Asee peer logo

The Nuts and Bolts of Robotics in K-12 Classrooms: A Literature Synthesis

Download Paper |


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 19

Tagged Division

Pre-College Engineering Education

Tagged Topic


Page Count




Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors

author page

Tianshi Fu


Molly H. Goldstein University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Orcid 16x16

visit author page

Molly H. Goldstein is an engineering design educator and researcher at University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. She previously worked as an environmental engineer specializing in air quality influencing her focus in engineering design with environmental concerns. Her research interests include how students approach decision making in an engineering design context. She obtained her BS in General Engineering (Systems & Design) and MS in Systems and Entrepreneurial Engineering from the University of Illinois and PhD in Engineering Education from Purdue University.

visit author page


Holly M. Golecki University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

visit author page

Holly Golecki is a Teaching Assistant Professor in Bioengineering at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Prior to the move to Illinois, Holly spent 5 years as a teacher and director of robotics at a K12 private school. While there, she started a soft robotics research group for high school students. Now at the University of Illinois, she studies impacts of such pre-college engineering programs with the perspective of the classroom teacher in mind. Holly received her BS and MS in Materials Science and Engineering from Drexel University and her PhD in Engineering Sciences from Harvard University.

visit author page

Download Paper |


Robotics have been used in pre-college classrooms as well as out of school environments increasingly over the last two decades as an active learning approach to engaging and challenging students with STEM concepts. Recent studies have taken comprehensive approaches to understand and synthesize benefits of robotics education with respect to 1) general effectiveness of educational robotics; (2) students’ learning and transfer skills; (3) creativity and motivation; (4) diversity and broadening participation; and (5) teachers’ professional development. This current work in progress aims to take a step back from the clear benefits in order to categorize the different ways that robotics education is presented in and out of the classroom. Results from this study will inform the development of an assessment tool to understand the effectiveness of educational robotics for different contexts with respect to students’ learning and transfer skills.

Fu, T., & Goldstein, M. H., & Golecki, H. M. (2020, June), The Nuts and Bolts of Robotics in K-12 Classrooms: A Literature Synthesis Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--35352

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2020 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015