Transformative Robotics Experience for Elementary Students (TREES)
Ji Shen, Moataz Eltoukhy, Lauren Barth-Cohen
This project, Transformative Robotics Experience for Elementary Students (TREES), aims to build elementary age students' content knowledge in robotics and computer science more broadly by fostering their disciplinary engagement and participation within a humanoid robots-programming environment. Fourth and fifth grade students from a collaborating school will participate in a semester long course with a final project that involves bringing the robot to classrooms of first and second grade students to demonstrate the robot's capabilities and promote their disciplinary engagement with robotics and computer science. Over the 2-year period, this project will involve a total of 50 elementary students, the majority of whom are from low socio-economic groups in Broward County, where there is a great need for building technological capabilities. This project will be conducted in an inclusive classroom setting where some participants will be high functioning students with autism and some English language learners (ELLs), allowing the project to reach a diverse population that has historically been underrepresented in STEM fields. Using a design-based approach, this exploratory EAGER project is pushing the boundary of a new and complex technology into elementary grades. Results will advance our understanding of how to create learning opportunities for diverse elementary students in robotics and computer science that would increase their content knowledge by fostering disciplinary engagement in order to prepare them for future learning in robotics, computer science, and STEM fields.
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