I am married to an engineer.
I know that he’s been “chomping at the bit,” waiting for his boys to get old enough to be able to start learning about robotics. The time is here; our 9-year-old devoured every page of the Snap Circuits kit we got him a few months ago, and I regretted getting the “junior” version for him. I have been researching sources and information for getting him started in robotics, and the best article I’ve found so far is a PDF file you can access for free here: Getting Kids Into Robotics by guru Gordon McComb. It is full of information and helpful links. Gordon operates a helpful website called Robotoid.com.
I hope to invest in some beginner kits that he can do independently to learn some of the basics – his younger brothers will be intensely observing and discussing it all with him, I already know – and we have an area in our house we are going to get ready with a table and some storage units. I like to ease into new subject matter gradually, do a lot of research, and put materials I want to buy into my “wishlist” to sit for a while.
This is a subject that my husband will take over from me as the children advance – it’s his strength, not mine. Supervision will certainly be required if we progress into any drilling or soldering. If the interest continues, we will join (or start) a robotics team, incorporate collaboration with other young students (male & female, of course,) and enter at least one competition. I look forward with great joy to all the possibilities that are in our children’s futures! Trust me, my kids are not sheltered… but as homeschoolers they have no understanding of the terms “geek” or “nerd.” I love that. How about you, have you introduced your children to robotics? What resources have helped you?