Competition Education Resources

How can STEM Competitions Help Develop Problem Solving Skills?

Problem solving is one of the most important skills for children’s development. It’s also one of the most essential skills used in STEM education. In today’s blog, we explore this topic through the most recently concluded Wiz Prodigy Online STEM Competition.

If you have been following our 2022 Wiz Prodigy Online STEM Competition lately, you might have noticed that we have recently announced the top two submissions that caught our judges’ eyes!



Pictured above: Mary’s Wiz Prodigy Space Rover

… and Roneet!

Pictured above: Roneet’s Wiz Prodigy Space Rover

Head to our Instagram to view Mary and Roneet’s space rovers in action!

Our judges were impressed by all of the submissions. However Mary and Roneet’s space rovers stood out the most because they have demonstrated superb problem solving skills in tackling the challenges of the competition.

What are problem solving skills?

Problem solving skills are an essential aspect to children’s development.

Problem-solving also encourages creativity, which is key to success later on in life.

Source: Link

Not only will problem solving help children make better decisions, it’s also a key component in STEM. We can teach all types of concepts in classrooms but ultimately it’s up to our students to use their creativity to solve all types of complex problems.

Photo by Jonathan Kemper on Unsplash

How can STEM Competitions help?

STEM Competitions are a great way for students to combine the different concepts they have learned in order to solve complex challenges. During the Wiz Prodigy Competition, students not only had to learn the required knowledge, but they also had to think outside of the box to design and build their robotic space rovers to complete different challenges. It was an extremely valuable way for students to develop the problem solving skills that are critical to their future successes.

When we look deeper into the problem solving process, we can see that problem solving involves both creativity and critical thinking. Both of which were demonstrated through the top submissions of the Wiz Prodigy Competition.

Photo by Jeswin Thomas on Unsplash

Creativity in STEM

Creative thinking is the heart of problem solving. It is the ability to see a different way to do something, generate new ideas, and use materials in new ways.

Source: Link

Roneet’s clever use of the cardboard to better control the shape of the chassis of his space rover was very creative. The use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to detect objects was also a nice surprise. This was a perfect demonstration of creativity in STEM as he had applied a concept that he had learned — AI, to solve the problem.

Pictured above: Roneet’s Wiz Prodigy Submission

Critical Thinking in STEM

Critical, or logical, thinking is the ability to break an idea into its parts and analyze them.

Source: Link

In Mary’s space rover, our judges loved the 3D printed pieces Mary had custom made in order to solve the challenges.

Pictured above: Mary’s Wiz Prodigy Submission

Mary also demonstrated to the judges on the reasoning behind her design as well as mentioning about an earlier design and its reasons on why it didn’t work. This was a great example of good design thinking and planning which was essential to the success of her space rover.

Going beyond STEM Competitions

At Wiz Robotics, our STEM classes offer exciting and engaging opportunities for students to practice problem solving.

Try a demo class and see for yourself!

Connect with us

Facebook / Instagram

Engineering Science & Tech

To the Moon Again… and Stay!

Did you hear that NASA is sending humans to the moon again? This time, they are staying.

Photo by History in HD on Unsplash

On July 20th 1969, Apollo 11 landed on the moon.

Neil Armstrong became the first human to set foot on the lunar surface followed by Buzz Aldrin while their fellow crew Michael Collins stayed in orbit around the moon. 21 hours and 36 minutes later, Armstrong and Aldrin lifted off to join Collins at the Columbia Command Module in the lunar orbit.

Fast forward to more than 50 years later, NASA is returning humans to the moon with the Artemis program.

We’re going back to the Moon for scientific discovery, economic benefits, and inspiration for a new generation of explorers: the Artemis Generation.

With the Artemis program, NASA will land the first woman and first person of color on the Moon with the goal of exploring more of the lunar surface than ever before. Ultimately, learnings from the moon missions will lead to the next giant leap of bringing the first astronauts to Mars.

According to NASA, the Artemis mission will build a community on the Moon, driving a new lunar economy and inspiring a new generation.

Sounds too far into the future? Well — work has already started!

Starting in 2022 and throughout the decade, NASA will send a suite of science instruments and technology demonstrations to the lunar surface. The one that we are the most excited about (so far) has got to be the VIPER.

What is the VIPER?

One of the most critical components of the Artemis program is the discovery of resources on the lunar surface in order to sustain human living on the moon. VIPER does exactly that.

VIPER stands for “Volatiles Investigating Polar Exploration Rover”. It’s a robot robot designed to scout for frozen water and other resources on the moon.

VIPER represents the first resource mapping mission on another celestial body.

VIPER is scheduled to land on the south-pole of the Moon in late 2023. At the size of a golf-cart, the rover venture for at least 100 days into the most shadowed regions of the moon to study and map for water ice deposits.

Photo by NASA on Unsplash

The VIPER is still in development but check out the latest prototype here!

You can now build a space rover with us!

We are hosting the 2022 edition of the Wiz Prodigy Online STEM Competition right now at Wiz Robotics. This year’s theme will be around the space rover.

Each individual or team registration will come with an at-home robotics kit accompanied by the Wiz online learning platform so you can learn to code and build your rover from scratch.

You can learn more about the 2022 Wiz Prodigy Online STEM Competition directly on the website. Be sure to also check out the amazing Cybertruck creations from the 2021 Wiz Prodigy Competition!

Connect with us

Facebook / Instagram

Education Resources Science & Tech

What’s this James Webb Telescope that Everyone is Talking About?

NASA achieved an amazing milestone with the James Webb Telescope on Jan. 24th. What does this mean?

One of the biggest headlines in STEM that happened during the past week has got to be the James Webb Telescope.

NASA announced on January 24th that the $10 billion observatory has finally reached its destination after travelling nearly 1.6 million km (1 million mi.) since its Christmas Day launch.

Why should you care about the James Webb Telescope?

The Webb will help us gaze deeper into the history never seen before! We are talking about the very first stars and galaxies from over 13.5 billion years ago.

The James Webb Telescope Explained

Here are some quick facts that you should know about the Webb Telescope:

  • At a cost of $10 billion, the Webb Telescope and its flight was the culmination of 25 years of research and development.
  • It is the largest, most powerful and complex telescope that NASA has ever launched into space.
Artist’s representation of what the unfurled James Webb Space Telescope would look like in space. — NASA
  • It weights 13,700 lbs — roughly the mass of a full-size school bus.
  • At 69.5 ft x 46.5 ft (21 m x 14m), the Webb Telescope is comparable to a tennis court.
  • The Webb Telescope is equipped with a revolutionary set of 18 hexagonal mirror segments. This honeycomb arrangement allows for it to have the largest possible reflective surface area to make observations with the least amount of gap. Read more about the mirrors here and here.
  • The Webb Telescope is so sensitive that it could theoretically detect the heat signature of a bumblebee at the distance of the moon.
  • An international team of scientists, engineers, and technicians from 14 countries spent 40 million total hours building the Webb Telescope.

Fun facts

The James Webb Telescope is supposed to be in service for the next 20 years. Have you wondered how it can stay in deep space for so long?

TIME magazine wrote that:

The telescope was launched with a full tank of maneuvering fuel, enough for it to operate for at least 10 years — not bad, but not nearly as long as the 32 years and counting that the Hubble Space Telescope has been in service in a stable low-Earth orbit, where it needs no such fuel.

So… How is the Webb going to stay in service?

Of course the engineers had already considered this aspect. They had built the Webb with a special refill port that would allow for a spacecraft to come in and fuel the tank.

The catch is — this type of spacecraft doesn’t exist yet and NASA only has a decade to make it happen.

But no need to worry!

The European Space Agency Ariane 5 rocket that launched the Webb placed it on a trajectory so true that the telescope had to use virtually none of its precious fuel on outward-bound course corrections, extending its operational life to what engineers now predict could be 20 years or more.

So there we go! Problem solved.

The first images from the Webb Telescope is expected to come in 6 months or earlier. We can’t wait to see how they look like!

Learn more about the Webb Telescope on NASA’s website.

Is space exploration something up your alley?

The Wiz Prodigy Online STEM Competition lets you develop your skills in coding and engineering while further explore your passion in space exploration!

Each individual or team registration will come with an at-home robotics kit accompanied by the Wiz online learning platform so you can learn to code and build your own robotics space rover.

You can learn more about the 2022 Wiz Prodigy Online STEM Competition directly on the website. Be sure to also check out the amazing Cybertruck creations from the 2021 Wiz Prodigy Competition!

Connect with us

Facebook / Instagram