When the Austrian Ed-tech Company, Robo Wunderkind, thinks of what being smart means today, they have the answer at hand. It means adopting versatile 21-century skills for every sphere of life while also having fun! The UK-based Hardwick Green Academy has a very similar idea, which is why Robo Wunderkind was such a great fit for their classrooms.
The Hardwick Green Primary Academy is a forward-thinking primary school in the UK whose main goal is to challenge children to be their smartest selves. Their holistic approach to early education helps pupils discover their talents and strengthen knowledge, while also training their soft and social skills. That’s why it was only a matter of time until they incorporated STEM into their teaching.
Robo Wunderkind’s approach to teaching children coding through fun and play was only one of several reasons why they chose and keep using Robo Wunderkind’s toolkits ever since.
Sophie Dunning, the computing specialist teacher at Hardwick, who used the kits in her classes, shares raving reviews of how Robo Wunderkind became the highlight of their computing lessons.
70 pupils experienced classes with Robo Wunderkind in total, and from that engagement only, she was able to conclude that not only did Robo Wunderkind bring an innovative element to her classes, but that it also increased the engagement with subject matter of students during class, helped bring up the grades of students, and encouraged more girls to be interested in the subject of computing. Ms Dunning used the existing Robo Wunderkind curriculum as well as planning her own lessons, and had many positive insights to share about the whole experience.
Ms Sophie Dunning said: “All children found the hands-on learning more accessible and quickly picked up on coding techniques when compared to computer-based scratch programming where they can’t hold the equipment. Girls especially found this more appealing and were just as good as the boys.”
Working on achieving gender equality in STEM is one of the company’s core goals, which is why the team were elated to hear about these observations. But of course, it’s not just that which made the students and teacher so excited to use Robo Wunderkind as a teaching tool. Ms Dunning said the children ‘loved’ using the equipment, and, more importantly, she felt that while using Robo Wunderkind, they didn’t even realise they were learning advanced coding, being so engaged with the equipment itself. We always stress the importance of learning through play for primary school-aged children, as it is the more natural way for them to learn and retain knowledge.
The children’s own perspective is no less valuable, naturally, which is why Robo Wunderkind collected the impressions of Ms Dunning’s pupils as well. They said they used Robo Wunderkind to build their own animals, but also machinery, such as cars, trains, rockets and amazing creatures like dragons. By doing so, they learned about code, angles, degrees, and the basics of robotics.
One pupil said: “(they were) building our own robots and making them move using an iPad. It made what we learned in maths more fun and we understand angles better now.”
When asked what her favourite aspects of using Robo Wunderkind were, Ms Dunning responded with several. Namely, durability and packaging, as well as simplicity.
She said: “The equipment feels of strong, robust quality and I would be confident using this in any year group. Other computing equipment can sometimes feel like it would easily be damaged in little hands and therefore not worth the money spent on it. Robo Wunderkind will last the test of time and can survive bumps, drops or in our school and being accidently stood on!”
From her experience with other educational tools, Ms Dunning has concluded that in comparison, Robo Wunderkind has been proved to ‘just work’ – without too much hassle.
She added: “With Robo everything is straightforward, once connected to an iPad, when you plug in a block, it instantly appears in real time on the iPad. The staff I have demonstrated to feel confident that they would be able to deliver a lesson using Robo because of this feature. There is no faffing about installing software or contending with a million wires and most importantly the teacher doesn’t need to have a wealth of computer knowledge to be able to teach using coding.”
The last and perhaps most important aspect every teacher considers is the compatibility of a new tool with their existing curriculum.
“I feel the curriculum links really well with primary maths and in most lessons, children made these links themselves.” Ms Dunning reported, suggesting that this link be broadened to other, new subjects, to make the curriculum even more appealing for UK schools.
The company’s favourite feedback came from the eager young programmes, who, when asked what they would like Robo Wunderkind used for, answered enthusiastically – “In every lesson, every day!”
The team at Robo Wunderkind think that if that isn’t the best kind of motivation to keep on creating wonderful teaching tools for bright young minds, then what is! To learn more about Robo Wunderkind and a free 3-week trial, visit Robo Wunderkind website.