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Developing Courseware for Robotics in Pre-engineering Education for High School Students

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2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session

Research to Practice: STRAND 3 – Principles of K-12 Engineering Education and Practice

Tagged Division

K-12 & Pre-College Engineering

Tagged Topic


Page Count


Page Numbers

26.498.1 - 26.498.12



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Paper Authors


Jonathan R Zubarriain Vaughn College of Aeronautics and Technology

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Sophomore student in Mechatronics
Engineering major at Vaughn College of Aeronautics and
Technology. He is the vice president of the Vaughn
College's UAV Club.

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Nicholas Kumia Vaughn College of Aeronautics and Technology

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Sophomore in the Undergraduate Mechatronics Engineering Program

He graduated high school at the age of 16 and plans to complete the 4-year Mechatronics Program in 3-years. Recently, He co-founded the UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) Club at Vaughn College.

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Shouling He Vaughn College of Aeronautics & Technology

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Dr. Shouling He is an associate professor of Engineering and Technology at Vaughn College of Aeronautics and Technology, where she is teaching the courses in Mechatronics Engineering and Electrical Engineering Technology. Her research interests include modeling and simulation, microprocessors and PLCs, control system designs and Robotics. She has published more than 45 journal and conference papers in these research areas.

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Developing Courseware for Robotics in Pre-Engineering Education for High School StudentsAbstract: Incorporating robotics into the STEAM initiative is an essential part of keeping students relevantand competitive in a global economy. This paper presents how we developed courseware for anintroductory course for robotics as part of a six-week pre-college engineering summer program. Thegoal was to expose the students to principles of robotics engineering such as designing, building,programming, problem solving, collaboration, and a final presentation. After the class, students fromdiverse academic backgrounds are expected to be equally prepared for a college level engineeringcurriculum. The six-week program consisted of four stages, introduction to robotics engineering,hardware design, robotics programming, and project development. The application of this coursewareproved to be an effective way of allowing students to realize their academic capabilities and apply themto a group project. Based on the planned course layout the courseware has been developed as follows: (1)Introduction to robotics engineering, such as engineering design steps and industrial applications.College students with successful achievements in international robotics competitions shared theirexperiences in robotics design and implementation; (2) Hardware design with a focus on innovativechassis architecture, and sensor integration. Measurements of wheel diameter and wheel circumferencewere noted for use during programming; (3) Software design to program a number of sensors for highquality robot localization, object detection, and manipulator control through the use of algorithms; (4)Group based project development to increase team efficiency by partnering students of complementaryskills. The course culminated in a presentation day where the groups demonstrated their projects. On the completion of the course, nearly all students exhibited a much better comprehension ofengineering principles than they did during the first class. In the future, the improvements of thecourseware could be made by preparing a wider array of supplies such as different sensors, variousmotors and chassis building materials. This would allow high school students to have more optionsduring the robotic design and implementation process, which would result in more demandingbrainstorming sessions. Exposing students to challenging concepts will make it easier for them to solvemore complex problems when they move on to college to pursue a career in engineering.Keywords: Courseware, Robotics, Pre-College Engineering, STEAM, Programming, Hardware, Software,Project Development

Zubarriain, J. R., & Kumia, N., & He, S. (2015, June), Developing Courseware for Robotics in Pre-engineering Education for High School Students Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.23837

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