Development and results from user testing of a novel robotics kit supporting systems engineering for elementary-aged students

Emily Hamner, Lauren Zito, Jennifer Cross, Michael Tasota, Paul Dille, Stephen Fulton, Molly Johnson, Illah Nourbakhsh and Joshua Schapiro
Conference Paper, Proceedings of Frontiers in Education Conference (FIE), October, 2017

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This paper describes the development of Flutter, a new sensor-driven, robotics technology kit for in-school use with elementary-age students. Our development began by conducting focus groups with teachers (N=6) in which we guided a participatory design process. Through affinity diagramming, we identified science and math as areas of focus for the program; we also brainstormed project-topics with the teachers. The Flutter Kit is controlled by an app that allows for touch based interactions and enables the kits to be programmable by tablets. The app interface, developed with teachers through the use of paper and digital prototypes, builds on the concept of data flow from an input to an output and emphasizes the use of sensor data for creating interactive devices. The central element of the Flutter hardware is a custom microcontroller board that connects to the tablet app via bluetooth; permits students to log sensor data; and controls a buzzer, three sensor ports, three tricolor LEDs, and three servo ports.From observations of four pilot classes (N=84) and student interviews, we generated ideas for future improvements to the system, such as: hardware changes for ease of use and changes to the curriculum to support students’ data analysis skills.

Frontal Face Alignment Project, Flutter, CREATE Lab, Community Robotics, Education and Technology Empowerment

author = {Emily Hamner and Lauren Zito and Jennifer Cross and Michael Tasota and Paul Dille and Stephen Fulton and Molly Johnson and Illah Nourbakhsh and Joshua Schapiro},
title = {Development and results from user testing of a novel robotics kit supporting systems engineering for elementary-aged students},
booktitle = {Proceedings of Frontiers in Education Conference (FIE)},
year = {2017},
month = {October},
publisher = {IEEE},
keywords = {educational robotics, elementary school, focus groups, systems engineering},
} 2018-01-23T16:49:44-04:00