Teaching STEM with Robotics: Design, Development, and Testing of a Research-based Professional Development Program for Teachers

Using design-based research, with teachers as design partners, the project will create and refine project-based, hands-on robotics curricula such that science and math content inherent in robotics and related engineering design practices are learned. To provide teachers with effective models to capitalize on robotics for elucidating science and math concepts, a design-based Professional Development program will be built using principles of technological, pedagogical, and content knowledge (TPACK).

Full Description: 

Offering meaningful and motivating engineering contexts, such as robotics, within science and math courses constitutes a compelling strategy to address the Next Generation Science Standards and the Common Core State Standards for Math while enhancing science and math learning for all students. Using design-based research, with teachers as design partners, the project will create and refine project-based, hands-on curricula such that science and math content inherent in robotics and related engineering design practices are learned. To provide teachers with effective models to capitalize on robotics for elucidating science and math concepts, a design-based Professional Development program will be built using principles of technological, pedagogical, and content knowledge (TPACK). To ensure that teachers are well prepared, research-based practices and features of effective Professional Development will be adopted. Experts in robotics, engineering, education, curriculum design, and assessment--with experience in K-12 education, training, and outreach--have formed an interdisciplinary team to make robotics central to and sustainable in middle school science and math classrooms.

The research questions addressed in this project are qualitative in nature as appropriate for design research questions. The methodologies include teacher needs assessment, teachers' perceptions of robotics, pre and post testing, classroom observations, and surveys. Examples of the research questions are:

What characteristics of robotics promote effective learning of middle school science and math?

What elements of Professional Development engender teachers' TPACK of robotics and link it with classroom science and math?

What are student prerequisites to effectively use robotics in science and math learning?

What are the gains in students' STEM engagement, interest, persistence, and career awareness?

The robotics curriculum will include physical science used in robot performance expectations and motion stability. Additionally the curriculum will include the engineering design process consisting of problem definition, solution development, and design improvement. Robotics provides opportunities to support science and engineering practices of the Next Generation Science Standards such as developing and using models, planning and conducting investigations, designing solutions, and analyzing and interpreting data. The project will be aimed at middle school students and will provide substantial teacher professional development to implement the new curriculum modules. The partner schools have student bodies drawn from a diverse student population in New York City.

Project Materials

Title Type Post date
10 NGSS-Plus-5E Lessons Resource 02/24/2020 - 1:42pm
Common Core State Standards-Aligned Lessons Resource 02/24/2020 - 1:39pm
Designing Robotics-based Science Lessons Aligned with the Three Dimensions of NGSS-plus-5E Model: A Content Analysis Resource 02/21/2020 - 5:57pm
Use of a Design Canvas in a Robotics Workshop and Analysis of its Efficacy Resource 02/21/2020 - 5:53pm
Analyzing Successful Teaching Practices in Middle School Science and Math Classrooms when using Robotics Resource 02/21/2020 - 5:44pm
Designing NGSS-Aligned Lesson Plans During a Teacher Professional Development Program Resource 02/21/2020 - 5:38pm
Middle School Teacher Professional Development in Creating a NGSS-plus-5E Robotics Curriculum Resource 02/21/2020 - 5:33pm
Investigating Classroom-related Factors that Influence Student Perceptions of LEGO Robots as Educational Tools in Middle Schools Resource 02/21/2020 - 5:27pm
Towards teleoperation-based interactive learning of robot kinematics using a mobile augmented reality interface on a tablet Resource 02/09/2017 - 11:20am
Interactive mobile interface with augmented reality for learning digital control concepts Resource 02/09/2017 - 11:16am
Teaching STEM with Robotics: Design, Development, and Testing of a Research-based Professional Development Program for Teachers Poster 06/15/2016 - 1:53pm
2015 Summer STEM Announcement 06/18/2015 - 10:52am
Upcoming papers: Int. Conf. Informatics in Control, Automation, and Robotics, France, July 21-23, 2015 Announcement 06/18/2015 - 10:49am
Upcoming papers: American Society of Engineering Education Annual Conference, June 15-17, 2015, Seattle, WA Announcement 06/18/2015 - 10:48am