3 Ways to Encourage STEM Learning in Your Child

As parents, you probably already know that encouraging your children to be interested in subjects such as science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) can be an uphill battle. While it can be a difficult task, it is not impossible. In fact, all you have to do is nurture a positive attitude and willingness to learn in your child. Granted, kids might not want to listen to their parents all the time and could have a negative attitude towards mathematics and science since those are considered tougher subjects in primary school. But all hope is not lost when it comes to instilling a passion for learning STEM subjects in your child!

Encourage Curiosity

Early STEM education will serve a child throughout their life and aid them in adapting to an ever-changing world that is driven by technology. By encouraging your child’s existing interests and passions, you will be able to hone their abilities to be resilient to challenges and grow curious about the world around them. Not to mention, STEM education seeks to teach children to be able to solve real-world problems with creative solutions – a skill that cannot be learnt without curiosity.

  • Show them the world – kids are naturally curious, all you have to do is bring them outside. Whether you bring them for a camping trip, a visit to the museum or the zoo, exposing them to new experiences can allow them to ask more questions about the world and satisfy their curiosities 
  • Encourage them to wonder aloud 
  • Prompt them to think – when your children have a question, ask for their thoughts first before answering them 
  • Let them be kids – kids love to play, allow them to explore with unstructured playtime 

Introduce Them to STEM Projects and Activities

Project-based learning is a great way to instil a strong sense of achievement in kids as it teaches them resilience as well. By working on projects with your child, you will be able to guide and mentor them as they come up with their own ideas. With your guidance, your child will be able to build resilience as they are encouraged to work through challenges and stay focused in the face of adversity. As they come up with creative ways to complete their projects, they will learn that making mistakes is part and parcel of learning and they should not feel discouraged when they don’t get the right answers immediately.

Interesting STEM projects and activities for children:

  • Playing with slime
  • Science experiments 
  • Building LEGOs
  • Math Jenga

Buy Them Toys for Robotics Education

Robotics and coding play an integral part in STEM education. Beginner robotics kit can help to introduce your children to the basics of coding and technological concepts in a fun and engaging way. If you are thinking of getting a robotics kit to get them started on coding, why not give the Botzees a shot? Not only are Botzees great for beginners, but they are also interactive and highly educational – it even comes with augmented reality puzzles for kids to solve when they are not coding.

Place your orders at Polaris Network today and you will receive your educational robotics kit at your doorstep within 3-7 working days. Alternatively, you can also pick up your orders at any of our two physical stores in Singapore at Ubi Avenue or Parkway Parade.
Check out our full range of products online now.

Why Learning How to Code is Important for Young Children

Coding is a computer-based language that allows coders to write instructions for a computer. These instructions can be anything from how a website looks, to the behaviour or interface of an application. Knowing how to code is an important skill for children of the 21st century. Not only does it teach your children valuable problem-solving skills, but it also harnesses their computational thinking and logic skills.

Coding can be learned at any age through many different methods such as books, coding lessons or online tutorials. Most beginner coding courses that your kids might want to try could include Scratch Jr., Python, and MakeBlock. These languages teach children how to create their own games, animations, websites and more!

Learning coding at a young age will help your child improve their mathematical skills as well as computer science knowledge in general through interaction with technology. Not only does it teach them the basics of programming but also gives them the tools needed for careers in STEAM-related fields like engineering and technology in future. Read on to find out why your children should take up coding now!

1. It Builds Problem-Solving Skills

There are many ways to help your children build problem-solving and critical thinking skills, and allowing them to learn coding is one effective method. When kids learn to code, they will be able to have a deeper understanding of how software engineers or coders make use of mathematical reasoning to solve problems within an application or software. In order to fix problems in a code, students will have to come up with creative but logical solutions. Once their solutions are implemented, they will be able to see it take effect almost immediately on the software or robot that they are working with. By allowing children to see the fruits of their labour almost immediately can further encourage them to take up coding as it has a direct impact upon application.

2. It Develops Resilience

The journey of developing a well-written code is a steep learning curve. As your child works hard to learn how to code, they will be faced with setbacks and challenges before they can have a taste of success. This uphill battle will teach them to understand that failures and making mistakes are part and parcel of life, allowing them to have more confidence in their work and abilities in the long run. As your child grows to become more resilient to making mistakes and the fear of failing, you will find that they will be more likely to think out of the box and experiment with solutions that are outside of their comfort zone.

3. It Provides Them With Important 21st Century Skills

With the rapid development of technology and Artificial Intelligence in the last decade, many job positions that involve menial labour will be phased out by the time your children enter the workforce. By equipping them with 21st-century skills such as coding, they will be able to adapt to the many changes of the workforce that technology will bring in the future due to the digitalisation of businesses. Furthermore, it can also give them an extra edge in their careers since they possess an additional coding skill on top of academic qualifications that most job seekers will have.

Teach Your Children Basic Coding With Polaris Network Today

Looking to kickstart your kid’s journey to learning to code? Get your beginner’s robotics kit from Polaris Network today! Here at Polaris Network, we strongly recommend Botzees, the best robotics kit that is suitable for children aged four years old and above.

Visit our website to find out more about the Botzees educational robotics kit today.

All You Need to Know About the MakeX Spark Competition

The time has finally come for the annual MakeX Spark Competition, the highly anticipated robotics competition organised by Polaris Network and hosted by MakeX Robotics in Singapore. With the pandemic still rife in Singapore, this year’s competition will be held virtually, where participants will get the opportunity to showcase their creations in the global community.

If you have never heard of the MakeX Spark Competition, your kids might be missing out on a ton of fun! The yearly competition is a project-based creative design programme specially created for young learners between the ages of 6 to 16. With a specific theme every year, participants will have to devise solutions through software programming and hardware construction. Teenagers will be encouraged to apply interdisciplinary knowledge to practical problems and improve their problem solving and logical thinking abilities through a STEAM programme.

Robotics Competition Details

The Theme

This year’s competition theme is Family Care and contestants are expected to come up with brilliant ideas and projects based on the theme of showing love and care to their family members with robotics. Some core questions to consider while building their projects include:

  1. How many family members are there in your home?
  2. Who are they?
  3. Have you met any problems while living with your family? 
  4. What kind of care do they require?
  5. Do you know anyone who lacks family care within your community in Singapore – how can you help them?

MakeX Spark Programme

The MakeX Spark Online competition will consist of a total of five components – Learning and Research, Basic Workshops Project Design and Construction, Online Submission and Evaluation and Awarding.

Participants will be able to attend basic workshops to learn the basics of hardware and software during the Learning and Research phase, where they will come up with the topic of interest for further research. After that, they will move on to Project Design and Construction to generate possible solutions according to the theme and start creating their poster and test their solutions.

Once they have nailed down the finer details of the project and are ready for submission, they will compile all relevant images, videos, descriptions, posters and personal information to submit online to the mBlock community to undergo evaluation. Finally, the panel of judges will evaluate and announce various awardees during the online awards ceremony.

Awards and Takeaways

There are a wide array of awards that will be given out to deserving contestants during the awards ceremony, which includes the Young All-Rounder award (Top 3), Young Designer (Top 15% of each group), Young Innovator (Top 15% of each group), Young Engineer (Top 15% of each group), Best Demonstration (Top 15% of each group). Mentors and educational institutes can look forward to the Excellent Mentor (1 awardee) and Excellent Organisation (1 awardee) award.

Other than E-certificates that will be given out with each award, winners of the Young All-Rounder award will also receive a medal and a CyberPi Go Kit, a single-board computer meant for computer science and STEAM education. Non-awarded participants will receive a certificate of participation as well.

How to Join the MakeX Spark Competition

Thinking of letting your child join this year’s MakeX Spark Competition? Well, there’s no time to waste! As participants are highly encouraged to use mBlock 5 to program their projects, you can first purchase the relevant equipment through Polaris Network or MakeX before starting on the projects.

You can either enter your child in the Elementary (6 to 12 years old) or Intermediate (13 to 16 years old) age group as a team of two or as a single participant. Thereafter, simply take note of the submission period (25 October to 7 November) and the results announcement dates (22 – 24 November). The online awards ceremony will be held on 6 December.

Visit MakeX to read the full rules for the competition.

Polaris – Powering STEAM Education

What is STEAM education exactly?

STEAM education is a term that has been widely used in the education sector and in schools within Singapore, with an increasing number of schools placing focus on Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics subjects in order to educate students to better prepare them for the workforce. The focus on these subjects was catapulted in recent years due to the advance of technology and the need for the future workforce to meet the demands of a technologically-dependent society, as companies grow to increase the number of STEAM-related positions.

As such, Singapore has even set up the School of Science and Technology for pre-tertiary students and a number of campuses for the Singapore Institute of Technology across the island for undergraduates. The former focuses on nurturing innovators to improve society through STEAM education while the latter focuses on providing students with specific courses that are vital to their respective fields of interest.

Why is STEAM Education Beneficial to Students?

With the continual advancement of technology at rapid speed, conventional skills that students learn in school might just be outdated by the time they graduate. By equipping them with STEAM-related skills to solve societal problems, it allows them to prepare for tech or automation-related careers that might not even exist now.

As STEAM education aims to prepare students for the workforce, it develops students to be able to take analysed risks, work effectively with others, build critical thinking skills and hone their creative minds. It can help develop them into all-rounder learners that possess the skills to become effective educators, researchers and innovators, and thus giving them a competitive edge when looking for jobs.

STEAM educated students will find themselves highly adaptable to different situations and be more open to different career opportunities in future, possibly fulfilling the manpower demand in Singapore’s Infocomm Technology sector and the green sector. In fact, Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has also shown his support for STEAM education. He also mentioned that as Singaporeans’ awareness for sustainability grows in the country, students with a background in STEAM subjects will be crucial in moving us towards sustainable practices in future.

How is STEAM Education Implemented in Schools?

While implementing STEAM education does not mean a complete overhaul of the existing curriculum, it includes a number of changes. Firstly, students will be exposed to specific scientific vocabulary that will help them get familiarised with scientific concepts in time to come. The Ministry of Education in Singapore has also arranged for students to use computers and iPad during lessons to help students get used to using technology for school and work in the future. Secondary schools, Junior Colleges and Millennia Institute will also be mandated to implement blended learning (offline and online learning programmes) for students from 2021.

As for the creative aspect, students are encouraged to learn through storytelling by coming up with stories and creative solutions to solve modern-day problems. This involves starting with a hypothesis, developing methodological solutions and further exploration of solutions for the problem.

How Does Educational Robotics Play a Part in STEAM Education?

By introducing robotics to students for STEAM education, it can provide them with a multi-sensory and experiential learning experience. Since the robots can be programmed to complete a number of tasks, it allows students to understand how technology works and how its potential can be harnessed to solve real-world problems with the right idea.

Students will also be able to receive immediate feedback from the process of robotics programming that will require them to go with a hands-on approach to solving problems relating to both hardware and software. With constant trial and error, they will also be able to overcome the fear of failure with more practice.

Find out more about educational robotics by giving it a shot today. Find out how you can purchase a beginner robotics kit at Polaris Network to kickstart your child’s STEAM education journey today.

The Best Robotics Kit For Beginners

Wrecking your brains thinking of a million and one ways to entertain your kids while staying indoors during the weekend? You are not alone. With the COVID-19 pandemic still posing a risk to young children, it is the safer choice to keep outdoor activities in crowded public areas to a minimum and keep our children occupied with fun activities at home. But how does one keep children busy with stimulating activities for hours?

The solution is fairly simple – with a beginner robotics kit for children.

With schools introducing Educational Robotics to class curriculum to enhance learning and development of important skills, there is no better time to start getting your kids familiarised with robotics. Furthermore, learning how to work with robots or program robotics equipment is incredibly helpful when it comes to learning Science, Technology, Engineering Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) concepts in future.

Why Introduce Your Kids to Robotics Kits?

First of all, robotics kits such as Botzees are interactive and educational, perfect for beginners and for easing children into new STEAM concepts. On top of that, you can spend some quality time bonding with your child while building the robot from scratch and then learn how to program it together via the Botzee application. 

How to Use The Botzees Robotics Kit

Setting Up

Botzees is a coding robotics kit that is suitable for children above the age of 4. Building the robot itself would be the easiest part of it all since the parts resemble LEGO blocks which your children would be familiar with. Take this opportunity to hone your kid’s creativity as they have free reign over how they would like their robot to look since there is no exact way to fix it. Once you have your Botzees robot put together, you can then download the Botzees application on your mobile phone then connect to the robot via Bluetooth.

Programming It 

Once you have it all set up, let the application teach your child how to program codes for the robot in order to make it move. For a fuss-free experience for parents, the application has included easy and intuitive coding games to teach your children how to program their Botzees.

Whenever they are ready, they can start adding codes or commands to program the robot’s movements or simply use your mobile device as a remote control to move the robot around. Some movements that the Botzees robot can be programmed to make include lighting up, move in various directions, dance and make sounds.

Playing Games

When you and your child are more familiar with how the application works, you can move on to solve puzzles or go on scavenger hunts with your very own robot through augmented reality. The Botzees application allows your child to learn in a rich augmented reality environment in Singapore with great storytelling and engaging games.

Get Your Kids a Botzees Robotics Kit From Polaris Network

Convinced to get your children a beginner’s robotics kit? Look no further as we have it right here at Polaris Network. Simply place your orders, and we will have them delivered to your homes within 3-7 working days.

Alternatively, you can visit any of our two physical stores in Singapore at Parkway Parade or Ubi Avenue to check out the robotics kit before making a purchase.

Find out more about educational robotics, advanced robotics kits and our other products on our online store now.

What is Educational Robotics Exactly?

As technology continues to advance rapidly, schools in Singapore are beginning to leverage the benefits of technology to offer more interactive learning experiences in classrooms. One great example of this would be how Singapore schools are incorporating Robotics Education or Educational Robotics into their curriculum for all students.

What is Educational Robotics? It is an interdisciplinary learning environment that is built on the use of robots and their electric components to enhance the learning and development of important skills and competencies in young children or teenagers. Robotics Education usually goes hand in hand with Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education courses or programmes,

Why is Robotics Education Important?

By learning STEM subjects through the use of robots, teachers will be able to introduce students to programming and expose them to STEM effectively. In time, students will also be able to appreciate how STEM works together and interact in the world they live in.

Through interactive STEM lessons with robotics in the classroom, students will be able to better express themselves, learn listening skills and relate better to others. As they develop a deeper understanding of STEM subjects, they will also be more equipped to enter the 21st-century workforce with coding skills or other relevant hard skills.

How Are STEM Lessons Conducted with Robotics?

Combining STEM and Robotics Education is a fairly new initiative and has gained traction in Singapore in recent years, but it is, in fact, a form of learning that can be easily applied in schools, even at primary school levels. Robotics and STEM come hand in hand in the form of interactive educational robots that make STEM subjects easier, more engaging and exciting for students since robots look like toys. Educational Partners or facilitators use educational robots to teach basic engineering concepts such as design, building, development and fundamental coding knowledge. 

During Robotics STEM classes, students will work together to solve real-world problems such as transportation issues. They will be able to tap on the resources provided in class to do so.

How Can Students Benefit from Educational Robotics?

By participating in such interactive or hands-on programmes, students will develop an interest in STEM subjects, which can encourage innovation. The process of learning during such classes is faster and more enjoyable compared to learning from textbooks in class. Educational Robotics also teaches students the important value of teamwork, problem-solving and collaboration, much like team sports.

Start Your Kids on Educational Robotics Programmes with Polaris Network

Are you thinking of exposing your children to Educational Robotics? Take the first step today and find out more about Polaris Network’s Educational Robotics Kits that are perfect for beginners looking to learn more about programming, engineering, mathematics and technology through the use of robotics.

Here at Polaris Network, we are the sole distributor of the world-leading DIY robotics brand, MakeBlock, in Singapore. MakeBlock is a robotics construction platform with a vision to enable everyone to become a maker.

Get in touch with us to find out more about MakeBlock and our robotics kits or toys for kids today.