The use of digital manipulatives in K-12: Robotics, GPS/GIS and programming

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

44 Scopus citations

Abstract

Faculty from 4-H Youth Development, Biosystems Engineering, and Education have collaborated to develop and implement an innovative robotics and geospatial technologies program, delivered in an informal learning setting of 4-H clubs and afterschool programs. Aimed at middle school youth, the program uses robotics and global positioning system (GPS) receivers and geographic information system (GIS) software to provide hands-on, self-directed learning experiences that promote personalized comprehension of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) concepts through experimentation. The goals of the program are to prepare youth for the 21st Century workplace by providing them opportunities to learn STEM concepts and foster positive attitudes about STEM. Funded by the National Science Foundation, the project has undergone extensive research and evaluation over the three years of the project. Results have focused on the project's impact on: a) youth learning of computer programming, mathematics, geospatial concepts, and engineering/robotics concepts and b) youth attitudes and motivation towards science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. In contrast to the preponderance of research on educational robotics relying on anecdotal and descriptive strategies, this research uses empirical, quantitative methods involving the use of comparison groups and pre-post analyses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication39th Annual Frontiers in Education Conference
Subtitle of host publicationImagining and Engineering Future CSET Education, FIE 2009
DOIs
StatePublished - 2009
Event39th Annual Frontiers in Education Conference: Imagining and Engineering Future CSET Education, FIE 2009 - San Antonio, TX, United States
Duration: Oct 18 2009Oct 21 2009

Publication series

NameProceedings - Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE
ISSN (Print)1539-4565

Other

Other39th Annual Frontiers in Education Conference: Imagining and Engineering Future CSET Education, FIE 2009
CountryUnited States
CitySan Antonio, TX
Period10/18/0910/21/09

Keywords

  • GIS
  • GPS
  • Robotics
  • Stem attitudes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Education
  • Computer Science Applications

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