Why Teach Robotics to Kids?
Why is it critical to teach robotics or artificial intelligence to our kids? And if it is the case that robotics being an absolute necessity. Then, how can we motivate and inspire our academic institutions? Whether it’s a private school, public, or Madrassa to integrate such a course into the curriculum. And what potential challenges we should be taking care of?
Image reasons to facilitate robotics and artificial intelligence in Pakistan for students early in education. The markets of machine learning and robotics are both expanding. In Pakistan, We are lacking research on the future of the job market. Therefore, we need to be clear on what kind of roles we need our kids to prepare for. Still, we lack data scientists, expert programmers, and predictive maintenance technicians. And Universities in Pakistan do not have the mandate. Therefore, the development of core competencies rests with schools at a very young age.
The United States, in a recent survey, suggested that 81% of people are watching videos recommended by YouTube. It is driven by algorithms. Which self-demonstrates the significance of artificial intelligence. The European Union, and other Commonwealth countries have kick-started projects to promote learning projects of similar kinds. And some of them are more suitable for kids in Pakistan to explore and join based on their previous knowledge to make new discoveries. According to a study, by 2025 United States claimed that it needed more than 150 hundred thousand experts in artificial intelligence and machine learning. The universities have already started to work on that. However, schools are stepping forward to meet the demand by equipping students with the required skills. For example, computer programming is something that can be taught to kids at a very early age.
We need to focus on “formal training.” Introducing basic to advanced-level courses in the curriculum on robotics/artificial intelligence is the first step. However, their learning should be facilitated through lab work. Secondly, we need to find ways to accommodate “informal training.” And your best mode is to wait till the summer and winter vacations. And arrange boot camps for kids. Computer-related tools and basics should be taught to kids by inviting early career researchers as mentors. My third favorite strategy is to create a Networking Platform to help students connect with local leaders and practitioners in the field. Through community outreach, many students end up in high-end community labs and work to address community challenges. It also helps with bridging the gap between students at different academic transition levels—a university graduate, at a high school, and a child at the early group of education. However, In a community lab, they find needed roles to collaborate. On the other hand, Technology parks famous in countries like South Korea are also considered an innovative facility like community lab to practice innovation.
Does Pakistan not have a scope for robotics? Let me explain with a simple example. Pakistan is seeing Natural disasters. People have been affected, especially the most vulnerable and marginalized. Many sustain life-long injuries and lose limbs for life. They need technology-driven gadgets to get their every-day work done. Students can focus on living aids. However, to create an understanding of the problem, students should be taken on field trips. In Europe, research organizations and think tanks are actively talking about such projects’ feasibility to focus on creative solutions for people who have fallen victims to such disasters. Recently a student in the United States developed a robot that serves as a librarian and used for reference sources present in the library for disabled persons. We need to design robotic kits for kids only and hire STEM tutors, mentors.
Again, we need to focus on an attitude that is risk-taking and willing to set the trend for innovation and leadership. Think of founders of Facebook and Twitter. They started out at an early age and did not worry about finding the scope for their inventions. However, to commercialize our students’ research, we need to expose our students to entrepreneurship. This way, they will understand what issues need taking care of to start with their investigation. And bridge the theoretical knowledge with the practical aspects of the field.
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