Do you love taking things apart to see how they work? Your interest in mechanical puzzles shows a passion for Engineering and Technology, two pillars of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education. Some of the coolest professions (like building robots or creating video games) can come from studying STEM. Check out what you can do if you love figuring out how things work and want to do it every day!
How you can work with robots
If robotics interests you, you should know that there are many opportunities in STEM fields for further study and even future employment. There are so many STEM professions (about 415 and counting) that you may not have even be familiar with many of them. As technology trends change and evolve, new opportunities continue to arise every day. Some include:
- Mechanical engineer
- Robotics technician
- Interactive coder
Where STEM comes in
If you love building or creating (or even playing games online or on your gaming system), you’re already involved with many aspects of science, technology, engineering and math. When building a robot, you typically need a general understanding of several different STEM fields. To continue your study of robotics, consider these academic fields.
Physics—The science of matter and motion will help determine if your robot can stand and how it will interact with gravity and other forces.
Computer science—Technical knowledge of computer science will help your robot interact with additional technology and with the outside world.
Electrical engineering—For your robot’s electrical power and wiring, knowledge of engineering will prove helpful.
Mathematics—Building a robot also involves math to help it move around and interact with objects surrounding it.
Ways you can start experimenting with robotics now!
In addition to focusing on the classes that can help you gain robotics knowledge, there are activities that you can do right now that can help build your knowledge. First: try it out for yourself! Think about a system, chore, or habit that you could make better with a machine, and, with supervision and using safe practices, try to build it! Robots and machines make things more convenient for humans, so there’s no reason you can’t invent one that does the same.
When furthering your education, it’s always useful to get a wide range of perspectives. You can supplement your personal knowledge by reaching out for additional insight. If you’re interested in robotics, odds are others are as well. Look for robotics or AV clubs at school or in your area. In many places, there aren’t just robotics organizations, but more specialized fields such as those interested in battling robots or in drone racing. In addition, programs like 4-H have local chapters that focus on STEM education and provide fun opportunities for you to get involved.
Feeling far away from your robotics dreams? You can find the materials you need online. Websites such as LightBot allow you to learn coding language and procedures in a fun game format.
Still curious about STEM topics and what kind of cool jobs you could have? Check out STEM-works for more information.