Robotics and Coding For Primary Children

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How can you get started with coding and teach primary students about maths, science and technology?

I’ve been taking a closer look at Dash, a real robot, charged and ready to play out of the box, which responds to voice and navigate objects. This small device is perfect for teaching STEM to primary children.

What is Dash?

Dash can be used in many subjects across your school and is designed to engage key stage two students to think, motivated by its charming personality, visual coding, and self-guided missions. Students can record voice commands, code precise movements in place various obstacles in Dash’s path to test its detection skills.

The robot is fitted with a gyroscope and rechargeable battery and uses block-based coding to help students complete various coding challenges. There are several pre-reader apps which teach children how to code, solve problems and build creative responses. These apps are available on iTunesGoogle Play, and the Amazon Appstore.

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How can I use it with students?

As a design technology teacher, this is the type of device I would have purchased to use in the classroom, allowing students to explore the technology in much more detail in an after-school robotics or engineering club. On my travels, particularly as a judge for the teaching awards, I have seen many computer science and design technology departments using devices such as Dash to bring robotics to life for the students. However, it can be used in many other subject areas.

There is even a competition for schools!

Dash Robot

Find out more

Alongside Dash, inside the box, you will receive a charging cord, 2 building brick connectors and a very easy-to-use starter guide. The battery charge lasts for up to 5 hours and can standby for classroom demonstrations for up to 30 days! At about £145 for this robot, and with the cash I used to spend per pupil on bringing design technology projects to life, I think Dash is worth the price.

There are other robots available to suit the age group of your students and a range of accessories to attach to the robot to help bring coding to life. These range from £20 – 40 and can be purchased on Amazon.

As ever, technology should be used as and when needed in the classroom, and a school purchasing this would need a teacher who is interested in science, technology, engineering and maths to make good use of the equipment. It’s easy enough for the ICT-adverse teacher to use, and it’s a gets a ‘thumbs-up’ recommendation from me.

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In 2010, Ross Morrison McGill founded @TeacherToolkit from a simple Twitter account through which he rapidly became the 'most followed teacher on social media in the UK'. In 2015, he was nominated as one of the '500 Most Influential People in Britain' by The Sunday Times as a result of being most influential in the field of education. He remains the only classroom teacher to feature to this day ... Sharing resources and ideas online as @TeacherToolkit, he has built this website (c2008) which has been described as one of the 'most influential blogs on education in the UK', winning the UK Blog Awards (2018). Read more...