3 Laws of Robotics: Learn, Build, Compete


Robotics has become the standard bearer in STEM education as high schools, colleges, and universities around the world focus their software and hardware engineering efforts on inventing better and better machines and ultimately plunge their creations into the underworld of robotics competitions. Now a new site has been launched to promote the educational value of robotics and robotics competitions and provide resources for students and educators.

The site, Robotevents.com, is a collaboration between Innovation First and Autodesk and is designed to "encourage students and educators to explore the exciting world of robotics and bring real-world experience to STEM learning." It provides access to free software for educators and students, links to curricula incorporating robotics, forums and blogs on robotics, galleries, and, as its name suggests, complete information about a wide range of robotics events--both conferences and competitions--including registration.

Innovation First provides robotics programs to about 140,000 students around the world (making up about 12,000 teams). Autodesk is a developer of 3D software for engineering and media. The two said they launched the site to promote the ever-expanding field of robotics, since only about five percent to 10 percent of schools are currently taking advantage of the wealth of robotics resources and events out there. (In 2006 alone, for example, there were more than 450 robotics events.) The companies cited a study by the American Society for Engineering Education that showed that "89 percent of students who participated in robotics activities better understood the role of science and technology in their everyday life, while 69 percent said that learning about robotics made them more interested in science and technology careers."

More information and links to research, resources, and software can be found below.

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About the author: David Nagel is the executive editor for 1105 Media's online education technology publications, including THE Journal and Campus Technology. He can be reached at [email protected].

Proposals for articles and tips for news stories, as well as questions and comments about this publication, should be submitted to David Nagel, executive editor, at [email protected].

About the Author

David Nagel is the former editorial director of 1105 Media's Education Group and editor-in-chief of THE Journal, STEAM Universe, and Spaces4Learning. A 30-year publishing veteran, Nagel has led or contributed to dozens of technology, art, marketing, media, and business publications.

He can be reached at [email protected]. You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/davidrnagel/ .