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STEM Robotics Academy moves with the times | Arts & Hobbies

Technology is not static, and these days it moves so fast that some people can’t keep up. It permeates every aspect of our lives and we can only be affected by it in one way or another. It’s the era of tellerless banks, cashierless businesses, autopilots, drones, driverless vehicles, and more.

Automation is the use or introduction of automatic (non-human) equipment in manufacturing and many other processes while robotics is a branch of engineering that involves designing, designing, manufacturing and the workings of robots (functional non-human creations), and while they have been around for some time, our lives are now more inextricably linked to them.

This has caused the way education, itself now highly automated, is centred. Automation and robotics education are very essential today if we are to evolve with the times and the rest of the world. Right here in Jamaica, there’s a private institution, STEM Robotics Academy, led by robotics/STEM engineer Wayne Thompson, that makes sure we’re not left behind in the robotic scheme of things. Thompson, involved in automation and robotics since 2015, is a robot designer and has books on robotics on the market.

EDUCATIONAL ROBOTICS

The core of STEM Robotics operations is educational and STEM robotics, including coding, hands-on science, games, robotics, animation, and competitive robotics. The goal is to allow students to do a lot of different areas and concepts in a practical way.

“It’s really a tool that we use in a lab or activity sense…. In terms of automation, what we want to do is show students that what they’re learning is logic-based , for example, to bridge the gap between theory and application, and bring industry into the classroom,” Thompson explained.

There is teaching the application of theory, where the required amount of theory matches the required amount of application. The idea is to learn from the abstract to the concrete, learning from experience, which is very important for the appreciation of science. Society at large will benefit as the world would have more critical thinkers, Thompson said.

He builds robots that can solve math problems, trains teachers to use the robots he designs, and trains them to teach math using robotics. All robots designed and used in the classroom, and their parts, as well as other electronics, are sold at the associated STEM/Robotics store, KRWTRONICS.

When it comes to real-world contexts, there is a demand for people trained in software engineering, coding. The robotics program therefore aims to make coding more “intrinsic” and “intelligent”. And learning to code and think in codes from an early age will make it easier to get jobs in related fields in this “fourth industrial revolution” in which, for example, light and electricity can be controlled from ‘Internet.

The academy then prepares students for the “fourth industrial revolution”, also called 4IR or industry 4.0. These are rapid changes in technology, industries, and societal patterns and processes in the 21st century due to increasing interconnectivity and intelligent automation.

“Jamaican students, we want them to appreciate science, we want them to apply science. We don’t want science to be seen as something theoretical on the blackboard…. We can’t afford it anymore because at the end of the day it allowed us to be a bit behind,” explained Thompson.

Located at 14-16 West Avenue, Kingston 8, on the campus of Jamaica Theology Seminary, the academy also offers CSEC and CAPE math, physics, and electrical technology courses. It is an academic assessment center and a science experimentation center that facilitates science and competition projects.