People love robots. Whether it’s the amazing way they move independently or the dream of having a robot butler to serve your every whim, the fascination is universal. And kids always think robots are cool! If you’ve got kids who are curious or even obsessed, here are some websites and apps to teach and entertain them with everything robot.
National Geographic Challenge: Robots!
This game places kids in the role of engineer at a fictional robot factory. After completing orientation, kids are tasked with real-world challenges where they will need to design robots and direct them in meeting certain goals. The site also has links to related activities and information. This game gets children thinking about design choices and how each part of a robot serves a specific role related to its overall purpose.
Science Kids: Robots for Kids
Robots for Kids has a variety of resources related to robots, including historical facts, videos, projects, and games. It’s a solid overview, but the website contains several ads within the content which kids might find distracting. In addition to some robot basics, there are activities related to circuits and electricity.
PBS National Robotics Week Resources
The National Robotics Week Resource library is a collection of videos and interactive units geared toward kids primarily in grades 6-12, although there are a few that are appropriate for younger audiences. The content is from the TV show Nova, and includes support materials, discussion questions, and even connections to national education standards. Most of the videos are available in English and Spanish with closed captioning. Kids can explore a range of related topics, including microbots, wearable technology, humanoid robots, and robotics in the space program.
Lightbot: Programming Puzzles App (Android, iOS)
In this mobile application, the player gives a robot a string of instructions to move it from Point A to Point B. These logic puzzles slowly increase in difficulty as kids are introduced to coding logic. Kids will explore concepts such as loops, functions, and more. While this is a paid app, Lightbot: Hour of Code is a free demo version of this experience.
Robot School App (Mac, Android, iOS)
While Lightbot provides plenty of challenge in the logic department, Robot School gives kids the chance to see real code in action. As the user completes logic puzzles to help a robot who is stranded on a remote planet, they can see the code they create in the Swift programming language. This helps them make connections between the logic and actual coding. Robot School is a paid app.
Are your kids already past the basics and ready for something more in-depth? If so, Camp Robot Mechanic at Club SciKidz Dallas summer camp may be just the thing. Aimed at kids in grade 4-7, this camp experience is all about the hands-on. Kids will get nitty gritty as they build and test more than a dozen robots and then compete in robotic challenges and races. They’ll even have the chance to do some soldering. If your children are interested in robotics and engineering, this summer camp experience will be right up their alley.