June 22, 2008
June 22, 2008
June 25, 2008
Engineering Physics & Physics
13.1343.1 - 13.1343.14
Using LEGO-based Engineering Activities to Improve Understanding Concepts of Speed, Velocity and Acceleration Abstract
Analysis of the educational research both theoretical and experimental indicates that traditional teaching methods are not very effective in helping students to understand science concepts and transfer the principles learned in the classroom to other situations. Innovative interventions are needed to supplement science curriculum and to improve students’ comprehension through active engagement in the learning process. We developed several LEGO-based activities to be implemented in the secondary schools and first year college science curriculum. LEGO and ROBOLAB are an effective set of tools for learning physics with this hands-on approach. We conducted a pilot study to test the effectiveness of usage of LEGO models to teach the concepts of motion. This work will present the results of quantitative and qualitative analysis of the impact of this instructional module on students understanding of concepts of speed, velocity, acceleration and projectile motion. The outcome will also be correlated with results of analysis of students’ engagement and motivation.
The content for introductory physics courses includes Motion, Forces, Energy, Waves, and Electromagnetism. Students can explore and build understanding of these concepts through designing and conducting experiments based on the physics principles through inquiry, collaboration and hands-on learning. We developed several LEGO-based activities to be implemented in the secondary schools and first year college science curriculum. LEGO and ROBOLAB are an effective set of tools for learning physics with this hands-on approach. LEGO bricks, wheels, and other parts make it possible for students to make their own simple experimental apparatus, and LEGO robotics microprocessor (RCX) and associated sensors, together with the ROBOLAB software, create an environment for data collection and analysis. We have found that the LEGO workbench provides enough flexibility that the students can be creative in their engineering solutions, yet advanced enough that they can get quantitative data from their experiments.
We conducted a pilot study to test the effectiveness of using LEGO models to teach the concepts of motion, velocity, and acceleration on the example of projectile motion. We developed survey instruments to assess the effect of this instructional approach. This module is part of the educational design experiment that we are testing and revising based upon the research results of the initial study. In previous work, we analyzed the effect of this educational module on students’ engagement in the learning process.25 This work will present the results of quantitative analysis of the impact of this instructional module on students understanding of concepts of speed, velocity, acceleration and projectile motion. The outcome will also be correlated with results of analysis of students’ engagement and motivation discussed in the earlier work.
Perova, N., & Johnson, W. H., & Rogers, C. (2008, June), Using Lego Based Engineering Activities To Improve Understanding Concepts Of Speed, Velocity, And Acceleration Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 10.18260/1-2--3928
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