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Robotics Community Experiences: Leveraging Informal Design and Learning Experiences to Motivate Urban Youth in STEM

Robotics Community Experiences: Leveraging Informal Design and Learning Experiences to Motivate Urban Youth in STEM
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Author(s): Kimberley Gomez (UCLA, USA), Debra Bernstein (TERC, USA), Jolene Zywica (Opportunity Education Foundation, USA), Emily Hamner (Carnegie Mellon University, USA), Ung-Sang Lee (UCLA, USA) and Jahneille Cunningham (UCLA, USA)
Copyright: 2015
Pages: 29
Source title: Handbook of Research on Advancements in Robotics and Mechatronics
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Maki K. Habib (The American University in Cairo, Egypt)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-7387-8.ch029

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Abstract

In this chapter, the authors focus on the motivational and engagement aspects of robotics technical design experiences for youth participating 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. The authors analytically describe and compare the relationship between programmatic goals of each program and participant experiences. Programmatic goals influenced the participants' opportunities to engage with technology, increased their comfort level with technology, and helped them develop skills in adapting technology to facilitate individual and group-centered design goals. The authors offer recommendations for the design of robotics programs for youth and point to the importance of the role of audience and materials selection that engage and motivate youth, instructor roles, and instructor knowledge.

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