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  1. Akos Ledeczi
  2. http://www.isis.vanderbilt.edu/akos
  3. Professor
  4. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  5. Vanderbilt University
  1. Hamid Zare
  2. https://www.linkedin.com/in/hamidzare/
  3. Graduate Research Assistant
  4. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  5. Vanderbilt University

NetsBlox

NSF Awards: 1644848

2019 (see original presentation & discussion)

Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12

The video presents RoboScape, a collaborative, networked robotics environment that makes key ideas in computer science accessible to groups of learners in informal learning spaces and K-12 classrooms. RoboScape is built on top of NetsBlox, an open-source, networked, visual programming environment based on Snap! that is specifically designed to introduce students to distributed computation and computer networking. RoboScape provides a twist on the state of the art of robotics learning platforms. First, a user’s program controlling the robot runs in the browser and not on the robot. There is no need to download the program to the robot and hence, development and debugging become much easier. Second, the wireless communication between a student’s program and the robot can be overheard by the programs of the other students. This makes cybersecurity an immediate need that students realize and can work to address. We have designed and delivered a summer camp that teaches cybersecurity in a hands on manner. Students have to program their robots to solve various challenge problems while defending them against various cyber-attacks the other students mount. Our pilot studies showed significant learning gains and very high levels of engagement. 

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