Having introduced robotics on a trial basis in two government schools in Bangalore earlier this year, the Karnataka government has now decided to use the technology to teach science to school students across the state and also to engineering students.
“Robotics is gaining prominence in many countries. Japan and Korea have high expertise in this area. It is proposed to give science education to school students using the technology and to provide robotics education to engineering students in association with Korea,” Chief Minister Siddaramaiah announced in his budget speech Friday.
Robotics is seeing proliferation at many private schools as an education tool in many cities in the country. Two government schools in Bangalore are now experimenting with it to teach students science and engineering concepts.
“Robotics provides a forum for good application of what the kids are learning in schools. Apart from space science it is robotics that provides scope for application of many of the basic concepts of science, engineering and mathematics,’’ said Manohar Sambandam, who coaches a competitive robotics team at National Public School in Bangalore.
“Experience in what is involved in software programming when gained at the school level helps students develop deeper interest in it rather than being forced into it at a later age. This is possible with robotics,’’ said Anuradha Koyal, co-founder of Hobby Master, an enterprise offering robotics courses by tying up with schools in Bangalore.
“Playing with robotics provides exposure to concepts of mechanical, electrical, electronic and computer engineering. In the US, it is a key component of a school education initiative called Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics aimed at providing students a strong grounding in these subjects. We need it if we have to start creating products in India,’’ said Shrikanth K, a Samsung engineer whose son is part of a school robotics team.
The department for education research and training started an experiment last month to provide free robotics training at two government schools. The programme at the Hosakerehalli and Veerabhadranagar government schools is being conducted in collaboration with Saitama University, Japan, and a Japanese robotics kit-making company.
“Studies have shown that students enrolled in learning mathematics, science and IT using our programme in Japan have a lot more interest in science subjects and have gone on to excel in exams,” Renya Kaikuchi, chairman of Yokohama-based Learning Systems, said at the unveiling of the government school initiative in Bangalore on January 6.