Robotics education gains popularity among Chinese youngsters

(Xinhua) 10:32, January 31, 2024

CHANGCHUN, Jan. 30 (Xinhua) -- Fusong County in northeast China's Jilin Province is abuzz with activity this winter as it hosts the World Robot Contest Finals 2023.

The finals, currently underway at the departure lounge of the local airport, have attracted over 5,000 youngsters from across the country competing fiercely with their self-designed robots.

"We need to compete in assembling, programming and operation categories. I believe that maintaining a resilient mindset is the key to emerging victorious," said Yu Yiyang, a fifth grader from Shanghai.

Many of the contestants have received robotics education and participated in robot contests from an early age. Their skills, mental strength and sense of teamwork have improved a lot as a result of their exposure to such competitions.

"Building robots with my own hands brings me a sense of accomplishment," said Feng Shangming, a 10-year-old contestant from Ganzi Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in southwest China's Sichuan Province.

Shen Xinheng, a fourth grader from Fuzhou in east China's Fujian Province, harbors a profound passion for robots. Shen said that from robotics class, he has acquired knowledge beyond conventional textbooks, refining his practical skills and fostering innovative thinking.

The young contestants, hailing from various places and with diverse backgrounds, offer a glimpse of the popularity of robotics education among Chinese students.

For many, learning robot programming and participating in robot contests offer not only opportunities to sharpen their cognitive abilities and hone their skills, but also serve as an effective means to bolster their spirit of teamwork.

"This entire contest is more about communication and collaboration," said Wu Zongyuan, who hails from Chengdu in Sichuan Province and has been learning robotics for seven years since kindergarten. Wu has also participated in several robot contests.

Parents are increasingly supporting their children's interest in robotics programming while many school club activities also provide opportunities for students to deepen their understanding of robotics and engage in contests.

"My child has been learning robot programming since kindergarten and has always been greatly interested in this field. Last year, we took him to Shaanxi, Shandong, Yunnan, Macao and many other places for competitions," said Chen Jing, who hails from Shenzhen in south China's Guangdong Province.

Cao Yuting, an information technology teacher at a high school in Nanjing in east China's Jiangsu Province, led a group of 30 students from her school club to participate in the contest in Fusong County.

Students need to communicate with teammates and opponents during the competition, which not only improves their interpersonal skills but also helps their all-around development, Cao said.

In recent years, robotics education and competitions have become increasingly popular among Chinese youngsters.

Zhang Yuewei, deputy secretary-general of the World Robot Contest Organizing Committee, said that one of the event's major competition categories focuses on young people, with an aim to nurture their interest in robotics and ignite their passion for technological innovation.

(Web editor: Zhang Kaiwei, Liang Jun)


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