/Student outcomes from the evaluation of a transdisciplinary middle school robotics program

Student outcomes from the evaluation of a transdisciplinary middle school robotics program

Jennifer Cross, Emily Hamner, Lauren Zito and Illah Nourbakhsh
Conference Paper, Proceedings of Frontiers in Education Conference (FIE), October, 2017

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Robotics activities allow students to gain confidence in their abilities to use technology creatively, express themselves, and solve problems of interest. However, many traditional robotics elective programs suffer from self-selection and reach only a subset of students. Arts & Bots is a middle school robotics program which integrates robotics into non-technology classes to engage a more diverse population of students. In this paper, we present the collected student outcomes from our program evaluation study which ran from 2013 until 2017. During this time, Arts& Bots was implemented by 24 teachers in 66 classes, reaching 727 middle school students. Program evaluation data included pre- and post-surveys, daily reflection sheets, project presentation videos, and classroom observations. Between pre- and post-tests, we recorded better student understanding of what engineering careers entail, and found that female students caught up to their male peers in their understanding. Our analysis also shows pre/post improvement in student technical knowledge. Quantitative survey results are complemented by our coding and analysis of qualitative student short answers. We found that female students were significantly more likely than male peers to mention increases in confidence on the post-survey. This paper concludes with a discussion of trends in the evaluation results.

Flutter, CREATE Lab, Community Robotics, Education and Technology Empowerment

BibTeX Reference
author = {Jennifer Cross and Emily Hamner and Lauren Zito and Illah Nourbakhsh},
title = {Student outcomes from the evaluation of a transdisciplinary middle school robotics program},
booktitle = {Proceedings of Frontiers in Education Conference (FIE)},
year = {2017},
month = {October},
keywords = {educational robotics, interdisciplinary education, transdisciplinary education, technology fluency, K-12 engineering},