1. Selma Sabanovic
  2. http://homes.soic.indiana.edu/selmas/
  3. Associate Professor
  5. Indiana University
  1. Andrea Gomoll
  2. Graduate Research Assistant
  4. Indiana University
  1. Cindy Hmelo-Silver
  2. Barbara B. Jacobs Chair and Professor
  4. Center for Research on Learning and Technology, Indiana University

Human-Centered Robotics Experiences for Exploring Engineering, Computer Scien...

NSF Awards: 1433414

2017 (see original presentation & discussion)

Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12

There are growing achievement gaps in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) education, and students from non-dominant populations in STEM fields (e.g. non-White populations and women) often find it difficult to envision themselves as capable of “doing” science. Collaborative learning practices (e.g. negotiating power dynamics, establishing group norms, and coming to a consensus) are essential to STEM engagement, and for students’ ability to see themselves as capable of “doing” science and engineering. Learning through hands- on robotic applications has been an effective way to engage diverse groups of students, including non-dominant populations in STEM, in these authentic practices.

Human-centered robotics attends to societal context and human needs and has led to increased motivation in STEM. This STELAR video features an inquiry-based curriculum of robotics experiences centered around a human-centered problem (“How can we create a robot that serves a need in our local context and connects us with remote peers?”). This project aims to engage non-dominant populations in STEM via a socially oriented robotics experience. In this designed robotics unit, students in Indiana and Alaska collaboratively personalize and program robots to both meet a local need and communicate telepresently with remote peers. This robotics project has helped students as individuals and as groups to see themselves and their capacity for STEM differently, and it also informs the way that we as a research community design interventions that cross disciplines, geographic locations, and cultures to create meaningful connections and inspire students to see themselves in STEM.

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