July 26, 2021
July 26, 2021
July 19, 2022
Pre-College Engineering Education
Participation in educational robotics, tinkering, and making are common precursors to enrollment in engineering majors. In recent years, the field of soft robotics has enabled human-centered applications of robotics. By broadening the applications of robotics, soft robotics may be a platform to engage a diversity of students in K12 robotics and later, engineering majors. Until now, most K12 soft robotics activities were presented as practitioner-delivered outreach. This paper details development and a pilot of a soft robotics program that includes a design thinking curriculum and a physical toolkit that can be completed at home by middle and high school students. To enable teachers to confidently deliver the emerging curriculum, we describe the development and delivery of teacher professional development to facilitate adoption of soft robotics topics into middle and high school classrooms. We discuss the curriculum development process and reflections on the experience of the classroom teacher delivering the curriculum in the remote environment. Empowering teachers to bring new lessons into classrooms will expose more K12 students to STEM topics, inspiring students' interest in STEM majors. This pilot will inform future work in assessing teacher confidence in teaching robotics and engineering design as well as the impacts of teacher-delivered soft robotics curricula on students.
Shah, S., & Beaudette, A., & Bergandine, D. R., & Devmal , S. N., & Walsh, C., & Golecki, H. M. (2021, July), Adapting Soft Robotics Outreach to Teacher-Delivered Curriculum in the Virtual Classroom (Work in Progress) Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. 10.18260/1-2--36651
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