A model of how children construct knowledge and understanding of engineering design within robotics focused contexts

Author/s:

Yuen, Timothy T.*
Department of Interdisciplinary Learning and Teaching, University of Texas San Antonio, USA (Timothy.yuen@utsa.edu)

Stone, Jennifer
Department of Curriculum and Instruction, Wichita State University, USA (Jennifer.stone@wichita.edu)

Davis, Don G.
Department of Interdisciplinary Learning and Teaching, University of Texas San Antonio, USA (Dondavis@reglue.org)

Gomez, Alvaro
Department of Interdisciplinary Learning and Teaching, University of Texas San Antonio, USA (Alvaro_gomez2002@hotmail.com)

Guillen, Adrienne
Department of Interdisciplinary Learning and Teaching, University of Texas San Antonio, USA (adrienneguillen@gmail.com)

Price Tiger, Erin
Department of Interdisciplinary Learning and Teaching, University of Texas San Antonio, USA (ceres18@yahoo.com)

Boecking, Melanie
Department of Interdisciplinary Learning and Teaching, University of Texas San Antonio, USA (melanieboecking@gmail.com)

Abstract:

The use of robotics to support instruction and learning has gained increasing attention from many areas of educational research. Researchers conducted a qualitative examination of elementary and middle school students’ approaches to engineering design in the context of a summer robotics camp. Analyses of the findings were used to generate a grounded theory indicating that two complementary conceptual frameworks in engineering design with respect to robotics activities guide students. Namely, students’ understanding of robots is facilitated by embodied cognition and systems thinking approaches. This study presents a potentially significant finding as both embodied cognition and systems thinking have been identified as significantly beneficial in supporting students’ science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) learning.

Keywords: engineering design; educational robotics; design process; decision making

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5861/ijrset.2015.1266

*Corresponding Author