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Impact of Programming Robots and Drones on STEM Attitudes

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2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

Aerospace Division Technical Session

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Paper Authors


M. Javed Khan Tuskegee University

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Dr. M. Javed Khan is Professor and Head of Aerospace Science Engineering Department at Tuskegee University. He received his Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering from Texas A&M University, M.S. in Aeronautical Engineering from the US Air Force Institute of Technology, and B.E. in Aerospace Engineering from the PAF College of Aeronautical Engineering. He also has served as Professor and Head of Aerospace Engineering Department at the National University of Science and Technology,Pakistan. His research interests include experimental aerodynamics, aircraft design and engineering education.

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Chadia A. Aji Tuskegee University

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Chadia Affane Aji is a Professor in the Department of Mathematics at Tuskegee University. Dr. Aji received her Ph.D. and M.S. in Mathematics from Auburn University and a Bachelor in Chemical Engineering from Texas A&M University. Her research interests lie in the areas of numerical analysis, computational applied mathematics, complex analysis, and on improving students' learning in STEM disciplines. Dr. Aji is involved in retention activities at Tuskegee University. In particular, she works closely with sources on campus to design strategies to assist incoming freshmen cope with first year mathematics classes. She developed teaching modules to improve students' learning in mathematics using technology.

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Hands-on activities can effectively engage students and promote learning. This paper presents the results of a one-week long summer camp for middle school students. The objective was to impact the attitudes of the participants towards science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. The participants of the camp were from underrepresented groups from two rural school districts. The camp provided opportunities to the participants to learn programming of robots for a maze running competition. This activity was followed by learning how to program quadcopter drones. Several teams of participants then programmed their drones to fly an obstacle course to compete in a ‘drone-derby’. The research design was a within-subject pre-post design. Participants of the camp were administered a validated math and science attitude survey at the beginning and after completion of the camp. This survey measured several dimensions of attitudes. The differences in attitudes between male and female participants were observed. In addition, a survey to determine the effectiveness of the camp was given to the students at the end of the camp.

This work was supported by a grant from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

Khan, M. J., & A. Aji, C. (2018, June), Impact of Programming Robots and Drones on STEM Attitudes Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--30606

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