You can do more advanced coding in Scratch with a curious 4th grader in about a half hour than you would typically do with VEX.
I’m not arguing that coding in robotics isn’t important, and that it can’t peak a kid’s interest.
Yes, you can do PID… That’s not really a programming problem, and most people that solve that problem do so by copying and pasting. The work is in the constants, and that is work, but it’s not programming, it’s tweaking a constant. I agree that robotics is 100% an awesome way to get interested in programming but the vast majority of teams can be very successful in competition with very little structure. I’m not saying that it’s hard to make your bot do the thing that you want it to do, but it’s not a matter of understanding programming.
A personal example: I wanted some information off of robotevents.com. I had never used Python before, but I read that was the best way to do some scraping. It took me a couple of days, but I was able to figure it out and it was kind of fun. So, I got Python to do a task, but copying and pasting stuff from Stack Overflow and adjusting the arguments isn’t really programming. I would say I experienced something new, but I didn’t really learn anything about coding in the process.
Perhaps it may inspire me to take a coding class.
I deeply believe in these statements. But it’s also a very efficient way to not get anything done. We have insanely curious elementary kids that just lose it all by the time they are in 7th grade. I teach 6th, 7th and 8th grade students together, and the differences between those ages are stark.
Is is the schools that beat the creativity out of kids?
Is it shifting hormones that drive their attention?
I don’t know what drives it away.
I can’t teach a kid to be creative. My lab, with the fields, pieces and computers everywhere, should peak any kid’s interest. I would have died to be in there when I was their age. But for the vast majority of kids it just doesn’t do anything for them. That’s part of why I use VEX, because the competitive angle will fill some of the curiosity gap… But it’s often not enough.
Anywho, great thread. You are 100% on point.