Asee peer logo

Use of a Design Canvas in a Robotics Workshop and Analysis of its Efficacy (Fundamental)

Download Paper |


2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

June 19, 2019

Conference Session

Engineering Professional Development using Robotics Activities

Tagged Division

Pre-College Engineering Education

Page Count




Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Abhidipta Mallik NYU Tandon School of Engineering

visit author page

Abhidipta Mallik received his B.Tech. degree in Electronics and Communication Engineering from the West Bengal University of Technology, Kolkata, India, and M.Tech. degree in Mechatronics from the Indian Institute of Engineering Science and Technology, Shibpur, West Bengal, India. He has one year and ten months of research experience at the CSIR-CMERI, India. He is currently a Ph.D. student in Mechanical Engineering at NYU Tandon School of Engineering, Brooklyn, NY, where he is serving as a research assistant under an NSF-funded ITEST project.

visit author page


Sheila Borges Rajguru NYU Tandon School of Engineering Orcid 16x16

visit author page

Dr. Sheila Borges Rajguru is the Assistant Director of the Center for K-12 STEM Education, NYU Tandon School of Engineering. As the Center's STEAM educator and researcher she works with engineers and faculty to provide professional development to K-12 STEM teachers with a focus on social justice. She is currently Co-Principal Investigator on two NSF-grants (senior personnel of one) that provide robotics/mechatronics PD to science, math, and technology teachers. In addition, she is the projects director of the ARISE program. This full-time, seven-week program includes: college level workshops and seminars, and a high level research experience in NYU faculty labs. Her commitment to diversity and equity is paramount to her work in STEAM and activism. As a former Adjunct Professor at Teachers College, Columbia University and biomedical scientist in immunology Dr. Borges balances the world of what scientists do and brings that to STEAM education in order to provide culturally relevant professional development and curricula that aligns to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Moreover, Dr. Borges is treasurer and co-chair of the Northeastern Association of Science Teacher Education (NE-ASTE) where faculty, researchers, and educators discuss present STEM teaching and learning and influence policy.

visit author page


Vikram Kapila NYU Tandon School of Engineering Orcid 16x16

visit author page

Vikram Kapila is a Professor of Mechanical Engineering at NYU Tandon School of Engineering (NYU Tandon), where he directs a Mechatronics, Controls, and Robotics Laboratory, a Research Experience for Teachers Site in Mechatronics and Entrepreneurship, a DR K-12 research project, and an ITEST research project, all funded by NSF. He has held visiting positions with the Air Force Research Laboratories in Dayton, OH. His research interests include K-12 STEM education, mechatronics, robotics, and control system technology. Under a Research Experience for Teachers Site, a DR K-12 project, and GK-12 Fellows programs, funded by NSF, and the Central Brooklyn STEM Initiative (CBSI), funded by six philanthropic foundations, he has conducted significant K-12 education, training, mentoring, and outreach activities to integrate engineering concepts in science classrooms and labs of dozens of New York City public schools. He received NYU Tandon’s 2002, 2008, 2011, and 2014 Jacobs Excellence in Education Award, 2002 Jacobs Innovation Grant, 2003 Distinguished Teacher Award, and 2012 Inaugural Distinguished Award for Excellence in the category Inspiration through Leadership. Moreover, he is a recipient of 2014-2015 University Distinguished Teaching Award at NYU. His scholarly activities have included 3 edited books, 9 chapters in edited books, 1 book review, 62 journal articles, and 154 conference papers. He has mentored 1 B.S., 35 M.S., and 5 Ph.D. thesis students; 58 undergraduate research students and 11 undergraduate senior design project teams; over 500 K-12 teachers and 118 high school student researchers; and 18 undergraduate GK-12 Fellows and 59 graduate GK-12 Fellows. Moreover, he directs K-12 education, training, mentoring, and outreach programs that enrich the STEM education of over 1,000 students annually.

visit author page

Download Paper |


Advances in science and technology are shaping every aspect of our lives including education, work, healthcare, transportation, commerce, and entertainment. This societal transformation has created an increasing demand for a workforce well-trained in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields and representative of societal diversity. To meet this demand, the K-12 educational environment is witnessing a growing focus on engaging and exposing all students to advance technologies. However, creating technologically rich educational environments requires preparing teachers to become comfortable with integrating new technologies in classrooms. As one contribution to this growing need, we developed a robotics education workshop for teachers and students to collaboratively learn and practice fundamental engineering and robotics concepts during summer and then utilize this knowledge in classroom during the academic year.

A fundamental step in the engineering design process is to perform various analyses to study the efficacy of a proposed design before building it. This includes analyzing every feature of the designed product, considering ways in which it could fail, and refining it, before transforming the design into a physical artifact. An important part of such evaluation includes being mindful of the current economic conditions to ensure that the new products appeal to consumers, who expect unique and exciting products. Thus educational preparation of the STEM workforce must go beyond technical content and ought to inculcate students’ entrepreneurial knowledge, skills, and attitude so that they understand target markets and make valuable contributions.

Canvas tools are increasing being used by educators to encourage an improve product development. The Design Canvas of Kline et al. uses a model-based methodology to facilitate the acquisition and analysis of data in an engineering design project while keeping the business context in mind. This paper describes how the design canvas of Kline et al. was adopted and implemented in our workshop and investigates its benefits.

The robotics education workshop was held over four-weeks in summer and consisted of a two-week guided training and a two-week collaborative robotic project. Participants included 16 teachers and 36 students from 12 inner-city high schools. They were divided into nine teams. During the collaborative robotic project, four teams of seven teachers and 16 students were randomly chosen as the treatment group. These teams in treatment group were taught the design canvas model and prompted to utilize it for robotic product development. The remaining five teams of nine teachers and 20 students constituted the control group. The treatment and control groups worked in separate rooms and were instructed not to interact with one-another during the experiment. The performance of teams in the treatment and control groups was evaluated 16 times over the two-week duration by a team of engineering students who did not know whether a team belonged to the treatment or control group. The evaluators studied five factors, namely, understanding of problem statement, information and knowledge gathering, idea generation, design tradeoff, and idea and design iterations. Out of 16 evaluations, considering average performance, the treatment group teams out-performed the control group teams 15 times.

Mallik, A., & Borges Rajguru, S., & Kapila, V. (2019, June), Use of a Design Canvas in a Robotics Workshop and Analysis of its Efficacy (Fundamental) Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--33489

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: © 2019 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