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Robotics: Teachers

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Robotics Essentials for Educators

To prepare yourself for teaching a robotics unit, How Robots Work provides a good overview of the basic components of robots, how different kinds of robots operate, and the possibilities of artificial intelligence. Then check out this series of robot articles to learn about the most current and innovative uses of robots and artificial intelligence.

PBS Learning Media offers introductory Crash Course videos that will get you excited about teaching robotics. Take a look at these 11-minute videos:

Essential Robot Facts includes a gallery of photographs showing everything from humanoid robots to industrial welding robots to tiny nanobots.

Learn more about the future of nanotechnology and nanorobotics, from tiny robots built from DNA to nanorovers that explore space.

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PBS Learning Media

You will find a wide variety of K-12 classroom resources as you explore the robotics collection from PBS Learning Media. Check out the videos, lessons, interactives, and supplemental teaching helps for educators. Here is just a sample:

Get your students excited about a possible future career in robotics! Robot scientists explain their work in these video clips. Meet a robotic life scientist, a robotics engineer, an AI roboticist, and even a robotic soccer scientist.

NOVA introduces you to social robots, bomb-detecting robots, and farming robots.

Resources for Teachers

NASA has some terrific resources to help you teach robotics. What is Robotics? is a site designed for grades 5-8 that includes links to other NASA pages. Learn about robots on the International Space Station and on Mars. This page is also available in a format for grades K-4.

NASA's SpacePlace is a site for kids that discusses the question of Why Do We Send Robots Into Space? It highlights some of the exciting new robots being developed for future planetary exploration.

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NASA's Robotics Alliance Project provides many resources for teachers. Robotics: For Educators is a compilation of NASA's robotics-related sites. There are pages for both students and teachers, with suggested activities for grades K-5, 6-8, and 9-12. The NASA Education Robotics site includes descriptions of robot engineers and the work they do.

Jet Propulsion Laboratory is NASA's lead center for robotic exploration. You may want to share Robotics at JPL with your students, and introduce them to cutting-edge robot innovations and developments. Go more in-depth at JPL's Mobility and Robotic Systems page.

NASA's Robotics Image Gallery contains photos of numerous NASA robots in action.

National Geographic Kids has a terrific series of robot videos that elementary teachers may want to use with their students. These fun films showcase robots who fly, dance, play musical instruments, and play like pets.

Why should teachers use robots to teach STEM concepts in the classroom? Consider these seven reasons to include robotics study in your curriculum.

Check out these project-based robotics apps and websites for STEM classrooms. Another good collection of links to robotics sites is Robotics For Kids.

Ready Set Robot guides students through the steps of the design process to solve a problem by creating a robot.

It can be fascinating to students to learn about all the things robots can do. New robotic applications are developed every day! Here are just a few to share with your class:

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LEGO Mindstorms offers lessons plans and other helps for middle-school teachers who want to use LEGO brand building materials for teaching about robots.

Robots for Kids has facts, videos, activities, and images all about robots. Types of Robots is an especially engaging feature for young learners, as well as the fun robot video clips.

All About Robots, from Kids Discover, is a fun resource to use with younger students. Other “fun facts” pages include All About Robotics from Easy Science for Kids and Facts About Robotics.

Robot firefighters? Robot fish that re-create extinct species? Challenge your students to discover new applications for robot technology and keep up on new developments in the robot world with this Live Science site. Robots in the News also reports on headline-making robots.

National Robotics Week, celebrated in April each year, offers lots of interesting features for STEM educators.

Robotics Lesson Plans

TeachEngineering has an excellent collection of robotics lesson plans and activities for different grade levels. For example, take a look at What Is A Robot?, How Does A Robot Work?, Are We Like Robots?, Humans and Robots, Robots On Ice, Red Rover Robotics, and many more.

Robot Arm

NASA provides lesson plans for K-12 educators on many topics related to robotics. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory also has classroom activities you'll want to check out. Insert “robotics” into the search box and find hands-on projects such as building a nanorover, designing a robotic insect, and creating a robotic arm.

Science Kids offers an introductory robotics lesson plan with accompanying activities for elementary grades.

At TryEngineering, you'll find standards-aligned, project-based lessons including Build Your Own Robot Arm and Robot Basketball.

The European Space Agency's Teach With Space site challenges students to “become a space engineer for a day” as they design tools to support the role of robots in space exploration.

Hands-on Activities for Students

Science Buddies has a wealth of robotics projects for kids of all skill levels.

Find step-by-step instructions for 15 different robotics projects at Your First Robot.

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Easy Robotic Projects for Kids are designed for beginners at home or at school.

Build bristle bots with the Design Squad team from PBS Kids.

Older students may want to try these robotics science fair projects.

StemWorks has an extensive collection of robotics activities, including this underwater robot.

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