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Engagement in Practice: University & K-12 Partnership with Robotics Outreach

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2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

Community Engagement Division Technical Session 4

Tagged Division

Community Engagement Division

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Paper Authors


Ralph Rivera University of Florida

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Ralph Rivera is a graduating Mechanical Engineering undergraduate at the University of Florida. He has 9 years of experience working with various K-12 robotics organizations and competitions. Ralph is currently apart of the Engaging Learning Lab, which researches how students learn computing in K-12 education.

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Christina Gardner-McCune University of Florida

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Dr. Christina Gardner-McCune is an Assistant Professor in the Computer & Information Science & Engineering (CISE) Department at University of Florida. She directs the Engaging Learning Lab that focuses on studying how people learn and apply computing in after-school and K-12 classrooms. Her research approach involves the iterative design, refinement, and sustainability of curriculum, teacher professional development, program, and technology development to support and study learning in formal and informal learning environments.

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Darryl Bryant McCune II University of Florida

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Mr. Darryl B. McCune II is the K-12 Coordinator of the Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering at the University of Florida where he leads and coordinates the College’s K-12 Outreach programming as part of the Office of Student Transition and Retention (STAR). Mr. McCune II, received his BS in Electrical Engineering from University at Buffalo in New York and his MBA in Entrepreneurship from Clemson University in South Carolina. He has prior certifications as an information technology specialist and in 6th-12th Mathematics.

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In an effort to increase K-12 students’ interest and readiness for STEM careers; The Alachua County School Board in Florida started an initiative in 2015 to introduce students to STEM through robotics classes and/or clubs at every school throughout the district. The University of Florida and The Alachua County School Board have collaborated to create pathways for students from K-12 to Engineering. One of these pathways includes seeing and interacting with a diversity of engineering students through an in-class mentorship program powered by university volunteers. Researchers and administrators in the Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering and the College of Education have recruited and trained a cohort of volunteers consisting of undergraduate engineering, computer scientists, and education majors to assist teachers in the classrooms and to mentor students. This paper will report findings from a 2016 pilot program and study of this K- 12/University partnership including the volunteer recruitment process, training, and classroom impacts. The volunteers are train to work with students, build robots, identify student challenges, and learn new engineering and programming skills. The university aims to use the results of this pilot program to develop K-12/University partnership guidelines.

Rivera, R., & Gardner-McCune, C., & McCune, D. B. (2017, June), Engagement in Practice: University & K-12 Partnership with Robotics Outreach Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--28240

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