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SOWA Conference October 19, 2010: Putting Kids & Robots Together for Learning & Fun. Teaching Engineering Through Robotics Jo Oshiro, Program Coordinator, Oregon Pre-Engineering & Applied Sciences Initiative (OPAS )

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sowa conference october 19 2010 putting kids robots together for learning fun
SOWA Conference October 19, 2010:Putting Kids & Robots Together for Learning & Fun

Teaching Engineering Through Robotics

Jo Oshiro, Program Coordinator, Oregon Pre-Engineering & Applied Sciences Initiative (OPAS)

Cathy Swider, Program Administrator, Oregon Robotics Tournament & Outreach Program (ORTOP)

Oregon University System

jo_oshiro@ous.edu ~~~ http://opas.ous.edu/

cathy_swider@ous.edu ~~~ http://www.ortop.org/

stem an engineer s view
STEM – An Engineer’s View
  • Engineering: making stuff that solves problems. Taking risks to solve problems with imperfect knowledge and limited resources – time, money, materials.
  • Technology: the study of the tools and processes that are used to make stuff and solve problems, not just computers. There are technologies for oil painting, pottery, dressmaking.

&

  • Math: a tool to describe patterns which may or may not apply to things and problems in the real world. When it does apply, math can widen one’s understanding of the problem and help predict behaviors under changing conditions.
  • Science: knowing more -- more thoroughly, reliably, repeatably
slide3
Science

Identify a question

Research the question

Generate ideas

Formulate a hypothesis

Conduct an experiment

Communicate results

Identify a new question

Engineering

Define a problem

Research the problem

Generate solutions

Create a prototype

Test the prototype

Communicate product

Redesign

Similar Processes—Different Goals

Adapted from Engineering Professor Chris Rogers, Tufts University; thanks to Cary Sneider

engineering is a way of thinking
Engineering is a Way of Thinking

The Engineering Design Process is a Team Process

slide5

On Thinking Like an EngineerAdvice from 12 year old participants of a workshop with picoCrickets, devices used to build projects with motion, light and sound using LEGOS and other materials

  • Start simple
  • Work on things that you like
  • If you have no clue what to do, fiddle around
  • Don’t be afraid to experiment
  • Find a friend to work with, share ideas!
  • It’s OK to copy stuff (to give you an idea)
  • Keep your ideas in a sketch book
  • Build, take apart, rebuild
  • Lots of things can go wrong, stick with it

From “All I Really Need to Know (About Creative Thinking) I Learned (By Studying How Children Learn) in Kindergarten” by M. Resnick, MIT Media Lab, 2007.

Downloadable at http://scratch.mit.edu/pages/research

strategies in the trenches
Strategies in the trenches

Support team-based process and skills development

  • Wait for answers
    • reward thorough thinking as well as fast thinking
  • Ask leading questions
    • To lead students to successful solutions and deeper understanding
    • To lead mentors to understanding student thought processes
    • To encourage students to ask each other questions
  • Reward effort and explanation as well as results
    • Encourage good process: research, experimentation, documentation, discussion, conclusion
evidence basis stem in ost
Evidence-Basis: STEM in OST
  • Ensuring a rich science learning ecology is important; OST provides structural and social settings often not possible in school -- Bevan et al., 2010. Out-of-School Time STEM: Building Experience, Building Bridges. San Francisco, Exploratorium. Available at http://informalscience.org/research_documents/0000/0629/STEM_OST_Conf_Report.pdf
  • Informal-formal education collaborations need infrastructure; informal settings can be key to the science education of youth because of their structural properties -- Center for Advancement of Informal Science Education, “Making Science Matter: Collaboration Between Informal Science Education Organizations and Schools,” March 2010. Available at http://caise.insci.org/
  • Formal-informal education partnerships are valuable to youth and partnering organizations; promising practices -- Harvard Family Research Project, “Partnerships for Learning: Promising Practices in Integrating School and Out-of-School Time Program Supports,” March 2010. Available at http://www.hfrp.org/out-of-school-time
  • For the future of the country, we need to emphasize engineering design in K-12; incorporate important and developmentally appropriate mathematics, science, and technology knowledge and skills; cultivate engineering habits of mind -- National Academies of Engineering report: Engineering in K12 Education: Understanding the Status and Improving the Prospects, 2009. Available at http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=12635
evidence basis stem in ost1
Evidence-Basis: STEM in OST
  • What does “Engineering Design” mean? -- Oregon Department of Education, Oregon Science K-HS Content Standards, adopted 2009. Engineering Design on pages 25-26. Available at http://www.ode.state.or.us/teachlearn/subjects/science/curriculum/2009feb-adopted-k-h-science-standards.pdf
  • The country needs better STEM education that prepares and inspires students; OST should be an integral part of this -- President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST), Report to the President. Prepare and Inspire: K-12 Education in Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) for America’s Future, 2010. Available at http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/microsites/ostp/pcast-stemed-report.pdf
  • STEM skills are expandable, improvable, learnable – not inborn; use prescriptive, informational feedback; spatial skills training -- US Dept of Ed, National Center for Education Research, Institute of Education Sciences – Practice Guide Encouraging Girls in Math and Science, 2007. Available at http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/wwc/pdf/practiceguides/20072003.pdf
so how to get started
So, how to get started?
  • Leverage organizations that can help provide content, structure, training, resources, and culminating events.
  • One such organization: FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology).
  • In Oregon and counties bordering on Oregon, the Oregon Robotics Tournament & Outreach Program (ORTOP) provides these services as a FIRST Affiliate Partner.
  • ORTOP Program Administrator, Cathy Swider