The aim of our competition for school children, the KNAPP RoboLeague, is to provide a playful way for children and youth of 10 years and older to prepare for the digital future, in which the human and the machine will work together.
Increasing use of robotics
From the lawn robot to the industrial robot in car manufacturing – it is hard to imagine our lives today without robots. This development has been picking up speed in the past years. Thanks to sophisticated sensors and machine learning, robots today are positioned to handle more and more complex tasks and the variety of applications in which they can be used is also taking off.
Missing educational opportunities
Where robots are used, people are also needed who have a specific training: Today there is unlimited demand in the job market for highly qualified robotic specialists.
Currently, study programmes and educational opportunities in robotics are just not there. On the other hand, robots, smartphones and digital assistants already belong to the everyday life of the next generation. That’s why we are convinced of the importance of promoting interest in robotics in schools and teaching about robotics in a playful and engaging way. The robotics experts of tomorrow are in school today, explained Wolfgang Skrabitz, Managing Director, KNAPP Industry Solutions.
Learning concept for robotics and coding
What exactly is programming and coding? Coding is entering specific codes and commands in order to control computer programmes, websites or robots. Programming is the design of the environment and developing new things. That’s why programming today is also an important skill for significantly improving one’s chances on the job market.
However, programming is not always strictly tied to computers. There are learning concepts, for example, that include tricky movement and learning games with space-related objects. The focus is always on solving the problem creatively. In this way, the children learn how to think in a way that is later needed for programming. They learn to break down tasks into individual work steps, to execute them one after the other and to ask critical questions.
One of these learning concepts relies on the use of robotics. Creativity and curiosity are playfully stimulated using the robotics learning concepts. It has also been proven that learning is more effective when combined with a physical activity. By working with robots and their programming, children learn useful skills for their further education or job.
KNAPP RoboLeague – playful entry into the world of robotics
The KNAPP RoboLeague is a contest for Styrian schools for the upper and lower grade levels of new secondary schools, secondary academic schools and secondary vocational schools. The students build the robots from a basic kit, either LEGO® Mindstorms NXT or EV3. The programming is done using a code-based programming language.
In the KNAPP RoboLeague, the pupils solve tricky tasks, which they prepare beforehand in class with their teachers. The robotics competition was brought about in cooperation with the BRG Kepler school and offers youth a perfect preparation for further robotic competitions such as the RoboCup Junior and the RoboCup. And by the way, “may the best robotics team win,” on June 13, 2019 again at KNAPP.
http://austro-tec.at/lego-education-cms.html, as of 27.05.2019
ITA, short project report: Robotics in Austria, https://epub.oeaw.ac.at/0xc1aa5576%200×00371074.pdf, as of 27.05.2019