Marina Bers

Tufts University

The project investigates the use of robotics into early childhood education. It address two objectives: to develop and evaluate a low-cost, developmentally appropriate robotic construction kit specifically designed for early childhood education (PreK-2) and to pilot a robotics-based professional development model for early childhood educators to teach engineering and technology.

Tufts University

This project is researching and developing a new version of the Scratch programming language to be called ScratchJr, designed specifically for early childhood education (K-2). This work will provide research-based evidence regarding young children's abilities to use an object-oriented programming language and to study the impact this has on the children's learning of scientific concepts and procedures.

Boston College (BC)

This project aims to create and test an innovative educational approach for bringing STEM learning experiences to underserved youth. It will co-create and study an outdoor robotic-augmented playground called the “Smart Playground” and a corresponding series of classroom lessons. The Smart Playground will be co-designed with Latinx families and educators to engage children in developing computational thinking skills and learning about robotics in a physical environment using a culturally sustaining approach. Research and evaluation will examine whether exposure to the Smart Playground and corresponding classroom activities have an impact on the development of computational thinking in young children.