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With School's Out K-12 Students Virtually Making Their Own Robots

Kumu Gupta

With school's out K-12 students virtually making their own robots 

With schools in Massachusetts out for the rest of the academic year due to Corona virus and parents left with keeping their kids usefully engaged, Steam Works Studio has students virtually making robots with their own hands via Zoom and online classes (https://educationlink.us/school/13/sessions?sessionPeriodId=all?).

 Steam Works Studio (www.steamworksstudio.com) is a 5 years young start up , in Princeton NJ, founded by an IIT Kanpur graduate Mr. Shubhendu Das and has grown through a licensing model in many schools across US, UK, Hong Kong, and Canada.

 Steam Works believes in children building 21st century skills in STEAM - Science, Tech, Engineering, Arts, and Math. They partner with Schools, Parks & Recs, Sports facilities, providing teachers who are technology experts, educators and bring all of the hardware, software, and other teaching resources. 

 Among the classes, VR is for 3rd-6th grade, using Oculus Rift as the hardware platform, which consists of a headset and earphones that allow people to experience virtual reality, Nano Bots is for k-3rd grade, where LEGO based kits teach what Robotic Systems are capable of as well as sensors (utilize motion, distance, tilt) and basic programming with an easy to use drag and drop program. The projects range in theme from the animal kingdom, soccer playing robots to racing cars. Scratch coding is for grades three to five.  Learning 3D printing in 3rd-5th grades involves a step by step process in Sketch-Up, a fun CAD program. Students turn their own imagination into plastic reality and take home whatever they print. And with LEGO Mindstorms EV-3, children can create their own robotic creatures, vehicles, machines and inventions. Kids work hands-on, limited only by their imagination.

 Steam Works Studio also offers classes in U.N. Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) through customized modules. Dr. Dinesh Sharma, Director and Chief Research Officer at Steam Works Studio, teaches young children about solar, wind and other forms of energy. The solar energy module uses solar panels to build cars, rovers and other robotic objects, while kids learn about alternative energy and smart cities. They use robotics kits to build models of smart cities, and learn about the future of urban landscapes. Dr. Sharma, who has a Doctorate from Harvard, teaches SDGs to Master's level students in the Human Rights program at CUNY, and is on the board of several non-profit organizations that work with the UN. 

 Steam Works Studio received 86% approval rating from public schools in New Jersey in a survey done last winter (parents "Highly Liked" and "Liked" the program).  Claudia A, the parent of second and third graders Joseph and Gianna, said that her kids really enjoyed the program and “they liked the opportunity to work on different activities as part of the workshop.” Joseph enjoyed creating with Scratch, and 3D model of a house and printing it with a 3D printer.

 for questions contact Dr. Dinesh Sharma  dsharma2020@gmail.com


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