The program “Robotics for Bulgaria” is inspired as an answer to the missing opportunity for early career orientation for youth in Bulgaria, as well for additional professional development for teachers in science and technology. It creates the opportunity for good education in IT as well developing long-lasting interest in the youth for STEM subjects. 1500 students, 200 school teachers from 80 schools in 55 cities and villages were part in the program.
Project Target Group
We help school students to develop interest in science and technology, to acquire experience and skills to work as a team, to solve problems and to develop a scientific project. Their teachers also develop professional skills in robotics. We select teachers based on their motivation.
The main focus of the CSR policy in SAP is an accessible and good education in STEM, creating and developing long-lasting interest in youth in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. “Robotics for Bulgaria” is one of the main components in the CSR policy.
Program “Robotics for Bulgaria” provides: (1) training for teachers to become mentors of school teams, online support for the rules about First Lego League competitions, construction and programming the robot Lego Mindstorms, gathering information and analysis for the science project as well as support for working in a team and overall mentoring; (2) equipment for one team – programable Lego Mindstorms education 45544 and competition field; (3) everything to organize the competitions – regional and national; (4) online support for the teachers through the program. With the support of SAP teams construct and program their own robot that need to perform specific missions. Every year they have a scientific project based on a special social theme. The added value of the initiative is the acquired practical skills to work in teams. The initiative stimulates interest in science and technology and allows learning through experience. So far 1500 students from 5 till 10 grades participated.
In 2020 the competition had to be completely virtual. The season started with 107 created teams, and 71 were able to continue working because of the COVID-19 situation. All the work was done online – kids recorded their work and submitted in an online system results and videos, and the judges assessed them from home in the online system. At the end 26 teams were awarded also virtually. Despite the limitation, kids continue to learn how to work as a team, mechanics, programming of robots and research.