This is how we can give children and youth the chance to try STEM education

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Denys Pavliuk, 20, from Ukraine’s Kirovohradska region, is the founder of a project that helps develop STEM education among children and youth. 

Hi, everyone! My name is Denys Pavliuk, and I am one of the founders of the Krop_Robots project. My team and I are engaged in promoting science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education in Kropyvnytskyi and beyond. Every day, new mechanized systems and robots come into our lives. So we teach everyone not only how to use them, but also how to operate them and understand how it all works.

My team consists of Vladyslav Hubar, a specialist in robot development and programming who also teaches children at the university; Daria Reshetnikova, who is managing social media; Artem Rudenko, who is a fundraiser; and Mykhailo Bokatenko, a graphic designer. As a team leader, I'm involved in all the processes of the workflow. 

What is our approach to education? It's pretty simple – we don't give out piles of boring literature, but create conditions for children to try and learn from mistakes to better understand the system. Of course, theory is essential, but we want to change the approach and provide more practical learning opportunities.

I used to study at a small school in the Kirovohradska region, and I know what it's like to do nothing in Computer Science class because I would complete all the tasks in five minutes. I wouldn't want current students to have a similar experience. And this is what robotics is all about – learning with fun and benefits. After all, technology is becoming an integral part of our present and future. The achievements of Japan in this field look inspiring to me, as they include robots in many processes. I wish Ukraine was the same. The most important thing is to teach children and young people how to operate and maintain these robots, which is what we decided to do as part of our project.

At the beginning of our work, we visited many educational facilities to make sure that the topic of technology is very popular among children. So we brought basic kits for creating robots and started our own club, in which we teach children and teenagers. The participants of our workshops can already assemble ‘machines’ on their own, programming them to identify colors or distances. Our task is to help them with it. 

I believe that STEM education should be accessible to everyone. So, together with the team, we organize educational events for children and young people with disabilities. We also advise teachers on robotics, who will then pass on their knowledge and skills to students. For example, we recently held a training in one of the communities of the region. Now, 30 people will implement STEM education in their region, based on our recommendations.

We provide children and young people not only with the opportunity to try STEM education, but also to develop new skills and look at the world from a different angle. Our project has become more than a club. We have good specialists who teach those interested throughout the Kirovohradska region. Would you like to learn how to create your own robots? So, what's stopping you? Don't hesitate to contact us on social media!

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