ROBOTICS IN EDUCATION
ROBOTICS, ART, AND TECNOLOGY
VIDEO ABOUT PROJECT: 1.4M VIEWS
Through art and robotics, teachers take children away from violence. This project gives second chances to young people with art and circuits. They teach their students to think.
We think that creativity is born in scarcity, also negative things. For this reason, for this teacher at school, the key is to teach her students to think.
Prototypes, circuits and software are the weapons with which Alexandra Sierra encourages girls, boys and young people to exchange violence for hope, in an environment where the lack of opportunities is daily. That's Robarte, a project in which young people from the south of the capital found a refuge and a stage to promote their talents.
“In 2010, one of the school's teachers was robbed near the campus. So we decided to do something to show our students that there are other options other than violent ones and that despite living in a reality as complex as "Bogota", it is possible to achieve great things ", says this young high school teacher. She found in educational robotics a 'hook' to foster the creativity of their learners.
Alexandra learned to use free programming software, she shared this learning with her students and with broomsticks and styrofoam balls, they designed their first prototypes: robots with animated artificial arms that opened and closed their eyes in contact with light.
Teachers Sandra Cárdenas and Boris Rocha joined to Robarte Project. This team of creative teachers to improve the design of the models and help the students to lose their fear and students can believe in themselves. In addition, they received the support of C4: Science and Technology to Create, Collaborate and Share, an agreement between the Secretary of Education of the District and the Attic Center of the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana that seeks that students from district schools promote collaboration and creativity work with Science and technology.
Licensed to dream
All this support has driven much more the desire to get ahead of the 250 elementary and high school students who are part of Robarte Project. Andrés Contreras, a student with poor academic performance and drug problems, is one of them. He arrived at the teacher Alexandra's class just when her father wanted to take him out of school to take him to carry packages in Abastos (market).
It was at that moment when with C4 they recorded a video in which Andrés appeared. He got so excited that he woke everyone at his house one Sunday morning at 6 am "to see him get famous." Her mother, discovering the passion that her son had for this class, confronted the father of the child and prevented the boy from abandoning his studies.
Now, Andrés is one of the most 'smart' of the school, he was promoted from eighth to ninth of high school and is forever away from drugs because, as the teacher, Alexandra told him: “robotics is for 'smart' people, and for this reason, you have to take care of your neurons ”.
Videogame in educational robotics
For stories like these, Alexandra continues to work tirelessly. She is now preparing to start a doctorate in ICT at Tilburg University, the Netherlands, where she hopes to create a video game for children to learn basic notions of robotics in a fun way. "With this, I hope that Robarte not only stays in a classroom, and I can connect hundreds of children online in the country and, why not, in the world."
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