Setting Up a School Robotics Club

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Whether it's as extra-curricular activities or in the classroom as a regular part of the school day, a school robotics club can boost students' problem-solving skills, teamwork, creativity, and technical knowledge in an engaging, collaborative way. In this project, you'll learn how to set up and run a robotics club in your school, starting from locating equipment all the way up to organizing your own weekly meetings and activities. 

If you're a teacher, coach, or club leader, setting up a robotics club for your students might seem like a complicated project. However, if you start small and have a concrete plan, it's quite achievable. The experts at Eduporium can even help you out along the way with everything from product recommendations to grant writing assistance and educational discounts on purchasing the robotics kits. On this project page, you'll find a collection of resources that will help you to set up a robotics club for students of all ages.
 
It's increasingly recognized that initiatives such as extra-curricular robotics clubs can greatly improve student engagement with STEM subjects. The hands-on experience of learning to design, build, and program robots of increasing complexity boosts teamwork and problem-solving abilities while helping kids learn how abstract concepts, like mathematics, engineering, and computing actually work in practice. If your students go on to get involved in robotics on a competitive level, they will encounter a whole new arena of exciting, creative, and practical challenges.
 
There is no one way to set up a robotics club – the ways in which you can introduce robotics to your students will be very much defined by your particular experience, resources, knowledge, budgets, and the ages and abilities of the students. Each school robotics lab is unique and we know that. We can help customize your robotics club and even provide activities that work with your learning goals. In the sections below, you'll find resources including articles, videos, and books that will help you at different stages of setting up your club and with teaching students of various ages and skill levels.
 
It's important to note that the parts listed below are not all completely necessary to start a school robotics club – included are a number of different basic kits and components that can later be built on and expanded in order to create more complex robotics projects. Kits are a good way for novice students to begin, while other components, such as the Raspberry Pi, can be bought from Eduporium affordably in bulk and then added to as needed.
 
Unlock STEM learning that grows with your students...As they build critical skills. Click image below to learn more about robotics progression.
 

Other Parts

1: Beginner Robotics Club Bundle
Get your school’s robotics club off and running with this amazing group of fun, engaging, and easy-to-use tools. Robotics-based learning is an incredibly effective way to help students master the skills of tomorrow, including coding, design thinking, problem solving, and even engineering. Step into the real-world possibilities of STEM and get your robotics club students innovating each and every day with tools for kids of all ages! Expand the reach of your school’s robotics club using hands-...
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2: Build Your Own Robotics Club Bundle
Mix and match to create your own customized robotics bundle that fits both your needs and your price range. Whatever STEM concepts you are trying to teach, we've got the robotics tools to help you get there! Combine different tools for intro-level coding, advanced programming, engineering, or building. Whatever your club needs, we'll bundle it up and help you launch innovative excitement kids will love! Choose from a host of cutting-edge products and build the perfect bundle for your b...
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3: Intermediate Robotics Club Bundle
Revamp your school’s robotics club with this group of fun, engaging, and easy-to-use tools. Robotics-based learning is an incredibly effective way to help students master the skills of tomorrow, including coding, design thinking, problem solving, and even engineering. Step into the real-world possibilities of STEM and get your robotics club students innovating each and every day! With tools for kids of all ages and all the devices you need, this bundle will help you expand the reach of your sc...
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4: Advanced Robotics Club Bundle
This advanced robotics club bundle is built to perfect your school’s robotics club with a group of powerful, precise, and future-facing tools. Robotics-based learning is an incredibly effective way to help students master the skills of tomorrow, including coding, design thinking, problem solving, and even engineering. Step into the real-world possibilities of STEM and get your robotics club students innovating each and every day with tools for kids with solid robotics skills! Expand the reach ...
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5: Dash and Dot
Dash and Dot are animated, programmable, and friendly robots that come charged and ready to play right out of the box. Combine Dash (the body) and Dot (the brains) to empower kids to explore robotics learning like never before! Kids will truly benefit from coding with Dash and Dot as programming physical objects engages them much more effectively than programming strictly on a screen. Both bots are compatible with the Blockly programming language, giving kids as young as 5 years old the invigora...
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6: Cubetto
Cubetto is a smiling wooden robot built to teach the basic ideas of coding to children as young as 3 years old. With a simple, building-block-like interface and basic controls, Cubetto is incredibly accessible for young kids, even those who have not yet learned to read. Its included storybook, world map, and colorful blocks inspire children’s imaginations, sowing the seeds of creativity and problem solving all through play. By sticking to the basic ideas of programming, Cubetto keeps young kid...
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7: Robotics Starter Bundle
This great robotics starter bundle from Eduporium has a variety of different robotics kits and components, from tiny Ozobots to the DFRobot beginner Arduino kit. Everything you need to start making your own robotics projects is contained in this comprehensive kit.
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8: Fischertechnik Robotics LT Beginner Set
Fischertechnik's beginner robotics set contains a complete package of robotics components to build projects that are suitable for students aged eight and older. The kit includes instructions to complete 12 different projects, such as a hand dryer, lighthouse and automatic sliding door.
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9: LEGO Mindstorms EV3
The LEGO Mindstorms V3 kit combines the LEGO building system with powerful robotics controllers and components. It includes instructions on how to build one complete robot and provides the basis for endless experimentation and modification.
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10: Monk Makes Raspberry Pi Starter Kit
The Monk Makes Raspberry Pi Electronic Starter Kit, stocked by Eduporium, is ideal for anyone new to the world of electronics and the Raspberry Pi. Compatible with the Pi 3 Model B, it contains all the components and instructions you need to create 10 simple electronics projects using your Raspberry Pi.
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11: MiP
MiP is a self-balancing robot on wheels that responds to hand gestures, carries its own weight, can be driven and can battle other MiPs. Miposaur, a dinosaur version of MiP, is a prehistoric robot companion that can be used for games and more.
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12: EZ Robot JD Humanoid Revolution Robot Kit
EZ-Robot is a robot platform that allows people to create their own, customized robots. Using three basic robot types, open source components and software make it possible to create any robot you can imagine.
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13: Edison Robot
No longer is robotics too difficult or expensive - thanks to the overloading awesomeness packed into the compact, affordable and innovative Edison Robot! Programmable and LEGO compatible, Edison comes with a bunch of super-fun, pre-programmed functions that students can activate by placing it in front of custom barcodes. Kids can program Edison to follow lines, stay within borders, avoid obstacles, play tunes and even communicate with other Edison robots. Plus, they’ll love being able to tell ...
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14: mBot
The second generation mBot is a build-it-yourself robot, upgraded from the original model to include app-based control over Bluetooth. It contains 38 powerful parts, but can be assembled in just 10 minutes using the handy guide found inside the box! Its most formidable improvement is the addition of Bluetooth functionality, allowing kids to program their bot using the mBot app and control all aspects of navigation, including obstacle avoidance, line following and game creation! The mBot embodies...
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15: Ozobot Evo
Ozobot Evo anchors in-depth experiences in the classroom and is the latest evolution of Ozobot, the pint-sized robot that encourages students to get creative with visual coding they can touch. Using Ozobot Evo, kids can collaboratively build skills they can apply in the real world – most notably coding. Evo is capable of autonomous navigation, but can also be programmed by creative kids using OzoBlockly and a connected device. With a range of useful features, Ozobot Evo is primed to position k...
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16: NAO Robot
NAO, the most advanced humanoid robot around, is pre-programmed and ready for action! Interactive and personable, NAO is compatible with both voice commands and computer programming to provide the entire classroom or makerspace with complete robot functionality. With enough practice, NAO can be taught to do almost anything! Around the word, NAO has already danced, been a hotel concierge, worked with autistic children, and so much more! The possibilities are infinite as NAO can engage students in...
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17: Sphero SPRK
Sphero SPRK is an education-focused, spherical, and programmable robot built to bolster coding skills in kids through connected play. It works with a variety of programming languages, from simple line drawing and code blocks to traditional text programming. Its partner app, Lightning Lab, is designed to add interactivity and engagement to experiential learning as kids create their own fun programs, activities, and games. Sphero makes coding accessible for learners of all levels, introducing chil...
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18: Raspberry Pi 3 Model B 1GB Project Board
The Raspberry Pi is a tiny single-board computer that is designed to plug into your TV and a keyboard. It was developed as an affordable open-source micro-computer that could be used by children to learn programming, and can be used as the basis for many projects in robotics and electronics. The most recent version is the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B.
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19: Arduino Starter Kit
Arduino is an open-source electronics prototyping platform based on flexible, easy-to-use hardware and software. It's intended for artists, designers, hobbyists and anyone interested in creating interactive objects or environments. The Arduino Starter Kit contains all the components you need to start programming and building with Arduino.
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20: littleBits Base Kit
littleBits is an open source collection of modular electronic components. The tiny pre-assembled circuit board components can be easily snapped together using magnets to create more complex prototypes and electronic projects. The little Bits base kit will provide you with everything you need to start teaching young students about electronics.
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21: NFC Module for Arduino
RFID/NFC - RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) and NFC (Near Field Communication) are two similar wireless technologies that both employ radio signals for tagging, tracking and communications purposes. NFC has particular applications in robotics as a means for devices to communicate wirelessly with each other. Use the NFC module for Arduino with RFID/NFC cards or tags to create robotics projects that incorporate wireless communication....
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Carnegie Mellon Robotics Academy Step-By-Step Guide
This useful and extremely detailed PDF from Carnegie Mellon Robotics Academy explains the steps involved in setting up a robotics club, from selecting the hardware and programming language you will use to organizing activities. It focuses on using LEGO kits, but the principles are generally applicable to the process of setting up a club
Getting Started in Robotics – SFRSA
The San Francisco Robotics Society of America has produced this useful guide to getting started in robotics, including links to community resources, sources of hardware and software and educational materials.
Starting a Robotics Program in Your County
Created by Maria Habib, a youth development educator, this handy guide goes through the appropriate equipment to use for different age groups when setting up your robotics club. It also explains how to find funding sources, deal with a lack of technological know-how and create student groups within the club.
Start a FIRST LEGO League Team
Find out how to start taking part in the FIRST LEGO league and set up a team in your school to take part in competitions and challenges.
How to Host a LEGO Club
Find out how to set up and host a LEGO club for younger students (K-5) in this helpful guide from the Show Me Librarian. LEGO clubs do not have to include robotic elements, but can lay the foundations for learning about design, engineering and creative building.
Tips for Starting a Robotics Club at Your Middle School or High School
This useful guide from Amtek provides some practical tips, links to lesson plans and advice for teachers who want to set up a robotics club in their school
Our Story – Central Catholic High School Robotics
Discover how one school got its start in robotics by forming their own robotics club as this informative post captures their background and progress firsthand.
An Unlikely Teacher Seeks Help for School Robotics Team
This inspiring story recounts how one teacher, who upon realizing that his students were falling much too behind in math, is on a mission to make robotics a part of their regular learning experience.
Robotics Club (Australia)
This blog, run by the Australian Robotics Club, has plenty of useful and inspiring posts about robotics clubs in action, from the skills that students learn to stories about how their particular club has explored robotics.
Photo Story: Clark Magnet High School Robotics Team 96 Builds a Robot
Follow this informative photo essay to discover the steps involved in one high school team's quest to make a robot that can pick up a ball, catch it and throw it into a goal.
Teen mentors teach programming, coding at Robotics Camp
The three Faribault Middle schoolers were among the seven kids attending Falcon Robotics Camp, sponsored by Faribault Community Education, this Monday through Thursday at the Faribault Education Center. The class, broken up in two three-hour sessions, was taught by St. Olaf professor and Faribault High School Robotics coach Jason Engbrecht with hel...
DIY Portable Boombox
While this isn't a robotics project per se, it introduces students to the basic concepts of electronics and sound, which are crucial to producing more complex electronic and robotic projects.
Attendance System Using Raspberry Pi and NFC Tag Reader
This more advanced project teaches students how to use the Raspberry Pi as a basis for robotics and electronics projects. In this case, it is used to program and control a basic tag-scanning attendance system.
Building and Controlling a Tank Robot
John Boxall brings us an exciting intermediate-level Arduino robotics project with this excerpt from the Arduino Workshop. Build and control your own tank robot today!
Caroler's Helper
This clever advanced project uses littleBits motors to turn a paper scroll in a frame, allowing the reader to read through pages of sheet music or text without turning the page.
Where can I find a structured program to use with my robotics club?
The Carnegie Mellon Robotics Curriculum comprises a highly developed and structured curriculum in robotics, tailored for middle school, high school and college students. This would be suitable for robotics clubs that have progressed beyond the set-up stage and are comfortable with complex group and class projects.
What if I don't know anything about robotics to begin with?
This useful post from the RobotShop blog by William Cox includes detailed tips for getting started with robotics and links to the best resources to address your needs for electronics and programming knowledge.
I would like to create a robotics team for a competition – how does that work?
If you're interested in setting up a robotics team in order to compete in competitions, this useful guide from the VEX competition explains how to set one up, stick to a schedule and document the building process.
Where can I find some ideas for club activities?
Find great supporting resources and ideas for activities to complete with your robotics club in this useful list of links from STEMworks.
I don't know which robotics kit to use as a starter kit – where can I find more information about different kits?
This helpful post from Calin Dragos of Into Robotics contains a collection of links to 47 different starter robotics kits, based on platforms such as Arduino, Raspberry Pi and Beaglebone.
Where can I find information about robotics education, competitions and national events?
The Robotics Education & Competition Foundation's website is a treasure-trove of information about robotics competitions, resources and sources of funding for aspiring robotics teams and clubs.
Why Robotics? (University of Pennsylvania)
This interesting and in-depth article explains how robotics can benefit students educationally and discusses some practical considerations to take into account when introducing robotics to students.
Robotics Articles (STEMworks)
Discover some of the varied and wonderful practical applications of robotics in this collection of articles from STEMworks, covering topics as diverse as rescue robots and bionic eyes.
EZRobot Discussion Forum
This discussion from the EZRobot forum covers some of the concerns that teachers should consider when setting up robotics clubs, from what equipment to use to how to create course outlines.
Menchville High School FIRST Robotics Team – MADExpo
A high school robotics club shows off the robot they created for the FIRST Robotics Competition.
What Drone Technology Can Teach Students
Drones are becoming ever more available to hobbyists and students, and are often to the forefront of experimental robotics projects. Discover 12 creative ways to use drones for learning in this informative piece from Edudemic.
Robots Belong in the Classroom (TEDx Talk – Graham Ryland)
Graham Ryland explains how robotics can make abstract mathematics and engineering problems concrete and practical for students on an everyday basis while giving "meaning to math" in the classroom.
Inside ROBOTIX: An Easy Way To Enrich Your Child's Education Using STEM and Robotics by Monica Burch
Monica Bruch's e-book, which is based on her experience as a teacher and parent, includes hands-on STEM and robotics projects that form part of a complete curriculum for students from 5-14 years old.
VEX Competition
The VEX Competition, presented by the REC Foundation, is one of the biggest middle school and high school robotics competitions in the world. Local competitions take place in many different cities, states and countries.
FIRST Robotics Competition
The FIRST Robotics Competition is aimed at older students (Grades 9-12). Students form teams of up to 25 people, raise funds, design a team "brand", and work together to design and build a robot. Prizes include college scholarships.
LEGO Afterschool Competitions
LEGO, in association with FIRST, run leagues and competitions for different age groups that involve using LEGO components. You can find details and links to further information about FIRST LEGO leagues and LEGO competitions on this page.