Robot 'sows' attention to technology at primary school

News | 6 Feb 2017

Concentrated in groups, they tinker all the parts together. Soon they will present their 'living' robot to all students at the school. "This is the way to bring technology to the attention of primary school children."

The joint high-tech companies of Innovatiecluster Drachten, together with Bètapunt Noord, are already trying to recruit their future employees at primary school. That is of no use to them at the moment to fill their growing number of vacancies. "But if you want young people to opt for technology, they have to come into contact with it at a young age," explains Theun Prins of high-tech company YP-Your Partner. On behalf of the business cluster, he visits primary schools in the Northern Netherlands with a special program in which students assemble a robot in a half-day. "If you want young people to opt for technology after secondary school, then you have to sow attention to it at primary school." 

Technology Academy

They have known this for a long time at De Vuurvlinder primary school. There, the enthusiastic technique master Henk Perdon teaches in his own technique academy. “They think the technology afternoon is the best afternoon of the week. Especially children who are less able to learn with their head, but who are handy, can still develop their talents in this way.” Perdon reacted enthusiastically when he heard that the school could win a Meccanoid robot. “For our children, the robot is a great extension of the technology education that we already offer. That's why I wrote a motivation why our school should win the robot. And now it lies here in pieces on the table. Awesome!''

Teaching Assistant

At the end of the morning, the robot is presented to the whole school, but it is not finished yet. This has been taken into account. Prins presents a 'lifelike' Meccanoid with which the children can put on their show. ,,It really only starts after building the robot'', explains Prins. ,,You can program him to do a dance, for example, or to help clean up the classroom.'' Laughing: ,,He is also an excellent teaching assistant, because he can teach you English and you can ask him all kinds of questions reply. In this way, children experience that technology is challenging and, above all, a lot of fun''. 

Beta Point North

Beta Point North is there for all primary schools in the provinces of Groningen, Friesland and Drenthe and supports school boards, school directors, S&T coordinators and teachers with information, advice and guidance in the introduction of science and technology in the classroom.

look at the short video how the students assemble their robot.