Attention, Kids: Computer Skills Will Make You a Great Occupational Option
How do you prepare your kids for careers in the more field-centric sectors? Build them math and science skills early on. You don’t have to force them, however. A simple bit of language and math can really ignite their imaginations. From setting up a Lego Mindstorms kit and observing how the pieces come together to building a 3D head and body model, kids will begin to develop concepts like robot brain power and consciousness, both of which are increasingly relevant to today’s schools and careers.
Use the Lego Mindstorms Builder at your kid’s elementary school
Bring your kid’s school up to date with a 30-something Lego Mindstorms Builder set (about $90). There’s the basic Form, connected on to the Bionicle puzzle; the advanced Monocle; the magnetically connected Elemental Connector; and the Multi-Player version, which is your device of choice if there are more than four pieces required for play. All models are rechargeable and come with drivers. Save your life and add a rechargeable battery.
Build a home-made model
1. Personalize a one-of-a-kind model with a DIY cardboard skull prosthesis.
2. Model the building of human brain function, no scaffolding needed.
3. See if the measurements add up.
4. Take the modeling of head and body to scale.
5. Simple Legos toy, for the easy-to-use minimalist.
6. Simple adult head for senior high school students.
How do you teach young boys to understand that they need to be interested in outer space? Make your world green. Introduce them to solar power right at home in the series “Why Solar?” Jump to the middle and create an easy program where kids create a model-size version of your village. Toss in some cardboard fan and get a solar vehicle.
Interactive (if not fun!) aquariums for all. They’ll learn about salinity, temperature, and light conditions and find that what they’re actually looking at is algae.
There are millions of digital coding programs out there. In our Mary Kay home, we don’t limit it to a computer screen. We want kids to find their own way using their creative talents and play with open-source software to create anything they’d like. It’s essential to do this at a young age and keep computer use under control, before they spend too much time at a keyboard. That’s why we have a Mega Plumbers set, Greencore Robots, and Millie Power Pie. All of these get results that go beyond lazy use of technology—in Millie Power Pie, for example, kids see “emotions” that float down from one little robot.
Binge on Twitter
What makes the 140-character limit of text so effective? How does this allow us to express complex emotions in bite-sized, humorous bites? In “Mom, I love you to death, but something weird is happening,” and “Please can you tell me what’s wrong?” you can see how these conversational micro-assignments stretch people’s vocabularies and create fun words. Use a children’s Twitter application to expand on these skills. This way, kids can use a craft of their own to discover how micro-blogging can improve their chances of earning a life of meaning.
So there you have it! It’s all about the building blocks. By simply seeking out analogs to computer coding and robotics, we can expose kids to careers that not only have exponential growth potential, but also ease their skills in a wide range of fields.
Just as quickly as they realize there’s more to what makes up a perfect robot, more to life than standard definitions of boy-girl relationships and careers, kids will recognize the benefits of stepping outside their comfort zone—starting young.