How can you inspire kids to take up science, technology and mathematics (STEM) careers? Microsoft and LEGO have the answer. Not a textbook, but a robot named SentryBot. He is small, powerful and comes with unique interactive scenarios. Presented during the recent developer conference, BUILD, he is the living proof that, no matter your age or technical background, learning STEM can be fun and engaging.
How does it work? Basically two Microsoft Surface Pros let you interact directly while using the new Windows 8.1 OS.
As Eric Havir, Manager of Developer and Platform at Microsoft explains: “We wanted to develop an experience that inspires others to build something never seen before and the Windows 8 platform gives developers of all backgrounds an opportunity to create unique experiences and easily get their ideas into the market!”
One of the greatest features of SentryBot are the built-in sensors which allow him to actively respond to his environment. If an intruder comes in, his inviting grin turns serious, if the intruder comes closer he can snap a photo and upload it to twitter for everyone to see.
Still, SentryBot is only an example of what Microsoft and LEGO Education partnered to achieve. Together, they focus on engaging the imagination of students, teachers and developers around the world. They have a shared vision for the future of education and are willing to drive change.
According to Abigail Fern, director of marketing at LEGO Education, LEGO has been partnering for over 30 years with educators to introduce an approach that encourages students to try new things and learn from failure, rather than fearing or avoiding it.
As Fern says: “The LEGO MINDSTORMS Education robotics platform accomplishes this in some really exciting ways for students and teachers. Robotics helps kids learn how to build what’s in their brains. It’s not about the robot — it’s about how the robot is used to teach and learn and to help educators prepare a new generation of problem solvers who aren’t afraid to tackle some of our world’s greatest challenges.”
Want to learn more about Microsoft’s commitment to enhancing education? click here.