UK schools to teach robotics, 3D printing
By Michelle Starr | July 9, 2013
The new national curriculum in the UK will see kids learning skills associated with new technologies as of next year.
ids as young as five will be learning about robots, programming, 3D printers and laser cutters after the UK government overhauled the national technology and design syllabus in a bid to teach more engineering-, construction- and manufacturing-related skills.
An additional 100,000 maths, science, technology and engineering graduates will be required per year in order to make up for a large skills shortage in the country, said the UK Royal Academy of Engineering.
According to The Telegraph, the previous version of the curriculum had been criticised by a number of prominent figures — including inventor James Dyson — for placing too much emphasis on “life skills”, such as sewing and bicycle riding, and not enough on academics.
The new curriculum, to be taught to children between the ages of five and 14, aims to advance the core knowledge that children are taught at an early age. Students will be expected to be learning about evolution by the age of nine, algebra by the age of 11, and financial education and climate change in high school.
From ages five to seven, students will be taught how to build strong, stable structures. From the age of seven, that will branch out into electrical systems that incorporate a number of different components, such as switchers and buzzers, aided by computer programming.
By secondary school, students will be learning how to communicate design ideas using sketches, plans, 3D modelling, presentations and other computer-based tools.