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Building Computational Thinking Skills Using Robots With First-Year Engineering Students

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Conference

2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

August 28, 2016

ISBN

978-0-692-68565-5

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

First-Year Programs Division Technical Session 7: Experiential Learning

Tagged Division

First-Year Programs

Tagged Topic

Diversity

Page Count

9

DOI

10.18260/p.26409

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/26409

Download Count

398

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Paper Authors

biography

Sarah B. Lee Mississippi State University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-3770-5480

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Dr. Sarah B. Lee is an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Computer Science & Engineering at Mississippi State University and is a Gender Studies faculty affiliate. She received her BS from the Mississippi University for Women, a Master’s degree in Computer Science at Mississippi State University, and her PhD in Computer Science at the University of Memphis. She brings software development and project management experience to the classroom from her career in industry. Her research interests include interdisciplinary project and team-based learning to promote gender equality in digital literacy and human and social aspects of software engineering.

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biography

Hunter Lovvorn Mississippi State University

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Hunter Lovvorn is a Teaching Assistant at Mississippi State University where he is pursuing a master's degree in Computer Science with an emphasis in computer security.

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Abstract

This research paper describes the transition of content in a first year experience (FYE) course at Mississippi State University (MSU) for computer science (CS) and software engineering (SE) majors to a project-based, hands-on approach to building skills in computational thinking and teamwork. While critical thinking ability and the dynamics of working in a team have been emphasized in the class through individual and team-based assignments previously, the use of technology has been limited.

Recent experience with a summer outreach program for middle and high school students suggests that students build confidence in problem solving by using a simple programming language with robotic concepts.1 Building off of this experience, students in this first year engineering course were introduced to programming with a “drag and drop” interface and a robot. Teams were challenged to explore the robot’s capabilities and brainstorm a project idea to design and implement. This project-based approach was expected to demonstrate an increased confidence in applying computing and technology among first semester students. Results of this first implementation are presented.

Lee, S. B., & Lovvorn, H. (2016, June), Building Computational Thinking Skills Using Robots With First-Year Engineering Students Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.26409

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