The Revolution Robotics Challenge Kit is a complete robot-building package, offering over 530 pieces – including the Raspberry Pi based brain; five powerful motors; an ultrasonic sensor; accelerometer; gyro sensor; bumper switch; gears; axles; and hundreds of structural pieces. The accompanying Revolution Robotics app will provide kids ages 8 -13 an easy-to-use drag and drop programming interface to configure, code, and control their robots with any iOS or Android smartphone or tablet. More experienced robot builders and programmers can also enjoy the thrills of writing more complex code via Python. The Challenge Kit also fulfills each of the Toy Manufacturing Association’s 14 qualifications for good STEM/STEAM toys – making it a valuable investment that offers a comprehensive education in STEM principles as it excites kids about robotics.
The Toy Manufacturing Association identifies two qualifications as mandatory. The toy must promote an aspect of STEMand/or get kids thinking about the scientific method—and it also must be fun! The other 12 qualifications focus on strengthening children’s passions and skills within STEM/STEAM. A good STEM/STEAM toy must be open-ended and promote the idea that there is no one right way to play – and the breadth of tools and parts within the Challenge Kit offers aspiring robotics scientists the chance to create robots that serve a variety of functions. The Challenge Kit also encourages kids to continually expand their skills by learning to create increasingly intricate sets of codes—as their technical expertise grows, they can dream bigger and play more boldly. The Toy Manufacturing Association also emphasizes the real-world relevance of STEM/STEAM toys, and the Revolution Robotics Challenge Kit provides direct, hands-on training in the basics of robotics and coding.
The interactive component of the Challenge Kit allows for trial and error – if there’s no one way to make a robot, then there’s no expectation that users will make the “right” robot during their first try. The fun is in learning and growing with each attempt. The Challenge Kit is truly child-directed, allowing kids to assemble, code, and operate their robots at their own pace. The Revolution Robotics Challenge Kit doesn’t just offer the tools and resources to hone children’s technical skills in building and operating their own robots, it also teaches them that STEM is creative: The process of developing and assembling a robot allows them to express and entertain themselves, and the Revolution Robotics open source app helps them connect, and form a community with, other users.
Studying robotics is all about problem-solving, and the Revolution Robotics Challenge Kit requires users to take the individual tools and parts within the kit, along with coding resources, to develop a robot that can function in the real world—which is all a part of building children’s confidence. The Challenge Kit includes a curriculum and coding instructions, in addition to its open source access, that educates children and supports parents by offering them a clearly worded and accessible set of guidelines that will enable them to follow their children’s progress. Revolution Robotics designed the Challenge Kit to be fully inclusive for children from all backgrounds; they offer a non-profit, non-propriety platform that focuses on accessibility. The Challenge Kit teaches children how to read and follow directions and fosters the social and emotional skills of collaborating and communicating with others.
The Revolution Robotics Foundation is proud of the Challenge Kit because it meets the 12 requirements of a good STEM/STEAM toy and educational product.