Robotic Sets Bring STEM to Classrooms
- By Dian Schaffhauser
Two STEM education companies are working together to market robotic kits with components, curriculum and professional development. Pitsco Education has added UBTECH Education products to its catalog of STEM offerings. UBTECH Education is a division of UBTECH Robotics dedicated to promoting STEM and computer science (STEM+C) education through interactive robotics.
The partnership agreement covers UBTECH's UKIT solutions, including "Yanshee," a humanoid educational robot, and classroom sets with robotic components and curriculum that aligns with Next Generation Science Standards and optional PD offerings.
UKIT, which includes modular robotics construction and software, comes in three levels: beginner for elementary grades, intermediate for middle schools and advanced for high schools. Pricing for a class pack starts at $3,500.
According to the companies, the first two levels include hands-on STEM+C curriculum, which is designed around the NGSS' three-dimensional model, bringing together science and engineering practices in a project-based approach intended to cultivate 21st-century skills in critical thinking, problem-solving, communication, creativity, teamwork and the use of technology. The high school kit provides instruction on the mechanics, electronics and programming and includes advanced modules for performing more complex tasks.
Yanshee, a separate product altogether, comes assembled and capable of responding with facial, voice and gesture recognition. It can be programmed in multiple languages: Java, C, C++, Blockly, Perl and Python.
"UBTECH develops some of the most engaging and age-appropriate robotics and coding solutions available in education, bridging the digital-physical interface," said Pitsco Education's Chief Strategy Officer, Stephan Turnipseed, in a statement.
Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @schaffhauser.