June 23, 2013
June 23, 2013
June 26, 2013
K-12 & Pre-College Engineering
23.956.1 - 23.956.13
PaperBots, An Inexpensive Means for Engineering Education Due to economic issues, many school budgets are extremely strained by just the basic necessities of an educational institution. These budget limitations inhibit access to educational technologies that may promote engineering principle development within K-‐12 classrooms. PaperBots is a product that focuses on overcoming budget-‐driven limitations by utilizing materials like paper, office, and craft supplies already accounted for in a school’s budget. Through combination of those available materials with inexpensive electronics and a simple control unit, students can be challenged with interesting and entertaining engineering activities in any classroom. This October, a small focus group of approximately fifteen fifth-‐ and sixth-‐grade students will be brought together for a PaperBots activity. This activity will be observed and documented to make a qualitative determination of the effectiveness of this product. Conclusions will be based on the ease with which the students use the product to examine its usability in a classroom time period, their interest and enjoyment during the session to examine its potential effectiveness, and the range of different robots created as a mark of the product’s potential promotion of creativity. Positive results are expected based on product design considerations that took into account student capabilities, heuristic evaluations of the designs and instructions, and less formal trials with earlier versions of the product. These trials involved a cardstock-‐based cam and piston activity with small groups of peers, a paper and found material Rube Goldberg activity with undergraduate engineering students, and the same Rube Goldberg activity and origami puppet multi articulated puppet joints with elementary students at local science festivals and camps. Using these results I hope to show that PaperBots provides a means to allow hands-‐on robotics activities. By effectively providing activities promoting abstract, design-‐based thinking and creativity in the classroom—like other products in the educational technology marketplace, such as LEGO Mindstorms—but at a much lower cost, PaperBots can be utilized by many budget constricted schools.
O'Connell, B. P. (2013, June), PaperBots, An Inexpensive Means for Engineering Education Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. 10.18260/1-2--22341
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