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· Volume III Issue IV

Robotics is rapidly developing all over the world—a race in research and innovation leading to a more complex and advanced technology. After all, robotics is widely used in manufacturing, transportation, earth and space exploration, surgery, weaponry, laboratory research, agriculture, and many other aspects of human life. Offices have different versions of the biometrics machines for identification and security. During the pandemic, robots have been playing a significant role in safety and health services in the form of automated thermal temperature scanners, alcohol and sanitizer dispensers that are now staples in the new normal.

In the Philippines, robotics development is in its early stage. In education, it is not part of the curriculum in the primary level. There is no program that provides young learners the opportunity to gain knowledge even on the basics of robotics. At most, robotics has been an extra-curricular class in very few schools, mostly in private schools. It was not popular, for some time, being commonly seen as an expensive and complex endeavor, making the organization and design of its training program, a challenge. The Department of Education has expressed support for the initially, handful of public schools which have initiated the organization of their own robotics programs and clubs.

The Fernando Ma. Guerrero Elementary School in the Division of Manila, is one of the public schools that has been promoting robotics for over 6 years now, with its vision of developing robotics skills and innovative minds among learners. The school has been doing its share in developing young learners in acquiring 21st century skills through technology integration, using the educational robots Lego Mindstorm and Arduino. The Lego Mindstorm is an educational robotics kit that is a combination of sensors, motors, and an electronic brain with LEGO Technic components, for construction of robots that anyone can build and program. The kit is useful for young learners, but is quite expensive. The other kit, the Arduino, is a cheaper and more affordable microcontroller. It is an open-source electronics platform based on easy-to-use hardware and software well-suited for beginners and flexible for advanced users as well.

The school believes in the role of robotics and its relevance to 21st century education. Robotics must start in the grassroots, meaning, the necessary knowledge and skills in robotics, the use of technology, is best acquired by students at an early age. This is why the school provides basic training for select pupils on building simple robots and programming. It conducts a series of training every school year, which provides pupils an opportunity to unleash their l, creative and inventive potentials. Even online, students are encouraged and trained to design simple projects and programs through the Tinkercad platform, as well as do simple research and join various competitions. These experiences are ways that broaden their knowledge and skills in robotics.