ro­bot­ics and STEAM ed­u­ca­tion by or­ga­niz­ing com­pe­ti­tions.

In July this year, Make­block part­nered with the Mex­i­can gov­ern­ment for a na­tion­wide ro­bot­ics com­pe­ti­tion called Robo­math Chal­lenge. More than 200 teams from 32 re­gions in the coun­try par­tic­i­pated in the con­test.

Wang ad­mits that, although ro­bot­ics and STEAM ed­u­ca­tion are gain­ing in­creas­ing aware­ness and recog­ni­tion, some coun­tries are find­ing it dif­fi­cult to pro­mote them due to a lack of re­sources.

A ma­jor chal­lenge is that schools do not have teachers who have ex­per­tise in this field, as it is still a rel­a­tively new con­cept to many peo­ple; also, cul­ti­vat­ing ed­u­ca­tors re­quires time, he says.

“De­spite the cur­rent sit­u­a­tion, STEAM ed­u­ca­tion is go­ing to bring a rev­o­lu­tion to the in­dus­try. Deep in­te­gra­tion of ed­u­ca­tion and tech­nol­ogy will def­i­nitely be the trend,” he says.

Ac­cord­ing to a re­port by Lon­don­based mar­ket re­search firm Tech­navio, the global ed­u­ca­tional ro­bot mar­ket is ex­pected to grow at an an­nual rate of more than 21 per­cent by 2020.

PRO­VIDED TO CHINA DAILY

Ro­bot lovers play with Make­block prod­ucts at a tech­nol­ogy car­ni­val or­ga­nized by the com­pany in Shen­zhen.

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