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The Effectiveness of Using Robotics for Career Technology Education in a Middle School STE(A)M Course

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2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual On line

Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

Pre-college Engineering Education Division Technical Session 7

Tagged Division

Pre-College Engineering Education

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Paper Authors


Jennifer Parham-Mocello Oregon State University

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I am interested in computer science education research related to K-12 curriculum, diversity in computer science, undergraduate computer science learning, and adult and teacher training.

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Ernie Bodle Oregon State University

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I am interested in incorporating more STEM topics in K-12 education to prepare future generations to our ever advancing world.

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Using robotics in education allows students to become familiar with multiple topics in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). With the use of robotic educational tools in the 8th – 12th grade classrooms, such as Sphero, Anki Cozmo, and Lego Mindstorms, few devices allow students to build the robots’ electrical circuits along with constructing and programming. By incorporating electronics into these educational tools, students can learn another fundamental disciplines of robotics. For this research, we introduce the Parallax ActivityBot 360⁰ to the Linus Pauling Middle School career technology education (CTE) course to see if the device promotes STEM. The ActivityBot 360⁰ incorporates robotics, electronics, computer science, and mathematics into constructing and using the device. Students use the tutorials given online to assemble the robot and to program it with a block-based coding language called BlocklyProp with an option to use the text-based C language. The main idea is to determine the effectiveness of this tool for CTE courses and how it can change students’ interest, enjoyment, confidence, knowledge, and/or motivation to pursue a degree or career in STEM. For this research, we surveyed middle school students before and after using the device to see how their opinions and knowledge in STEM change. From the results, we find that students’ confidence in three of the four topics surveyed increased after using the ActivityBot 360⁰.

Parham-Mocello, J., & Bodle, E. (2020, June), The Effectiveness of Using Robotics for Career Technology Education in a Middle School STE(A)M Course Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--35311

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