Programming class for kids
[Japan] Mazda Motor Corporation
Mazda has been implementing an educational program for 3rd to 6th grade elementary school students since 2008.
In July and August of FY2018, about 310 children and their parents and guardians participated in the "Let's try programming! Can we make robots move on their own?" events held in Hiroshima Prefecture (Midorizaka Community Center, Fuchu Community Center, Numaji Transportation Museum) and Kanagawa Prefecture (Pacifico Yokohama*).
The participants enjoyed learning how to program a robot so that it would move on its own.
Using computers linked to small, robotic cars, participants entered instructions into the computers - such as "move forward for 15 seconds," "go right for 11 seconds," "go back for 15 seconds" - and watched as the robots did as they were told.
* Exhibit: Kids Engineer 2018 exhibit held by Society of Automobile Engineers
Putting heads together to reach the goal
Elementary school students who participated said, "This was my first time trying programming; it was fun," "I didn't realize how difficult it was to get robots to move," and "I realized how fun it is to think."
By the numbers
Duration of program: 11 years