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Do K-12 Robotics Activities Lead to Engineering and Technology Career Choices?

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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

Revitalization of Manufacturing Education

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

26.557.1 - 26.557.9



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Paper Authors


Marilyn Barger Florida Advanced Technological Education Center

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Dr. Marilyn Barger is the Principal Investigator and Executive Director of FLATE, the Florida Regional Center of Excellence for Advanced Technological Education, funded by the National Science Foundation and housed at Hillsborough Community College in Tampa, Florida since 2004. FLATE serves the state of Florida as its region and is involved in outreach and recruitment of students into technical career pathways; has produced award winning curriculum design and reform for secondary and post-secondary Career and Technical Education programs; and provides a variety of professional development for SETM and technology secondary and post-secondary educators focused on advanced technologies. She earned a B.A. in Chemistry at Agnes Scott College and both a B.S. in Engineering Science and a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering (Environmental) from the University of South Florida, where her research focused on membrane separation science and technologies for water purification. She has over 20 years of experience in developing curricula for engineering and engineering technology for elementary, middle, high school, and post secondary institutions, including colleges of engineering. Dr. Barger has presented at many national conferences including American Association of Engineering Education, National Career Pathways Network, High Impact Technology Exchange, ACTE Vision, League of Innovation and others. Dr. Barger serves on several national panels and advisory boards for technical programs, curriculum and workforce initiatives, including the National Association of Manufacturers Educators‘Council. She is a Fellow of the American Society of Engineering Education, a member of Tau Beta Pi and Epsilon Pi Tau honor societies. She is a charter member of both the National Academy and the University of South Florida‘s Academy of Inventors. Dr. Barger holds a licensed patent and is a licensed Professional Engineer in Florida.

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Marie A. Boyette Florida Advanced Technological Education Center

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Dr. Marie Boyette is the Associate Director for the FLATE Center, a NSF Center of Excellence located at Hillsborough Community College. Dr. Boyette’s research centers around data structure and analysis which deliver meaningful impact for projects and programs. She earned a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of South Florida with a triple emphasis in Measurement and Research, Adult Education, and Communication. Her practice includes development of experiential learning strategies providing measurable instructional outcomes for educators, traditional, and non-traditional students. “Summer Camp Style” professional development workshops for teachers and exploration of diversity through standard coursework are current interests.

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Do K12 robotics activities lead to engineering and technology career choices?Integrating robotics activities into teaching strategies for technical subjects provides an excitingand relevant learning platform which “hooks” youth into technical career pathways. Experiential,“hands-on” programs which incorporate robotics can provide practical experiences whichpositively influence a student's academic pursuit of STEM. Student engagement is a necessaryvariable for STEM education, especially when dealing with the technology and engineering (T &E) side of sTEm since there are fewer STEM resources provided to teachers which incorporatethe T & E focus. Robotics curriculum provides students with direct applications for math andscience. Learning about robotics in the classroom and then using the theory in hands-on workwhere robots solve problems in competitions goes one step further in “learning through doing” asstudents work within a team-based learning environment. They are simultaneously introduced to“real” engineering processes using problem based learning approaches. Students exposed tothese types of experiences gain an increased appreciation for the “real life” application of STEMtopics learned in the classroom to the world of work and the challenges and successes thatengineering teams face in their careers every day. This paper and presentation will explore theconnections, indicators, and evidence of linkages between robotics activity and technical careerpathways.

Barger, M., & Boyette, M. A. (2015, June), Do K-12 Robotics Activities Lead to Engineering and Technology Career Choices? Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.23895

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