Robotics and coding, booming activities in schools

Both fun and educational, learning robotics and coding is gaining more and more followers. These activities encourage children and young people to experiment and develop their skills in critical thinking, coding and design… It is also a good alternative to video games and addiction to screens. So many advantages that have allowed these activities to find their place in schools.

Learning about robotics and coding is generating unprecedented enthusiasm among young people. Beyond their playful nature that appeals to children, these activities have gained importance in the field of education in recent years, reaching school classrooms. Indeed, more and more schools are including them in their curriculum. “The integration of coding associated with robotics allows the development of the algorithmic mind in students. These activities contribute to the awakening and development of problem solving in students. They make it possible to reveal and stimulate the creative potential of each student and to encourage them to innovate through play, to motivate students to the concept of learning by doing and to motivate them to learn by engaging them in real experiences, hence the ‘Importance of generalizing these activities in schools,’ a source from the Department of Engineering at the Ministry of National Education told us.

Our source recalls, moreover, that the introduction of coding in Morocco started in 2015 thanks to the initiative of Africa Code Week, which allows each year and for a month to initiate young students from the African continent to this activity. “Morocco participates in it through all its establishments with the tools available: multimedia room, multimedia suitcase, and when there is no material available, coding can be initiated on paper, because the objective is the development of algorithmic mind. Between 2015 and 2021, some 7 million students have been introduced to the scratch code. Thanks to other partners, robotics which requires additional tools Arduino, Lego, several students also had access to robotics activities, hackathons are regularly organized at regional and national level to make these activities fun and create a spirit of fair play competition”, explains the same source.

Given the many advantages that these activities represent, the Ministry of Education is working to generalize them in all public and private schools. “Robotics is currently part of the technology that is taught at the college level. Students are introduced to robot programming and regional competitions are organized at the initiative of regional education and training academies. It should also be noted that during the start of the 2020-2021 school year, the teaching of the scratch code was introduced into the school program for the fifth and sixth years of primary school within the discipline of scientific awakening to give meaning to the activity, because it’s not just about coding, but about linking the code to problem solving!”, specifies our source.


What advantages

Several studies have shown that learning about robotics and coding is of tremendous educational and social importance for children and has a long list of benefits. “When students participate in hands-on experiences in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) such as robotics and coding, they build self-confidence and deepen their knowledge. Indeed, this kind of activity allows children to learn about STEM through scenarios and projects, and also to acquire critical thinking and creativity through which they identify the tools and skills necessary to realize their ideas”, underlines Inass Abdelkhaleq, Teams Coordinator for the First Lego League Morocco.
These activities also help prepare children to meet the needs of the labor market in the future. “Coding and robotics are current and future skills. New professions appear every day, and these are closely related to coding and robotics. According to a recent study, 85% of the professions of 2030 do not yet exist. New professions will be radically impacted by the new technological innovations that are now part of our daily lives. Therefore, our educational system must improve to adapt to the new context in order to satisfy the need of the labor market. The inclusion of STEM activities is not a choice, but it is a necessity to develop 21st century skills among new generations,” said Abdelwahed El Moutaoukkil, consultant at the Moroccan Center for Robotics and Artificial Intelligence (CMRIA ). “Robotics and coding are also a great alternative to video games. Instead of using screens in a negative way, children learn to create their own games and develop several relational and personal skills…”, he adds.

Moroccan students shine at the International Robotics Competition

After winning hands down the regional and national finals of the First Lego League Challenge robotics championship, the “Fleming Techmakers” team from the Alexander Fleming school in Casablanca represented Morocco at the international final which took place at the end of April. last in Texas in the United States. “It was the Alexander Fleming School, a private institution in Casablanca, ranked first in the national robotics championship, which represented Morocco in the competition in the United States. These students have been supported throughout the year by their teachers to acquire programming and robotics skills that have enabled them to participate in competitions and improve their performance and thus represent Morocco honorably on an international scale”, indicates a source from the Department of Engineering at the Ministry of National Education.

This experience was very enriching for the young champions, at all levels. “We are very proud and happy to have been able to represent the Kingdom in front of so many people from all over the world. It was our first participation and we obtained very honorable results. Participating in this experiment allowed us to learn a lot of things not only in robotics, but also on a human level,” says Noha, 11, a member of Fleming Techmakers. It should be noted that the First Lego League Morocco is now in its seventh edition. The theme this year was “Cargo Connect”, which aimed to stimulate reflection on the future of freight transport and innovation in the field of distribution. The students had to reflect and find solutions and propose transport projects. “This is Morocco’s third participation in the Robotics First World Festival, which has taken place in different cities in the United States over the years. During their participation in the international final in Texas this year, Moroccan students were able, among 108 teams from around the world, to share their achievements with their peers, exchange fundamental values, present their projects and robots in front of a jury, and demonstrate their skills. in design and programming during the Robot Games”, reports Inass Abdelkhaleq, Teams Coordinator for the First Lego League Morocco.

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Robotics and coding, booming activities in schools

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