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!
… and Roneet!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Critical Thinking in STEM
Critical, or logical, thinking is the ability to break an idea into its parts and analyze them.
In Mary’s space rover, our judges loved the 3D printed pieces Mary had custom made in order to solve the challenges.
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!