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MSP News: Robotics in STEM Education

July 13, 2017


NEWS IN BRIEF


Upcoming Solicitations
1. NSF Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program (NSF 17-541)
Proposal Deadline: 8/29/17
2. New! Advancing Informal STEM Learning (AISL) (NSF 17-573)
Proposal Deadline: 11/6/17

New in Library
1. "Effect of Robotics on Elementary Preservice Teachers’ Self-Efficacy, Science Learning, and Computational Thinking," Kamini Jaipal-Jamani, Charoula Angel, Journal of Science Education and Technology, April 2017.
2. "Robotics to Promote Elementary Education Pre-service Teachers’ STEM Engagement, Learning, and Teaching," ChanMin Kim, Dongho Kim, Jiangmei Yuan, Roger B. Hill, Prashant Doshi, Chi N. Thai, Computers & Education, August 2015.
3. "Robotic Construction Kits as Computational Manipulatives for Learning in the STEM Disciplines," Florence Sullivan, John Heffernan, Journal of Research on Technology in Education, 2016.
4. "Developing an Integrative STEM Curriculum for Robotics Education Through Educational Design Research," T.J. Kopcha, J. McGregor, S. Shin, Y. Qian, J. Choi, R. Hill, J. Mativo, I. Choi, Journal of Formative Design in Learning, 2017.

2017 STEM for All Video Showcase
This week we feature Robotics videos from the 2017 STEM for All Video Showcase.

Title: Creative Robotics: Broadening Participation Across the Middle School Curriculum

Presenter(s): Karen Mutch-Jones, Debra Bernstein, Michael Cassidy

Title: Making Math Fun with Robotics

Presenter(s): Harry Cheng


DETAILS BELOW


Upcoming Solicitations
1. NSF Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program (NSF 17-541)

Full Proposal Deadline(s): August 29, 2017

Full Solicitation: https://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2017/nsf17541/nsf17541.pdf

View Program Page: https://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=5733

Synopsis: The National Science Foundation Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program seeks to encourage talented science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) majors and professionals to become K-12 mathematics and science (including engineering and computer science) teachers. The program invites creative and innovative proposals that address the critical need for recruiting and preparing highly effective elementary and secondary science and mathematics teachers in high-need local educational agencies. The program offers four tracks: Track 1: The Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarships and Stipends Track, Track 2: The NSF Teaching Fellowships Track, Track 3: The NSF Master Teaching Fellowships Track, and Track 4: Noyce Research Track. In addition, Capacity Building proposals are accepted from proposers intending to develop a future Track 1, 2, or 3 proposal.


2. New! Advancing Informal STEM Learning (AISL) (NSF 17-573)

Full Proposal Deadline(s): November 6, 2017

Full Solicitation: https://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2017/nsf17573/nsf17573.htm

View Program Page: https://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=504793

Synopsis: The Advancing Informal STEM Learning (AISL) program seeks to advance new approaches to and evidence-based understanding of the design and development of STEM learning opportunities for the public in informal environments; provide multiple pathways for broadening access to and engagement in STEM learning experiences; advance innovative research on and assessment of STEM learning in informal environments; and engage the public of all ages in learning STEM in informal environments.

The AISL program supports six types of projects: (1) Pilots and Feasibility Studies, (2) Research in Service to Practice, (3) Innovations in Development, (4) Broad Implementation, (5) Literature Reviews, Syntheses, or Meta-Analyses, and (6) Conferences.


New in Library
1. "Effect of Robotics on Elementary Preservice Teachers’ Self-Efficacy, Science Learning, and Computational Thinking," Kamini Jaipal-Jamani, Charoula Angel, Journal of Science Education and Technology, April 2017.

"The current impetus for increasing STEM in K-12 education calls for an examination of how preservice teachers are being prepared to teach STEM. This paper reports on a study that examined elementary preservice teachers' (n = 21) self-efficacy, understanding of science concepts, and computational thinking as they engaged with robotics in a science methods course. Data collection methods included pretests and posttests on science content, prequestionnaires and postquestionnaires for interest and self-efficacy, and four programming assignments. Statistical results showed that preservice teachers' interest and self-efficacy with robotics increased. There was a statistically significant difference between pre-knowledge and post-knowledge scores, and preservice teachers did show gains in learning how to write algorithms and debug programs over repeated programming tasks. The findings suggest that the robotics activity was an effective instructional strategy to enhance interest in robotics, increase self-efficacy to teach with robotics, develop understandings of science concepts, and promote the development of computational thinking skills. Study findings contribute quantitative evidence to the STEM literature on how robotics develops preservice teachers' self-efficacy, science knowledge, and computational thinking skills in higher education science classroom contexts."

MSPnet Location: Library >> STEM+C
http://hub.mspnet.org/index.cfm/31874


2. "Robotics to Promote Elementary Education Pre-service Teachers’ STEM Engagement, Learning, and Teaching," ChanMin Kim, Dongho Kim, Jiangmei Yuan, Roger B. Hill, Prashant Doshi, Chi N. Thai, Computers & Education, August 2015.

"We report a research project with a purpose of helping teachers learn how to design and implement science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) lessons using robotics. Specifically, pre-service teachers' STEM engagement, learning, and teaching via robotics were investigated in an elementary teacher preparation course. Data were collected from surveys, classroom observations, interviews, and lesson plans. Both quantitative and qualitative data analyses indicated that pre-service teachers engaged in robotics activities actively and mindfully. Their STEM engagement improved overall. Their emotional engagement (e.g., interest, enjoyment) in STEM significantly improved and in turn influenced their behavioral and cognitive engagement in STEM. Their lesson designs showed their STEM teaching was developing in productive directions although further work was needed. These findings suggest that robotics can be used as a technology in activities designed to enhance teachers' STEM engagement and teaching through improved attitudes toward STEM. Future research and teacher education recommendations are also presented."

MSPnet Location: Library >> STEM+C
http://hub.mspnet.org/index.cfm/31875


3. "Robotic Construction Kits as Computational Manipulatives for Learning in the STEM Disciplines," Florence Sullivan, John Heffernan, Journal of Research on Technology in Education, 2016.

"This article presents a systematic review of research related to the use of robotics construction kits (RCKs) in P-12 learning in the STEM disciplines for typically developing children. The purpose of this review is to configure primarily qualitative and mixed methods findings from studies meeting our selection and quality criterion to answer the review question: How do robotic construction kits function as computational manipulatives in P-12 STEM education? Our synthesis of the literature has resulted in four key insights that are new to the field. First, RCKs have a unique double application: They may be used for direct instruction in robotics (first-order uses) or as analogical tools for learning in other domains (second-order uses). Second, RCKs make possible additional routes to learning through the provision of immediate feedback and the dual modes of representation unique to RCKs. Third, RCKs support a computational thinking learning progression beginning with a lower anchor of sequencing and finishing with a high anchor of systems thinking. And fourth, RCKs support evolving problem-solving abilities along a continuum, ranging from trial and error to heuristic methods associated with robotics study. Furthermore, our synthesis provides insight into the second-order (analogical) uses of RCKs as computational manipulatives in the disciplines of physics and biology. Implications for practice and directions for future research are discussed."

MSPnet Location: Library >> STEM+C
http://hub.mspnet.org/index.cfm/31876


4. "Developing an Integrative STEM Curriculum for Robotics Education Through Educational Design Research," T.J. Kopcha, J. McGregor, S. Shin, Y. Qian, J. Choi, R. Hill, J. Mativo, I. Choi, Journal of Formative Design in Learning, 2017.

"This paper presents an integrative standards-based STEM curriculum that uses robots to develop students' computational thinking. The need for the project is rooted in both the overall lack of existing materials as well as the need for materials that directly address specific STEM standards in an integrative fashion. The paper details the first mesocycle of an educational design research project (EDR) in which a robust theoretical framework was created to support the development of a 2-week series of robotics lessons. Analysis of evaluation data from 5 fifth-grade teachers and their students revealed that the integrative curriculum supported student problem solving and teacher practices that supported cognitive demand. Implications for research, design, and instruction are discussed."

MSPnet Location: Library >> STEM+C
http://hub.mspnet.org/index.cfm/31877


2017 STEM for All Video Showcase
This week we feature Robotics videos from the 2017 STEM for All Video Showcase.

Title: Creative Robotics: Broadening Participation Across the Middle School Curriculum

Presenter(s): Karen Mutch-Jones, Debra Bernstein, Michael Cassidy
Description: Integrating robotics into core curricula exposes more students to innovative computer science experiences and can promote deeper understanding and engagement with content (Gura, 2011; Gura & King, 2007). To increase access to engineering design and programming, Creative Robotics project teachers developed and integrated robotics units into their sixth through eighth grade English, social studies, science, health, and art courses. In some classrooms, robotics supported learning by helping students translate abstract disciplinary concepts into concrete exemplars and to explore new subject matter within the discipline. Robotics integration enabled some teachers to deepen their thinking about topics and reconsider their typical pedagogical approach to teaching them. In our video, we will provide examples (including student artifacts and classroom clips) of robotics projects woven into topics studied in English (Romeo and Juliet/poetry), Art (assemblage sculpture), and Health (biomechanics). We will briefly share research and evaluation findings, highlighting teacher implementation variations, barriers, and successes, as well as the ways in which students engaged in this STEM experience.

Title: Making Math Fun with Robotics

Presenter(s): Harry Cheng
Description: The UC Davis C-STEM Center studies how to use innovative computing and robotics technologies to increase student interest and help them learn STEM subjects with an emphasis on Algebra, a gatekeeper for high-school graduation and careers in STEM fields. The C-STEM program helps close the math achievement gap, engages traditionally unrepresented groups and at risk students in hands-on learning math with computing and robotics. Through cutting edge research with funding from the National Science Foundation and California Department of Education, the C-STEM Center, in collaboration with industry partners, has developed innovative educational technology C-STEM Studio with computing in C/C++ for K-14 hands-on learning math and computer science. By working with K-14 educators, the C-STEM Center integrates computer programming and robotics into teaching STEM subjects by creating project-based computing and robotics activities, integrated curriculum, and hands-on personalized and collaborative learning strategies aligned with Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and Career and Technical Education (CTE) Standards. This integration helps students make meaningful connections between regular STEM topics and their relevance to real-life applications as well as help develop students’ critical thinking and problem-solving skills.