Family Time

Making STEM fun with Marty the Robot

I’m a huge supporter of broadening the appeal of and accessibility to STEM subjects. And, as a mum to a wonderful daughter, I’m very aware of the gender imbalance in the STEM sector.

Did you know only 8% of the UK’s engineering workforce are women? This is the lowest number across the whole of Europe. And just 16% of those in tech roles are females.

Marty the Robot

Anything that opens up an interest by children in STEM gets a big tick from me. Enter Marty the Robot! Marty is a humanoid robot with a unique walking mechanism. You control Marty using code, making it a super fun way to learn this skill.

Marty can walk, turn, dance and much more. Marty stable and robust. This is made possible through control of each limb by specific motors.

I love the ethos behind Marty’s creation. Inventor Dr Sandy Enoch wanted to show children that engineering is fun and creative, and that it is open to everyone. “There is a huge skills shortage because of the misconception that these subjects are stuffy and unimaginative but it isn’t the case at all,” he said.

Getting going

But how does it work? Once your Marty arrives, download the ‘Marty the Robot’ app onto your mobile or tablet. Marty is now on version 2, so be sure to get the right version for your model. There is a getting started guide, and a home learning course to follow. The course has lots of fun activities to try out with your Marty.

To start interacting with Marty, there is a straightforward control via the app. You can make the Robot carry out a series of actions. It is tonnes of fun! Even as a grown up it makes me smile. And my daughter loves it too.

There is also a scratch programme to operate Marty. Scratch is a block-based visual programming language. While it is primarily for children, it is actually a great introduction to coding for adults as well!

Scratch enables children to learn through exploring, experimenting and adapting their choices. It is a lot of fun and very engaging.

Cost

Robotics obviously cost a lot to manufacture. And this is reflected in the price. Marty is £314 to buy which is naturally quite an outlay. This said, it will provide learning opportunities for years to come. My daughter will be able to engage in different, and more advanced, ways as she gets older.

You can find out more on the Robotical website and you can even try Marty free for 2 weeks. I know you’ll have a lot of fun!

Sarah

I was sent a Marty to try out for purposes of this review. As always, the provision of gifted products does not affect my views which remain honest and reflect my own thoughts.

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