How to organize a children's circle of robotics - 2

  • Tutorial
We publish a new version of our guide for those who suddenly had the idea to go and teach children something. By the way, in the near future we will distribute small sets for organizing circles, stay tuned.

Where to begin?

Go to the school where you studied yourself or where your children study, and arrange with some of the teachers to conduct a couple of classes (you will be happy there, this is absolutely perfect). Any techie, if he is interested in his subject, has something to tell interesting to children. They will listen carefully, since they lack serious people. I once started by refreshing the university's course in radiobiology, came to my home school and gave a lecture on radiation to high school students (they have such a topic in the program).

Further, by and large, there are two paths. The first is to go on to teach children basic school subjects, but this is extremely hardcore, most people do not survive for long. It is much easier to teach in a circle, almost anyone can do it, this will be discussed further.

The only technical area that is truly interesting to children now is robotics. One can argue a lot on this topic, but believe our experience: it will be much harder to lure children into a circle with any other subject.

Any children's club tightly tied to the teacher, the teacher left - the circle was closed. To one teacher replaced the other - this almost does not happen. Therefore, you have to do the circle yourself. Again, there are two options - either your own circle, or on the basis of some close-to-you children's institution. Consider first the second option.

In native school

Now almost all schools in Russia have very little money (as far as I know, the only exceptions are Moscow and the rich Siberian regions). If school management shows minimal adequacy and activity, it tries to organize paid circles. If you come with a ready-made circle, you will be very happy. No one has such opportunities to work with children, like schools, they will bring them to classes, and they will collect money from them, and everything else, you will only have to learn. Another advantage of schools is that they are all equipped with computer classes on a mandatory basis, half the cost of a mug is a computer class.

At the same time, you expect very unpleasant surprises. For example: you have already agreed to start classes, even set a date, and suddenly the director tells you that everything is canceled. He may be frightened by some kind of verification, which will penalize him for incomprehensible pieces of iron in the office, he suddenly realizes that there is no one from the school to engage in this circle, maybe a lot of things, to organize a full-fledged circle is not a couple of lessons. Most of the children's institutions are not in very good condition now, so if you have minimal organizational skills, it is better to choose a different path.

Own circle

For him you will need:

  1. The room
  2. Furniture
  3. Computers
  4. Actually glands, from which to make robots
  5. Children

The most interesting thing with children. The surest option is to come to your home school again, conduct some test lessons for different classes, and thus attract children to yourself. If this does not work, then you need to work with your parents: go to them through your own acquaintances, local forums, parent parties, social networks, etc. - it all depends on your ability to communicate and the characteristics of the area of ​​residence, everywhere their approaches. Regular advertising (for example, announcements in hallways to hang out), in principle, also works, but it is unpredictable, sometimes the effect is simply zero.

It is best to start attracting children from the last week of August, classes begin in late September. In general, the bifurcation points for schoolchildren are the dates of the beginning and end of the holidays, at which time they most often change the nature of their activities, at which time they must be caught.

You can try to organize summer classes, now many children have absolutely nothing to do in the summer. If you’ll hold children for half a day, parents will thank you.

The easiest way to attract first-graders than a child is older, the more he has a formed circle of interests, the more difficult it is to lure him. The tenth and eleventh classes, as a rule, are not interested in anything but the unified state examination and personal life. At the same time, the younger the child, the harder it is to work with him. In our circle, basically 5-7 class, do not come older, do not stay younger.

For occupations any room of office type will approach. In large cities, private circles are most often located either in business centers or on the first floors of houses in residential areas. On one training place you need about three square meters.

As for furniture, Ikea is our everything. Here, for example, an excellent table for 1K , although it will be small for a computer and hardware, it ’s better for such a 1.7K . Here is another chair for 700 .

Computers are best found somewhere written off. Most likely you will work with Arduyn, and for its programming, Windows XP is enough. As a computer system unit, you can use Raspberry. Problems with low-power computers can arise if you use 3D modeling software or heavy graphical programming environments.

From the point of view of legal registration, the situation is as follows. With the parents of the first students you will most likely have a very personal relationship, so you will not need to arrange anything.

In the future, you can register an IP (now it’s very simple, see Elba or My business). After that, you will give parents a receipt for payment at the bank (how to print this receipt you will be prompted in the bank where you will open an account). Parents can still ask to sign a contract for the provision of educational services, there is a form approved by the Ministry of Education .

If an individual entrepreneur conducts training himself, he does not hire anyone, then he does not need a license for educational activities.

How and what to teach

Perhaps it is best to compare a child with a younger colleague: you have taken an intern who still does not know how to do, first you need to teach your subject, then you will complete the project together. But there are significant differences.

The most important thing when working with children is to restrain emotions, not to show the slightest bit of irritation, which you will inevitably sometimes have. In most cases, this is a sufficient condition for successful work. In general, the emotional component in relationships with children is more important than the objective one: if a child does not receive any task, then you can come up and do everything for it. Let him not master something, he will not understand something, but he will trust you.

I would compare the second moment with climbing up the stairs - you jump over several steps at once, without even noticing them, and each separate step is difficult for a child. For example: you explain arrays in programming, draw small squares on a blackboard, everything seems to be simple and clear. The missing step here is variables. An array is a sequence of variables, and first you need to explain that you can write some value into a memory cell, and then make a sequence of these cells. You can conduct classes on any equipment, carry out any projects with children, the problem is only in these steps, without having experience on each of them you will stuff cones. To simplify the task, you can take a technique where all these steps get over. For Lego, Robbo and other techniques are already included.lies here .

Techniques can be divided into two types. The first one is the classic school ones, when at the beginning of the lesson the teacher goes to the blackboard and says: “But today we will study the diodes!”, After which everyone performs the task of igniting the diode together. Such an overwhelming majority. The second type is when the children do everything according to the training manuals, and the teacher walks between them and solves the difficulties that arise, sometimes he also tells something interesting. We, of course, only go the second way.

The next important point is motivation. Ideally, children should face the monitor and disturb you only when problems arise. In this case (unfortunately, rarely achievable), you do not need any pedagogical abilities, you just need to be able to explain; you will not even need to convince them of the need to learn some fundamental things, as soon as they are needed to achieve the goal, the children themselves will beg to tell about them.
At the initial stage, the main motive of schoolchildren is a natural interest in technology - the magic of transforming the lines on the screen into mechanical movement. Over time, the primary interest fades away, the main method of maintaining it is to participate in competitions. If children get excited, then they already forget about everything. A less common option is to do something of practical use, for example, elements of a smart home, and introduce it.
We also note the following point: on the very first lesson, you immediately need to show the children something big and interesting, so that they will catch fire.

See also our review of the available glands for classes :


Below are the data to calculate the payback of the children's circle. The amounts are indicated for Yekaterinburg, for Moscow it is necessary to multiply by two, for a small, relatively prosperous town - to be divided by one and a half or two. The data are very approximate, in practice everything can vary greatly.

The average cost of one class (2 academic hours) in a robotics circle for one child is 420 rubles. The optimal group size is 6 children. Most likely in September you will type them, half of them will run away during the year, so on average let there be 4 children. The teacher’s standard workload is 100 hours per month, that is, 50 classes (in principle, you can work 200 hours, as in other areas, but this is very difficult, you probably don’t want to). Thus, the monthly income of 420 rubles. * 4 children * 50 lessons = 84K.
Monthly expenses: 10K for the rent of a room + 5K for the renewal of pieces of iron and various small things + 1K for the maintenance of individual entrepreneurs.

Primary one-time investments: 15K furniture + 36K monitors + 30K Raspberry (as a computer system unit) + 60K pieces of iron = 141K.

If you organize a circle at school, then as agreed, there may be a variety of options, each school director has his own way of doing business.

For me, the most difficult in all this was the collection of money. I could not understand how money can in principle be taken from children. In general, it still does not fit me completely. The good news is that at the federal level are going to do a very large infusion, here, eg. On this occasion, there is now a very big kipish going on; everyone who works in the field of children's additional education is in the know. So in general, this occupation is promising.

A few additions in response to fair comments on the article.
At first, two classes a week you will be above the roof, more probably you can not. Over time, get comfortable and go to the standard teaching load, by this time the children will catch up to you.
Let's say you bought 6 robot designers. On them 6 children can be engaged, everyone makes the mechanism. Or 12 children, but then every time in class they will have to re-assemble / disassemble their creation. We use Multiplo for our classes, among other things, it is characterized by the fact that it is very long to assemble / disassemble it.
Based on all this, the calculation of the cost of training kits is probably more correct to do as follows: 20K - the minimum set for 6 children in the first few classes, 5-10K - the monthly cost of updating existing ones and purchasing new sets as the number of children and their requests increase .
You need to take money immediately after a month of classes, if you take for each lesson separately, then the incentive to walk regularly disappears sharply. By the way, this is a significant advantage of paid circles - they go on a regular basis.
Read the same antonsnowy experience in organizing a group for the smallest in a small town.

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