New Orleans, Louisiana
June 26, 2016
June 26, 2016
August 28, 2016
Minorities in Engineering
Statistics data show that there is a huge gender gap in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) workforces in the United States. In order to encourage more women to work in the STEM fields, the first step is to attract women to pursue the STEM majors. Most people are naturally attracted and drawn to robots from movies and stories. Robotics provides an easy, fun, and exciting environment for young minds, while exposing them to technologies at the same time. This paper describes our collaboration with an all-girl high school in offering their students a year-long robotic workshop. The motivation of this collaboration is two-folded. On one side, the school administration is interested in bringing engineering and technologies to their curriculum, which is currently missing. From our side, we would like to motivate and recruit more female students to the STEM fields by showing them the emerging and multidisciplinary aspects. Our collaboration with the local high school started in Fall 2014 by offering their students a year-long robotic workshop. Our objective is to utilize the robotics workshop to introduce STEM concepts to high school students, and encourage them to be interested in an engineering and science career. A sequence of workshop topics were given to introduce the fundamentals of robotic science and the basic components of a robotic system, including hardware, software, programming, sensors, and control. The students would gain intensive experience working with the robots. In addition to introducing the fundamentals, we planned to prepare the students with the necessary knowledge and skills to participate in national robotic competitions, such as FIRST® Tech Challenge (FTC) and FIRST® Robotics Competition (FRC). At the time of writing, the robotics workshop has been offered for one year and a half. Workshop lessons were offered bi-weekly. At the end of year 2014, a survey was conducted to collect feedbacks from the students. At the end of Spring 2015, we also had direct conversation and discussion with the teachers in the high school to gather their opinions. Continuous and constant modifications and adjustment were performed to give the students an easy yet fruitful learning experience. This paper presents our curriculum development, implementation and modifications of the lesson plan, feedbacks from students and their high school teachers, and the lessons we learned from offering this workshop.
Ma, G. G., & Ma, L. (2016, June), Lessons Learned from a High School Robotics Workshop Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.25549
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