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Creative Robotics: Broadening Participation Across the Middle School Curriculum


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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.