Frequently Asked Questions

What is Robotics & Coding?

Robotics at NK is about the Design, Construction, and Control of a physical Robot to accomplish a predetermined mission. The creation of a Robot requires the knowledge of simple mechanisms, application of basic physics principles, and the mastery of programming logic. It is no wonder Robotics is known to be multidisciplinary.

Coding is about writing computer programs. Coding at NK is learning how we can program computers using tools like SCRATCH and Python. Coding trains students to become more analytical and logical, helping them become more efficient problem solvers.

What are the differences between Robotics and Coding?

The major difference would be, with Robotics, students  need to work with both hardware and software; while with Coding, they only need to work with software.

You may refer to our learning roadmap(hyperlink) and our programme introduction to see what is taught in each programme.

For Robotics programmes, students will need to build a robot first, and then operate the robot with programming. Building a robot will help students to improve their hand craft skills, engineering ideas, spatial awareness, creativity, and even aesthetic. While operating the robot will enhance their critical thinking and software programming skills.

For Coding programmes, students only need to program with computer languages. Coding classes majorly cover critical thinking, mathematics, and computer programming, but each area requires more sophistication and depth of knowledge.

The two were compared, robotics is more appealing to students who have a strong interest in crafting, building, and creativity. While coding attracts students with strong logic and math. Robotics is a great entry program for kids at a young age because they still tend to explore and experience with their hands and eyes, and they can enjoy both the benefits of building and coding while their brain is still developing. Coding classes are appropriate for older students who have advanced math and logical thinking skills.

Finally, while most robotics projects begin as individual projects, as students advance to competition classes (by invitation only), they will need to work as a team and play different roles, which requires students to have good communication, collaboration, and leadership skills and challenges them in every aspect. Coding, on the other hand, can be a solitary activity, but we encourage students to collaborate with peers and make good use of open source and online communities to work on collaborative projects.

We would recommend to consider both interests and characters of the child to decide which programme to join.

What are the differences between NK Robotics & other centers?

NK Robotics aims to nurture 3C skills in every student.

  • Computational Thinking: Breakdown complex assignments into small tasks. Identify bugs and debug them. Continuously make improvement on the same project.
  • Critical Thinking: Observe and analyze facts, apply knowledge, pay attention to outcome, reflect and make judgements based on facts. 
  • Creative Thinking: Find new questions, new issues. Think out of the box, use old tools, old knowledge to solve new issues, adapt to new changes. 

All 3C skills are crucial not only in coding and computer science, but in students’ everyday lives, at school, at work,and at home. In a fast changing world like today, they are likely to encounter issues and situations, which no one has seen or foreseen. They need to analyze the issues, use what they have on hand, apply their knowledge and skills, think and act creatively to solve these new problems.

Although 3C skills are invaluable,  yet they are difficult to be taught or drilled in the common school curriculum or  in the repeated practices on exam papers. NK has found a way, through robotics and coding, to nurture these essential skills to students and get them ready for the future. 

For many students, math and science have always been boring subjects, but robots and coding are naturally fun and exciting.  Because they have the open-end structure, students can use robot parts and program languages to express their own ideas, to make their imagination come true and even make their imaginary friends talk back to them. Through Robotics and Coding, they know how physics and math come to work in the real and virtual world, and how knowledge will help them to achieve what they want , so they are happy and eager to learn more. 

In our project-based and open-ended programs, teachers are to provide structured knowledge, skills, and samples of solutions; students are always encouraged to make their own version or twist of the projects. Taking risks is encouraged and making mistakes is welcomed. By doing so, we protect curiosity and fun in the classroom and provide a safe and encouraging environment to nurture self-driven learning and creative thinking inside and outside the classroom. 

Here are some examples –

  • One of our 10 year old students built a gyro sensor that sends a warning message to the caretaker when an elderly encounters difficulty in the toilet. 
  • We also have a girl who designed her own project of a seed planting robot. And with this project, she got herself into Nanyang Girls High School via innovation DSA.

We wish every student at NK will extend their exploring and learning outside our classrooms, apply what they have learnt to their everyday life, and make the world a better place.

What will students be learning? Any levels?

Please refer to our learning roadmap and our programme introduction.

Do we update parents on what the students are learning? How frequent and by what method?

We provide a term report book and certificate upon completion of program.

Are there any assessments or tests at the end of the term and how do the teachers or centre justify the progress of the students?

For coding, yes. After students finish one full course, we will conduct a test for them. If they pass the test, they will be promoted to the next level of the program. 

For our Robotics program, each category is a 2 years program and students will be promoted based on the individual’s progress and ability.

Some centres are teaching SPIKE PRIME. Which is better? EV3 or SPIKE PRIME?

We are still teaching with EV3 by Lego Mindstorm, Why? It’s because of the it’s odd shape that our student will learn precise building techniques and mechanism to complete the task/project. Once they have master the builts using EV3, then they can transit to using Spike Prime easily. We currently use Spike Prime for our Competition Teams. 

Do we provide certificates for the students when they complete the term or syllabus?

Yes, for robotics, they will get a certificate after they finish the programme. And for coding, they will receive a certificate after they finish the grading test.

Why should my child learn Robotics/Coding?

There are many benefits from learning robotics and coding. For example, Robotics/Coding helps students to express their ideas,  “to think with their hands”,  and “to do with their head”, in a meaningful and interesting way, hence learning Robotics/Coding benefits students mentally.

Engineering and coding skills are more and more everyday skills, like windows and office skills. They will need to learn and learn to apply sooner or later.

Learning robotics and coding are also ” learning to learn”. Students will benefit from thinking critically, how to cope with mistakes and fallbacks, how they can identify the issues/bugs, and how to resolve/debug. They also learn how to make their imaginations into creations and innovations.

Students learning Robotics and Codings are usually having fun when they are learning, and they are confident, focused, and relaxed. They are more likely to raise questions, share ideas and eager to learn more.

What type of jobs can students pursue in Robotics and Coding in future?

We are NOT “training” future programmers, web developers, game developers, robotics/mechanical engineers, big data analysts, nor any engineering/coding related professionals, though students with these professions in future may benefit from early learning of Robotics and Coding. 

If my child is attending Robotics or Coding at school, is it still necessary to attend Robotics and Coding with NK RoboticsRobotics? Why so?

Yes, we recommend it.  

If your child is really interested in Robotics and coding, we believe he/she will benefit more from our programmes for the following reasons:

  • We have a smaller teacher to students ratio. They will have more attention and guidance with our caring teacher.  
  • We teach more in depth skills and concepts to our students compared to schools.
  • We do not just “drill” knowledge to students. In our project-based and open-ended programs, teachers are to provide structured knowledge, skills, and samples of solutions; students are always encouraged to make their own version or twist of the projects.  
  • Our programs are customized to each student’s skills and pace with different levels of project missions, so every student can challenge himself/herself. 
  • We encourage taking risks and making mistakes. So to provide a safe and encouraging environment to nurture self-driven learning and creative thinking.

Why do we have no coding classes for younger children?

Currently, We offer coding classes for students 8 and above using scratch platform and python for (12 and above).  Scratch and Python coding programmes require students with basic computer operations (how to use a mouse, navigate on a computer or type on keyboards), higher level math concepts and logical thinking skills.

After completing Master Robotics, what other robotics courses or classes can students pursue?

Please refer to our learning roadmap and our programme introduction.

STEAM/ STEM at NK Robotics?

NK Robotics incorporates STEAM into our curriculum. Each of our projects, will include the following aspects: Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics