South Bend Tribune
Could building successful robotics teams in schools across Indiana be what students need to compete in today’s high-tech world?
Some government leaders and educators think so.
A recent story in the Indianapolis Star reported that the use of robotics in education is growing dramatically. Last year, there were 73 robotics teams across the state; today there are 511, making Indiana the state with the most robotics teams in the country, according to The Star.
Several teams from northern Indiana and southwestern Michigan recently traveled to compete in the FIRST Robotics world championship in St. Louis.
Educators and business leaders believe building interest in robotics statewide will help students as young as 8 learn the critical STEM skills (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) needed to compete for technology jobs of the future.
Indiana has shown a commitment to robotics in education for several years now, and it took a significant step when it partnered with TechPoint Foundation for Youth. The resulting education program was a robotics model first started in Indianapolis and expanded statewide to allow elementary schools across the state to receive free robotics kits for after-school programs.
According to the newspaper, TechPoint raised $500,000 in donations to make sure Hoosier students had equal access to robotics programs.
Indiana, though partnerships with organizations such as TechPoint and additional funding through the General Assembly, is proving its commitment by making sure students who want to take part in robotics can achieve the skills necessary to lead them to high-tech, high-paying jobs.
Not every student will choose to go down that path, but for those who do Indiana is taking the first step in making sure those students have every chance to succeed.