RoboPa gives youth pathway to technology

By Tema Hemi

Te Wānanga o Awanuiārangi has developed a program that aims at teaching children about robotics and how to utilize its technology.

Thomas Mitai from Te Wānanga o Te Awanuiārangi says, "what we want is to give these treasures, this knowledge to our children, to those of us that dont know how to operate these types of resources. That is the aim of Te Awanuiārangi to establish this program."

There are many advantages in the way we learn and more so implement this latest technology into our daily lives.

"My objective is to help our children learn how to utilize this technology, so they can do it all - they can build robotics and assist our elders on the marae too," says Mitai.

Working collaboratively is a major focus of the program, it encourages kids to work hard and have fun.

Teacher at Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Hoani Waititi Peata Leef says, "The benefits for our kids are being able to work collaboratively, to work tirelessly, although its difficult keep trying to find the correct strategy. Although its done in the form of a game there is a lot for them to learn."

And these kids are taking to it like they were born to it.

Leef also says, "Yes they are amazed. We are lucky that the resources have been provided, from having those resources the kids are really focused because they are bringing to reality their thoughts."

But some still need a little bit more encouragement.

Mitai says, "in terms of building, they're great but to sit quietly and listen to instructions firstly, well that's another story."

The expected outcomes of the program are to instill all the values that are important for children of an early age.

"In this age of technology our aspiration is to nurture an interest in technology and teach robotics meanwhile highlighting the importance of working together, sharing thoughts and ideas, and holding on to our language," says Mitai.

Te Awanuiārangi hopes more funding will see the program nationwide soon.