18 July 2014, Singapore - Ten thousand primary and secondary school students are expected to benefit from a new S$2.8 million dollar Robotics & Maker Academy (RMA) collaboration between the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) and Singapore Polytechnic (SP) over the course of three years.
The collaboration will be co-funded by IDA and SP, and will run till June 2017. Over this period, the RMA will target 30 primary and secondary schools. When the RMA is officially launched in the last quarter of 2014, primary and secondary schools with an interest in Robotics and Engineering will be invited to join the programme.
It was announced today by Mr Heng Swee Keat, Minister of Education at the co-opening of the National Engineering Day and Singapore Mini Maker Faire Education Day 2014.
This programme will take students through a knowledge discovery process as they learn to code and programme robots in a guided environment with hands-on activities such as workshops and competitions. Through this process, students will gain the necessary computational thinking skills and basic understanding in coding and robotics - skill sets that are necessary to enable Singapore to gear up as the world’s first Smart Nation. It will also allow students to gain an interest in infocomm technologies and take on professional infocomm careers in future.
The programme allows teachers access to a series of teaching and learning packages by RMA that will equip them to provide help to the students in their course of learning about robotics. These packages can also be used to as advanced learning materials for students who have prior experience in robotics programming.
The collaboration taps on SP’s knowledge and expertise in the areas of Engineering and Robotics, in particular the usage of Educational Robotics to teach Science, Technology, Engineering and Math to youths. The RMA will also see SP students from various disciplines, participating in the training workshops and development of the teaching and learning packages used.
Mr Steve Leonard, Executive Deputy Chairman, IDA, said, “Getting young people excited about building and experimenting with tech is easy when it involves cool things like robotics. We are focused on developing young Singaporeans to be confident with coding and building technology so as to prepare them for an ever-evolving Smart Nation future.”
SP’s Principal and Chief Executive Officer, Mr Tan Choon Shian, said, “As a polytechnic, we are glad that we could further contribute towards nurturing and preparing our youths in the areas of science and technology through this unique collaboration."
About Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore
The mission of the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) is to develop information technology and telecommunications within Singapore with a view to serve citizens of all ages and companies of all sizes. IDA does this by actively supporting the growth of innovative technology companies and start-ups in Singapore, working with leading global IT companies as well as developing excellent information technology and telecommunications infrastructure, policies and capabilities for Singapore. For more news and information, visit www.ida.gov.sg.
About Singapore Polytechnic
Established in 1954, Singapore Polytechnic (SP) is Singapore’s first polytechnic. It has 10 schools that offer 50 full-time diploma courses for close to 16,000 students. SP adopts a proven creative teaching and learning framework and offers students a holistic, authentic and industry-relevant curriculum, innovative and vibrant learning spaces, and enriching overseas programmes.
The Polytechnic is committed to producing competent and versatile graduates (who are also imbued with sound values, so that they can be work ready, life ready and world-ready. SP has more than 178,000 graduates and among them are successful entrepreneurs, top executives in multi-national and public-listed corporations, and well-known professionals across various industries and leaders in government.
SP is the first polytechnic to be awarded the President’s Award for the Environment in 2010 and the President's Social Service Award in 2011.
Follow SP on Facebook at www.facebook.com/singaporepolytechnic or Twitter at www.twitter.com/SingaporePoly or visit its website at www.sp.edu.sg
For media clarification, please contact:
Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore
Eugene Neubronner (Mr)
Assistant Manager, Corporate and Marketing Communications
Tel: +65 6211 1182
M : +65 9762 4417
Robotics & Maker Academy Collaboration
·The Robotics & Maker Academy (RMA) collaboration consists of a series of activities revolving around coding and robotics for primary and secondary school students
·It will last for three years till June 2017 and both IDA and SP will co-fund it for a total of S$2.8 million dollars. It is expected to cover a target number of about 10,000 students in 30 primary and secondary schools.
·There will also be a series of training courses created to help mentor students in coding and robotics. It will be open to teachers and students experienced in robotics.
Expose Youth To Technology And Computational Thinking
- Students would learn how to design/create their own virtual robot, which can be programmed. The virtual robot programme can then be downloaded onto a physical robot to act out basic movements and commands. This would provide them with a better understanding of technology through practical hands-on exercises.
- The goal is to exemplify to youths through a knowledge discovery process that concepts such as coding and robotics can be easy to understand and not esoteric
- Students will get hands-on time in coding and robotics via workshops, activities, competitions and other outreach efforts. The RMA aims to leverage on open source electronics and robotic platforms such as Arduino.
Structured Training And Milestones For Interested Youth
- The RMA will create teaching and learning packages with progressive depth which will incorporate virtual and physical robotic environments.
- These packages will help guide teachers on how to utilise them effectively in lessons.
- Students experienced in robotics and coding will also be trained by RMA in these packages to mentor novice students in co-curriculum activities.
- As part of the RMA, SP students from various disciplines will participate in the training workshops and development work for the teaching and learning packages used.
- Competitions are planned as means to inspire students towards tangible achievement milestones, with both school cluster and national level competitions being considered.
- Primary and secondary school students who do well in the national level competition might also be selected to represent Singapore at international competitions.
Interest Youth Towards Professional Technical Careers
- The RMA will expose primary and secondary school students earlier to computational thinking and technology in a hands-on manner through coding and robotics.
- Computational thinking is a problem solving method based on computer science techniques and is listed as one of the important future work skills of 2020.
- It would aid in capability development of the young to handle logic-based problems and solutions during hands-on creation and coding of their own robot. Further, it will also inspire them towards advanced Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) studies and a future in professional technical careers.
- Computational thinking skills, when combined with traditionally critical skills such as financial skills and emotional intelligence skills would potentially empower the next generation of professionals, with the ability to build for change and to be prepared for the changing demands of varying industries as Singapore moves towards becoming the world’s first Smart Nation.