Do robots and robotics programs belong in libraries? Why choose robots to engage kids and teens with technology? Each of us at Robot Test Kitchen came to the project for different reasons. The rationale that connects us – and you – to robotics is based in our dedication to the children and teens that we serve.
Learning about simple robotics is a way to let young people…
We understand that young people learn through play. Play does not exist outside of learning time, rather it is learning. Just as playing with puppets helps young children learn about characters, plot, and relationships, playing with robots helps people learn about working as a team, cause and effect, coding, electronics, and more.
Try new things
These days we are always hearing about the importance of learning code and technology for the younger generation, and it’s clear that there is a gap between the demand for this type of education and places to do it. Experimenting with robotics at the library is a low risk way for kids and teens to try their hands at these skills.
See the library as a place of learning
By being the community place where kids and teens learn about robotics, the library positions itself as a center for modern learning. Robots don’t replace traditional services, they simply modernize them.
Be valued for their leadership
We understand that some of the projects and kits we review will require skills and knowledge that many librarians don’t have. That’s ok. We are trusting in our young library users to become leaders. They will show us what we need to know, they will help each other, and they will grow in knowledge, confidence, and self worth as they do.
It may not be smooth, it may not work, it might be frustrating, and it’s ok. Being able to fail and try again and learn all through the process is something they can safely do at the library while enjoying our support and encouragement. In this way, in accordance with the 40 Developmental Assets, building robots is building resilient, and successful youth.