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Teaching Basic Engineering Concepts In K 12 Environment Using Lego Bricks And Robotics

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2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

K-12 Poster Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.1195.1 - 10.1195.10



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Paper Authors

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Erdinc Acar

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Faruk Taban

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Ismail Fidan

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Teaching Basic Engineering Concepts in a K-12 Environment Using LEGO® Bricks and Robotics

Faruk Taban1, Erdinc Acar2, Ismail Fidan3, Ayhan Zora4 1 University of Nevada, Reno / 2Coral Academy of Science / 3 Tennessee Technological University / 4Technology Center, Deere & Company


This paper explores the impacts of basic engineering concepts of LEGO® Bricks and Robotics in Coral Academy of Science in Reno, Nevada - a Science, Math and Technology Middle and High School - collaborated with the Mechanical Engineering Department, University of Nevada, Reno (UNR). A team from middle school students designed and developed a LEGO® Robot and has competed, for the first time in the State of Nevada, in FIRST LEGO® League (FLL) using LEGO® Mindstorm technology. On the other hand, a high school robotics team built an actual robot and participated in FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC). The teams had partnership through NASA Nevada Space Consortium grant and some local sponsors. The school, at the beginning of the first year, set up Middle School LEGO and High School Robotics clubs where various basic engineering concepts were covered. The Robotics club eventually transformed to an elective Robotics class. Several local engineers, graduate students, and parent volunteers contributed to these projects. At the end of the academic year, the projects provided a great success in the following five areas; (1) Student achievement and inspiration, (2) Creating a pipeline for the Science, Math, Engineering and Technology workforce, (3) Public-private partnerships and institutional collaboration, (4) Involvement of women and racial/ethnic minorities in this very valuable experience, (5) An excellent recruitment tool for engineering colleges. This paper will present the details of these implementations and current assessment results.

1. Introduction and Background

Math and science are described as the most difficult classes by middle and high school students. Concepts in these classes are not intuitive and traditional lecturing may not always provide complete understanding of the subject matter. Because the emphasis at Coral Academy of Science1 (CAS) is mainly on math and science, there is a continuous effort to enhance the teaching by means of specific clubs and electives where hands on projects are implemented. LEGO® is deemed as an excellent tool to attract students on some real world experiments. FIRST LEGO® League2 is a competition for middle school students to design a robot using LEGO® bricks to accomplish a series of missions. CAS has participated FLL in 2003 and 2004. Whereas, FIRST Robotics Competition3 is a high school competition to design a larger scale high-tech robot to do a series of tasks while competing with other teams. CAS has competed in FRC both

Acar, E., & Taban, F., & Fidan, I. (2005, June), Teaching Basic Engineering Concepts In K 12 Environment Using Lego Bricks And Robotics Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--14757

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