Simple robotic arms are doing powerful things for children in the Centralia College Child and Family Studies preschool and pre-kindergarten classes.
The robotic arms were rebuilt and repurposed by members of the Centralia College Electronics Club, who volunteered their time and financial resources to transform obsolete pieces into fun, educational toys for children.
“It was a big team effort by the club and everyone really got behind the project,” said Clayton Maines, Centralia College Electronics Club vice president and lead on the project. “The exciting part was seeing the look on the kids’ faces when we delivered them. They were so excited to be able to play with real robots.”
The robotic arms were presented to the preschool classrooms on June 11, 2014 and will allow children as young as three a chance to explore basic robotic technology. By coordinating numbers on the control panels with corresponding arm movements, such as bending and rotating to pick up objects, the children enhance their hand-eye coordination and counting skills, all while having fun.
“The results were a huge success and the children couldn’t have been more excited,” said Cristi Heitschmidt, associate dean of Child and Family Studies (CFS). “Some even mastered the somewhat complex movements within a short period of time. We are truly grateful for the Electronics Club students and all of the hard work they put in to make this happen.”