The Japanese-based Learning System Inc, developers of creative computing and robotic education programme for schools, have signed an Memorandum of Understanding with the Chennai-based BVM Global Education Trust, to impart robotic education in Bala Vidya Mandir school at Adyar, Chennai.
The course will begin in all the BVM Global Schools from the academic year 2010 as part of school curriculum for students of sixth to ninth standards. Similarly the school will also conduct “after school programme” for the benefit of other school children and others, who are interested in the course.
The President of Learning Systems, Masao Ishihara, who was in Chennai to sign an MoU with the Managing Trustee of Bala Vidya Mandir and BVM Global Schools, A. S. Ramana Prasad here on Thursday.
In a chat with The Hindu, Mr. Ishihara said that robotics had been popular and effective among the students of developed countries such as North America, Japan, Korea and some parts of European countries.
The educational systems in Japan and Korea had been keen in promoting robotics as an academic course at the school level. “It encourages students to use their imagination, try out their problem solving skills and work in a team. It also enables students to contribute to the process of designing, building and testing solutions,” he said.
About robotic education, Mr. Ishihara said Learning Systems provided the best robotic kits, which had been selected for specific education purpose, with creative computing software and progressive curriculum activity packages.
It enables students to get a head start on simple robotics by building models, attach sensors and motors that were plugged into a computer and configure behaviours using a simple programming tool developed by Learning Systems.
Over a period of time the students would have learnt to design programme and control fully functional model, he said.
The students use software to plan, test and modify sequences of instruction for a variety of life-like robotic behaviours.
Similarly, they also collect and analyse data from sensors, using data logging functionalities embedded in the software. Robotic education is an open-ended problem finding and solving focused education programme.
On the robotic course, S.S. Nathan, Chief Executive Officer, BVM Group of Schools, said creative computing and robotics (CCR) programme was a whole new way for Indian school students to learn STEM subjects (science, technology and engineering and mathematics) through experimenting with leading edge software and robotic kits. It consisted of 30 classes of each 80 minutes of lessons.
Mr. Prasad said the school would be charging a minimum fee for the course from the student. The fee would be shared by both the players on accepted ratio. The school would have to invest in a robotic lab, where in every two student would have one netbook and a robot. Similarly, the school would be hiring trained tutors for the training the students.