The Experiential Learning Lab,using robotics and technology, Ρομποτική is an innovative educational system in Greece, though it is widely used in the USA, Asia and Western Europe. A team of expert scientists has adapted and designed educational activitiesespecially for Greek children which are based on the experiential learning model developed by Dr S.Papert (MIT), where knowledge is creatively constructed through the natural curiosity of every individual and a personal need for learning. In this way, instead of children learning something because 'that is what it says in the book',they discover knowledge through creativity building and playing with objects that interest them. Robotics and technology are used as an intermediary to pique the children's interest and spark their imagination. Through imaginary scenarios and techniques like those used by research and development teams, such as brainstorming, project planning and presentations, the children build and program their own robot.At the end of the lab cycle, all of the teams compete with the robots they have built in a festive atmosphere of fair play and Olympic spirit.
There is no grading in the magical world of the laboratory.The children's constructions,, the knowledge they have acquired, the development of interpersonal skills and the tangible outcome at the end of the lab cycle reflect their performance while also serving as their reward. In the same philosophical vein, there is no right or wrong opinion or idea; on the contrary, everyone is encouraged to take part and contribute to their own team. Besides, the greatest inventions were the result of an 'error'!
The Robotixlab-Young Inventors programme is designed for children aged 5 and up. The club meetings includepresentations of photographs and video for discussion, team building andice-breaking games to enhance sociability and a sense of team work and cooperation presentations of robotics theory and discussion answering questions explaining assigned homework and group discussion construction of robotics experiments and inventions with educational robotics kits (Lego WeDo, robots with sensors, motors, microprocessors, LCD screen, etc.) through the LEGO Robotics Mindstorms NXT system , design and construction and programming of robotsthrough the computer on the topic scenario of the final competition; preparation of poster and presentation for the final competition; quizzes in the form of game shows as a form of revision; and closing of the meeting.
Through this programme, the students are able toimprove their way of thinking, develop their communication skills,exercise their creativity and come into contact with the world of robotics and technology.At the same time, they learn the fundamentals of programming, engineering and electronics, and acquire problem solving, team work and time management skills.
The Robotics and Technology Lab is sponsored by Robotixlab(www.robotixlab.com) and is presented to the students by Antonis Kanouras, a robotics engineer who specialises in educational robotics systems. The structure, materials and final form of the lab is designed by the experts at Robotixlab to be in line with the needs and philosophy of the educational organisation hosting it.