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Learning Experience Through RoboCupJunior: Promoting Engineering and Computational Thinking Skills thourgh Robotics Competition

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2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014



Conference Session

K-12 Computer Science and Computational Thinking Initiatives

Tagged Division

K-12 & Pre-College Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

24.852.1 - 24.852.18



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Paper Authors


Amy Eguchi Bloomfield College

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Amy Eguchi is an Associate Professor of Education at Bloomfield College in New Jersey. She holds her M.A. in Child Development from Pacific Oaks College, Ed.M. in Education from Harvard Graduate School of Education, and Ph.D. in Education from the University of Cambridge and has an extensive teaching experience in educational robotics both with students and teachers in K-12 setting. She also teaches educational robotics to undergraduates. She runs a competitive robotics after school team at The School at Columbia University. Dr. Eguchi has been involved in RoboCupJunior, an educational robotics competition, since 2000, as the technical committee and organizing committee members, as well as the co-chair and general chair, in international, national, and local levels. In addition, she is the vice president of RoboCup Federation representing RoboCupJunior, and a member of the RoboCup Federation Board of Trustees. Dr. Eguchi has been involved in several international collaboration educational robotics projects including the CoSpace educational robotics projects with the Advanced Robotics and Intelligent Control Centre (ARICC) at Singapore Polytechnic, Singapore and RoboCupJunior initiative in Bangladesh. She also provides consultations to various educational robotics initiatives from around the world.

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Learning Experience Through RoboCupJunior: Promoting Engineering and Computational Thinking Skills thourgh Robotics Competition (Research to Practice) Author Institution Department of Education EmailThis paper presents the experience of US teams that participated in RoboCupJuniorWorld Championship in 2013, Eindhoven, the Netherlands. RoboCupJunior (RCJ), aneducational robotics initiative aims to enhance learning through educational roboticscompetitions around the world. RCJ is a division of RoboCup, a robotics initiative thataims to promote Robotics and AI research, by offering publicly appealing, but formidablechallenges. RCJ has three distinguished leagues – Soccer, Rescue and Dance, whichattract students from all over the world. RCJ periodically conducts self-study of theimpacts that RCJ has on participating students’ learning through a questionnaire. But ithas never conducted a study to hear personal accounts of participating students, more indepth, on their experience and learning through the experience. The US teams wereselected through RCJ selection event in New Jersey in April 2013. This study aims todiscover anecdotal and personal account of participating students on their learningexperience during the preparation of the competition and through their participation in theInternational competition and discusses the results that this study shows. This pilot studyspecifically focuses on finding out how the experience enhanced their learning ofengineering and computational thinking skills.Educational robotics competitions including RCJ employ goal-oriented and project-based approaches to learning, which are popular approaches in the fields ofengineering, computer science, and artificial intelligence. Positive impacts onlearning among participating students have been reported from educational roboticscompetitions (FIRST, 2008; KISS Institute for Practical Robotics, 2009a; Sklar &Eguchi, 2004; Sklar, Eguchi, & Johnson, 2002a, 2002b, 2003). Some of thehighlighted impacts that educational competitions can have include: • Increased confidence in using technology (KISS Institute for Practical Robotics, 2009b), • Increased understanding of the role of science and technology in solving real- world problems (FIRST, 2008), • Increased interests in pursuing degree/career in technical, math, or science related field (KISS Institute for Practical Robotics, 2009b), • Increased understanding of the value of working in teams (KISS Institute for Practical Robotics, 2009b), • Increased self-confidence (KISS Institute for Practical Robotics, 2009b), • Enhanced learning on physics, programming, mechanical engineering, electronics, and science (Sklar et al., 2003), • Enhanced skills of communication, team work, and personal development (Sklar et al., 2003).In 2013, there were 10 teams from the US participated in RCJ 2013, Eindhoven, theNetherlands. Out of 10 teams, two teams were from Pennsylvania, one team was fromNew York City, and others were from New Jersey. There were four teams participatedin Rescue, four in soccer and two in rescue leagues. Among the ten teams, four teamswere secondary level teams (students older than 14 year old). There were 36 studentsparticipated, among which four were female students (11%).An email invitation to the participation of the pilot study was sent out to the teammentors. All 10 teams agreed to participate in the pilot study to share their learningexperience. The data will be collected through an initial questionnaire and group/teaminterview with participating students. The results of the analysis will be included in thefinal submission of the presentation paper.References:FIRST. (2008). About us - Impact Retrieved May 1, 2010, from Institute for Practical Robotics. (2009a). Botball and National Science Standards: KISS Institute for Practical Robotics.KISS Institute for Practical Robotics. (2009b). Botball Educational Robotics, December 11, 2010, from, E., & Eguchi, A. (2004). RoboCupJunior - Four Years Later. Proceedings of RoboCup-2004: Robot Soccer World Cup VIII.Sklar, E., Eguchi, A., & Johnson, J. (2002a). Children's learning from Team Robotics: RoboCupJunior 2001. Proceedings of RoboCup-2002: Robot Soccer World Cup VI.Sklar, E., Eguchi, A., & Johnson, J. (2002b). Examining the Team Robotics through RoboCupJunior. Proceedings of the Annual Conference of Japan Society for Educational Technology.Sklar, E., Eguchi, A., & Johnson, J. (2003). Scientific Challenge Award: RoboCupJunior - Learning with Educational Robotics. AI Magazine, 24(2), 43-46.

Eguchi, A. (2014, June), Learning Experience Through RoboCupJunior: Promoting Engineering and Computational Thinking Skills thourgh Robotics Competition Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--20743

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