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March 8, 2016
Tokyo, Japan - Sony Global Education today unveiled its new educational kit called "KOOV", a program which takes a fresh approach to learning robotics and programming. KOOV is the first offering in Sony Global Education's "STEM101" curriculum that it announced last autumn. STEM101 was developed as an innovative way of teaching STEM* subjects in primary schools across the globe. It is all but certain that teaching materials for robotics and programming will play a major role in cultivating STEM literacy and nurturing the next generation of creative problem solvers. STEM101, which rearranges conventional divisions between academic subjects, comprises three program elements: "Think," "Make," and "Feel." Among these, KOOV marks Sony Global Education's first offering in "Make," which focuses on engineering and technology - teaching creative skills, from robotics to programming.
KOOV is a robot building educational kit made up of blocks and a microcontroller. The blocks can be assembled into any shape, with the final figure capable of being controlled as a robot. The kit encourages learners to "Play" by building with 7 kinds of translucent blocks, "Code" by controlling the assembled figure through the program software, and "Create" by embracing their creative side and imagination. KOOV is slated for release in summer of 2016.
The logo imagery for KOOV calls to mind the 1's and 0's of binary code, or alternatively, "I/O," the computer terminology for "digital input/output." The logo is also inspired by the "<" and ">" symbols used in mathematics. In addition, the "K" and "V" that bookend the kit's name stand for "key" and "value", important concepts in the realm of computer science. But whereas "key" and "value" ordinarily form a unique, unambiguous pair as applied in computer science, they are connected by "OO" - representing the infinity symbol (∞) - in the logo for KOOV. This is meant to suggest the infinite combinations possible with KOOV, limited only by the imagination. In a multitude of ways, then, KOOV's logo is symbolic of its blocks that are a product of the digital age, and that are therefore infinite in potential.
Sony Global Education partnered with Artec Co., Ltd. Japan's top maker of educational materials for schools, in the development process for KOOV. The two companies, under their joint development agreement, will continue striving to expand the business for robotics and programming education. Their collaborative efforts will marry the product development expertise of Artec with the software and network-related technological prowess, as well as the global business network, of Sony Global Education.
As rapid changes in technology and the climate give rise to an increasingly complicated modern society, more and more problems are turning into truly global issues. These problems demand solutions, and knowledge alone cannot solve them. Rather, the ability to utilize one's knowledge to work through a problem and come up with a solution is what is key, perhaps more so than ever. As such, the nurturing of individuals who possess greater creative thinking skills, decision-making aptitude, and power of expression is of paramount importance in the classroom. The STEM fields of study are critical in the development of these abilities and skill sets, and Sony Global Education will actively promote KOOV as a tool for opening children's minds and infusing them with receptivity to the surrounding world, reasoning skills, and problem solving competency, all highly sought after attributes in the 21st century.