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Building Technical Knowledge and Engagement in Robotics: An Examination of two Out-of-School Programs

Building Technical Knowledge and Engagement in Robotics: An Examination of two Out-of-School Programs
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Author(s): Kimberley Gomez (University of California Los Angeles, USA), Debra Bernstein (TERC, USA), Jolene Zywica (University of Pittsburgh, USA) and Emily Hamner (Carnegie Mellon University, USA)
Copyright: 2012
Pages: 23
Source title: Robots in K-12 Education: A New Technology for Learning
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Bradley S. Barker (University of Nebraska – Lincoln, USA), Gwen Nugent (University of Nebraska-Lincoln, USA), Neal Grandgenett (University of Nebraska-Omaha, USA) and Viacheslav I. Adamchuk (McGill University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-0182-6.ch011

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Abstract

In this chapter the authors focus on the opportunities for youth to engage in technical design through participation in two different afterschool robotics programs - the Digital Youth Network (DYN) and Robot Diaries (RD). The programs each take a different approach to motivating and engaging participants with robotic technology and design. Through an analytic comparison of these two programs, the authors offer insight on the relationship between programmatic goals and participant experiences. Specifically, they describe how programmatic goals influenced the opportunities available for participants to engage with technology, increase their comfort level with technology, and build skills in adapting technology to facilitate individual and group–centered design goals. The chapter concludes by offering recommendations regarding programmatic structure (e.g., the role of audience, the importance of materials selection, instructor’s roles, and instructor knowledge-based resources) based on the desired participant outcomes.

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