Robotics competitions are becoming increasingly popular around the world. With many competition providers, it can be hard for children, volunteers and even sponsors to judge, which are the best to participate in and support, especially without any evidence about the impact of the competition on its participants. To prove that WRO is a meaningful as well as playful program, WRO Germany conducted an evaluation study in cooperation with the University of Würzburg, and with the support of the Dr. Hans Riegel Foundation.
The overall results approve the positive impact of World Robot Olympiad on students’ learning in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).
Study results of WRO 2019 season
In 2019, in addition to the annual feedback on the actual event, WRO Germany conducted a study on what the students learn from participating in the competition: how they develop through the WRO competition and how their attitudes towards robotics, IT and technical issues change.
A detailed description of the evaluation study, including its key findings, is now available in English.
WRO has a positive impact on students’ skills – including soft skills.
In 79% of the cases students develop problem solving skills through their participation in the WRO.
The positive results of the evaluation study also please the partners:
“The results of the evaluation of the World Robot Olympiad are very positive across the board. It is particularly noteworthy that in addition to the expected hard skills, soft skills are also successfully promoted. It is also noteworthy that participants still benefit from the competition even if they take part multiple times,” says Professor Dr. Martin Hennecke, University of Würzburg.
“There are many competitions for students, but what do they do for the participants? Only few answer this question with external expertise. The WRO organized by TECHNIK BEGEISTERT e.V. offers us the opportunity to learn something about the impact of this project using scientific methods and to use it also for our own educational work. I hope that TB e.V. will benefit from the evaluation results in long term – just as the participants will be positively shaped by the WRO in the long term.”, says Marco Alfter, Managing Director of the Dr. Hans Riegel Foundation. The non-profit foundation of HARIBO´s former co-owner has the purpose to support young people along the educational chain.
Likely the same effect in other countries
The study shows, that WRO Germany is making a valuable contribution to promoting STEM in Germany, but Markus Fleige, Chairman of the TECHNIK BEGEISTERT e.V. association, believes the results apply to other WRO countries too. He says:
“We are pleased about the great results of the evaluation project and see them as a confirmation of our daily work. We get children and young people excited about technology in an exciting competition, in which soft skills are also developed. I am sure that students in other countries have similar experiences.”
In Germany alone there are around 430,000 vacancies in STEM professions especially in IT professions. The demand continues to rise due to increased digitalization. It follows that children who get into STEM topics early and playfully have many professional opportunities, especially within IT and technology.
Read more about the study (in English).