How To Get Your Kids Excited About Engineering, From Guys That Fight Robots
Kids need to know how to build things. You know that because you can’t stop seeing the words STEM and STEAM stamped on everything. But sometimes kids need a little more inspiration to hone those in-demand skills than “See? You can make this circuit light up!” Like, something in the neighborhood of, “See? If you stick with it you can make robots fight!”
That’s why we turned to Jon Gulko, Tim Bogdanof, and Greg Munson. Gulko and Bogdanof are designers for Megabots, a company that constructs massive fighting robots and pits the against competitors for a real life rock ‘em sock ‘em battles (they’re hosting an international bot-on-bot fight againt Japan in August); Munson, meanwhile, is one of the co-founders of BattleBots, the television show where much smaller, but still very cool, robots fight one another for mechanical supremacy. All three shared tips for how you can help steer your kids down the right ’bot building path. A path that could lead to a career in coding, engineering, or building giant creations meant for serving up some pain. Fun!
Build A Proper Foundation
A lot of hands-on robotics knowledge is going to come outside the classroom by way of robotics kits and when your little tinkerer takes apart your iPhone “just to see”. But a lot of the foundational skills for building robots are taught in school. And it’s up to parents to inspire kids to stay on track.
“If you have a kid who is interested in robotics, there are some basic subjects they will need to focus on in school,” says Munson. “Knowing as much as they can about physics, math, and engineering will give them a huge leg up. These classes might not seem like the most exciting, but they are key to helping kids understand how robotics really work.”
Invest in the Right Starter Kit
Not too long ago, to get into robotics you had to join a…