With an impending future where our children will be doing jobs that are ‘not yet invented’, it is essential that we prepare them for a highly competent and hi-tech world where intelligence would rule and machines might dictate. A generation that grew up on life and its circumstances will soon be extinct. We have before us a whole new breed of “tech-lings” who are born into a matrix of coding and programming and being warped in the way they need to grow.
Robotics – the brainchild of the millennium
As the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) program of learning is gaining momentum, Robotics emerges as its recent and captivating offspring. Robotics for children is all about learning, processing and experimenting, training the young minds to understand how things work. Understanding the layout of a given model, putting the pieces together to give it a form and getting it to blink or move is an accomplishment for the young brains. It instils in them a sense of confidence, authority, concentration and creativity. The simplicity of robotics, as intended for kids, extends to the programming part as well, making it easier to grasp the concepts.
The entertaining element of assembling a toy and the enthusiasm of creating something as inventive as a robot distracts the child from the complicacies of the learning process. Children enjoy the adventure and fun involved in designing, programming and controlling a particular scenario. This fun-filled explorative nature of robotics opens their brains to better cognitive patterns of thinking which in turn helps in other interdisciplinary learning, including chess.
Robotics & Chess – two sides of the same coin
The essence of robotics is taking instructions and carrying out complex series of actions. And that is the prime factor that equips a chess player to navigate through the composite interface of a game; taking cues from the opponent’s moves and planning out one’s action strategies.
Robotics employs advanced levels or tough models that are designed to give a rough ride for the child, shaking them off their comfort zones. Such a hands-on experience in robotics helps the chess player as she or he advances to more elaborate moves through the middle and end game. It teaches every player to embrace new challenges and explore new possibilities without inhibitions.
The process of creation in robotics positively affects both the extrovert and the introvert. By assembling the robot and making it move around to their commands, the aggressive, born-leader rejoices in his or her power to control while the reticent and the melancholic revel in the splendour of their creation! Both categories acquire a confidence level of their own that in turn enables them to express and take control in a tough game of chess.
Playing by the Rules
Chess, like robotics, demands quicker and better thinking at every level. The creative process in both the games involves considerable control as well as imagination. This trains the child to unleash one’s potential while simultaneously learning to apply control as required. The technique of restraint at a young age teaches children to take hold of the situations around despite the pressures of the system they are in, whether personal, academic or career. It trains them to express themselves within possible frameworks of freedom.
This aspect of feeling free to explore and express oneself, while leaning on their own inner strength and taking charge of a scenario plays a vital role in developing the subconscious mind of a child. It cultivates an attitude of resilience and perseverance in even the most reluctant mind, helping her or him to get involved, to participate and to perform better.