Purpose: This paper aims to discuss issues related to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education. It is emphasized that the need to prepare students with twenty-first-century skills through STEM-related teaching is strong, especially at the elementary level. The authors present selected previous experiences, publications, research into the study topic, and review examples of primary school robotics and programming curricula, as well as associated educational activities. The authors stress that workshops, using kits to build and programme robots, are a modern form of interdisciplinary education of children and youth.
Design/methodology/approach: The rationale for conducting such activities in schools is found in the European reference framework in the context of training of key competences. Classes in robotics – if properly taught – will have an impact on the development of mathematical literacy and scientific–technical information and social competences. At the same time, competence is understood to mean a combination of knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the situation. Besides, an analysis is presented of basic legal regulations in this matter as well as results of a survey, conducted in Poland and Ukraine among in-service teachers and prospective teachers.
Findings: The study was carried out with the participation of 91 primary school teachers and future teachers in the province of Silesia and at the University of Silesia in Poland, and in Ukraine, at Borys Grinchenko Kyiv University. The survey contained 15 questions about the pedagogical research “Robotics and children”. The study was carried out to determine the needs of modern education to introduce the basics of robotics in the educational process of primary school.
Originality/value: It can be expected that the findings from the prior Polish and Ukrainian surveys can be extrapolated into curricula for secondary schools and vocational education and training (VET) in the coming years.
- Robotics in school
- STEM education