Success Stories Of Robotics and Self ConfidenceThe Science of Social Emotional Development
At Counseling In Schools, possibilities are awakened through inquiry and practice. Can a Robot build self-confidence?
Brooklyn’s Junior High School 223’s Lego Robotics Team, dubbed “Cybermatic Potatoes 3.0”, is answering this question as they develop their scientific, creative, social and emotional skills in a CIS run afterschool program.
For the third year running, CIS staff members Adnan Lotia and Erel Pilo are preparing a group of students for the annual First Lego League Robotics Competition. Concentration, cooperation, risk taking, creativity, patience and a fun-loving attitude will be the key ingredients to this group’s successful participation in the event.
In order to get a handle on the theme for the competition – Hydrodynamics – the team is studying the local water management strategies at the Valentino Pier, the Gowanus Canal and the Newton Creek Wastewater Treatment Facility. Taking this field knowledge back to school, team members are working diligently to learn how to program sensors, wire Lego pieces, design robots, and, perhaps most daunting of all, to make oral presentations! This competition requires these students to not only demonstrate the technical ability to create functional robots, but moreover, to display the self-confidence and verbal skills to stand before the judges and effectively communicate the relationship between their robot and their research.
Amidst the groans of frustration when programming sequences fails, the shrieks of excitement when the robot responds as planned and the mottled speech of an anxious oral presentation, there is a baseline of playfulness and pure fun that permeates this group. Day after day, these young people acquire more knowledge, show more creativity, take more risks and build stronger bonds with one another. Witnessing this group in action is seeing what whole child education is all about!
To answer our initial question: A Robot cannot build self-confidence. Self-confidence, however, is built upon the opportunity, encouragement and abilities of individuals working within a supportive community that may coincidentally be building robots! So, we might conclude that it is through self-confidence that robots are built, relationships forged, and possibilities awakened!
Hope, purpose and determination can flourish.
Together, let’s work toward a bright, resilient future for New York City’s children, families and schools.