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Using Robots To Increase Interest In Technical Disciplines In Rural And Underserved Schools

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2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

Best Zone Papers

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.1389.1 - 9.1389.9



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Paper Authors

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Scott DeLoach

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Eric Matson

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

Session #1601

Using Robots to Increase Interest of Technical Disciplines in Rural and Underserved Schools Eric Matson, Scott DeLoach

Multi-agent and Cooperative Robotics Lab Department of Computing and Information Sciences Kansas State University 234 Nichols Hall, Manhattan, KS, 66506 USA {matson, sdeloach}


In Kansas, there are many schools, due to a rural or underserved nature, that fall short in providing access to technical resources to further interest in science education. We have developed a program, using robots, to interest school children in technical disciplines. This program is targeted at schools that do not have people or financial resources to fund a similar program on their own. To make the program interesting, robots are utilized as the vehicle to excite children about science. Our experience indicates that robots are almost universally captivating for children of all ages, in our case, K-12 students.

The Robot Roadshow Program uses a three step process: Pre-visit workbooks, the visit and presentation, and a follow-up session with the faculty to evaluate student impact. The initial step is to send a workbook, consisting of puzzles, short readings, definitions and creative exercises, in advance for each student to complete. There is a different workbook for each of the following age groups: K-3, 4-6, 7-9, 10-12. Tailored by age group, the workbook will develop the appropriate set of skills and knowledge necessary to get the most from the program upon the visit day. On the visit day, several of our robots will go to the school for interactive experiments with the students. Each experiment injects and reinforces principles of science in an interesting, fun and unique way for the students. The faculty follow-up session reviews and evaluates the impact on individual students and the class as a whole. The follow-up review is used to revise and continually improve the program to maximize the impact of the participant experience.


When the Kansas territory was first settled, those who went to school often attended a one room school house. The one room school houses were normally short on supplies though provided a reasonable education considering the resources available to them. Although the students were attentive and worked hard toward their academic goals, they were often lacking resources available in larger cities and metropolitan areas. The actual schools were constructed of whatever materials were available and reasonably

Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference and Exposition Copyright © 2004, American Society for Engineering Education

DeLoach, S., & Matson, E. (2004, June), Using Robots To Increase Interest In Technical Disciplines In Rural And Underserved Schools Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--13639

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