By Solomon Nda-Isaiah, Dubai
…Junk robots spark kids’ imaginations
A new generation of scientists, physicists and electronic engineers are being given the perfect start on their journeys to a professional ICT career at a Sharjah International Book Fair workshop.
The ‘Adventures in Coding’ sessions teach children from 7-11 years old how to understand basic computer codes and the cause and effects of following instructions and giving directions. For children up to 13 years old, the theory turns into practice, using hardware and circuitry to turn on lights and buzzers and control movement with everyday household junk items such as empty water bottles, old shoe boxes and broken toys.
As the little engineers advance in their knowledge, the workshop is more appropriate for children up to 16 years old, who use microcontrollers – the brain of a robot. They work as teams to make sensors that can judge distance, and even carry out simple tasks such as mopping a floor.
Prasad Kola, from Junkbot, which runs the workshop, says the youngsters are fascinated by their results: “With a little logic and a little understanding, they can create some amazing and quite sophisticated robots. When we set them a challenge, they really us their initiative and come up with highly innovative ideas.”
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