In Shenzhen, in a subway station where people were all in a rush towards workplaces, a boy was found sitting on the ground, quietly yet wholeheartedly.
His eyes were just glued to the iPad in his hands and a blue programmable robot could be found alongside. With his fingers simply dragging and dropping on the iPad, the robot got moving as if coming alive and even started to play music. The boy, at the sight of this, became cheerful at once.
He is Huangui Liang , a child of 10, the hero of our story today.
When waiting for the subway, Huangui was still busy with coding for the robot with his iPad
Programmable Robot – mBot Coming as a Surprise, No Other Toys for a Year
Huangui has long since showed a special preference for transformable toys. As his mom recalled, since he was three or four, almost all of the transformable toys downstairs were purchased by him alone. One toy for a day actually. It was at that time that his hands-on abilities have been developed.
Last year, it was one day in May. Huangui and his mom were shopping in Huaqiang North. When passing by a Makeblock retail store, Huangui was instantly intrigued by the different robots in the store. To get himself a mBot programmable robot, Huanguan even promised his mom that he would not ask for any other toys in the following year.
Since then, mBot has become a close buddy for Huangui. In other children’s bags, you can only find textbooks and exercise books. But in Huangui’s bag, there’s one more thing, the mBot programmable robot.
Every day, after finishing his homework at home quickly, Huangui just can’t wait to learn about his programmable robot.
To Learn Programming from Start To Keep Making Ideas Become Real
As a beginner, Huangui could simply make his robot move forward and backward with the remote control, which is the same case for any other children. However, when children learn more about the mblock with the help of programming tutorials by themselves, they can always explore more ways. For instance, they try to work on the sensors that can control the light colors and buzzers of the robot. Furthermore, they design their own simple games.
It was May in this year. Huangui, far from satisfied with the original configuration of mBot, began to have his own ideas. Luckily, mBot is extensible enough for more possibilities. He just assembled and disassembled the robot over and over again, and added other parts to it as well. Finally, he converted mBot into a robot that can walk upright: a servo is connected to mechanic hands to serve as the hands of the robot, and two wheels are modified as the feet of the robot.
By means of imagination and logical thinking, Huangui has been constantly inspired to be more innovative and to make endless ideas become real.
The upright-walking robot creatively converted by Huangui
Respect for Children’s Choices Interest as the Best Teacher
As for Huangui’s mom, she encourages her son to learn about mBot programmable robots. As she said, “It is the child’s own choice and we simply respect it. If he has passion for it, we will show great support. Besides, he’s always calling for us parents to be more liberal. Anyway, learning is just a matter of his own.”
In addition, as she put it, programming is an activity that helps develop children’s hands-on ability, logical thinking and creativity. It has profound influence on the study and daily life of children in the future. Parents should encourage children to dig further if they are interested in programming.
“ I’d rather say interest is the best teacher for kids. To be honest, I’m not the one that guides him in learning programming. Actually, I know little about programming, so what I can do is simply to show my strongest support for him. I just give him as much time as he wants. If he has a new idea, I will encourage him to have a go. I mean, there is a chance that he might make it, right? Besides, when I learn from his diary that he has new ideas, I always leave him some remarks like “good idea”“just go for it”.
Huangui’s mom will leave remarks in his diaries whenever he puts down ideas for refitting
His own interest in mBot and the support from parents fuel his passion for mBot programmable robots, enabling him to move at a steadier pace on his programming journey. In short, the future must be brighter for him ahead.
Huangui always takes his mBot with him wherever he goes
…..Click here to see more stories about Makeblock and You