“…I’m announcing a new challenge to redesign America’s high schools so they better equip graduates for the demands of a high-tech economy… We’ll reward schools that develop new partnerships with colleges and employers, and create classes that focus on science, technology, engineering and math.”
President Barack Obama, February 12, 2013
Just recently (April 10, 2013), President Obama announced the budget plan for the fiscal year of 2014. In this budget, the president has included a $3.1 billion investment in STEM education, an increase of 6.7% in funding from 2012. While the budget is still up for debate in congress, at the very minimum, it shows the administration’s strong determination to improve STEM education.
President Obama’s decision reflects the growing focus on providing students the resources they need to qualify for jobs in the STEM field (i.e Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). While we expect to see 1 million new job openings in fields of STEM today, there will only be 200,000 graduating students that qualify for these positions.
Barobo created the Mobot educational robot for this very reason; we believed that STEM subjects should be fun and easy to understand.
Last year Barobo sponsored STEM Day, where students were tasked to direct their Mobots in such a way that they navigated around obstacles through a course to capture an object. Not only did the mission challenge their problem solving and team-building skills, but it also tested the students’ ability to code in C++ and exercised their skills in geometry.
In the end, this event not only served to enhance the quality of STEM education, but also created opportunities for students to master skills in creativity, collaboration and communication. Skills that are also essential to succeed in an increasingly competitive and complex world. A place that Eric Schmidt describes as “fueled by globalization, automation and demographics.” Yet, as experts such as Sir Ken Robinson have pointed out, creative talent has been neglected by our educational system for several decades.
When paired with strong curriculum, the Mobot can meet the rapidly rising demand for a quality STEM learning environment to improve the creativity and technical skills of young people.