Princeton University Library Catalog

Mechanical Minds: An Evaluation of the Effectiveness of a Novel Robotics Curriculum in Elementary School Education

Author/​Artist:
Woldenberg, Elana [Browse]
Format:
Senior thesis
Language:
English
Advisor(s):
Littman, Michael G. [Browse]
Department:
Princeton University. Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering [Browse]
Class year:
2015
Description:
145 pages
Summary note:
This study introduces and evaluates a novel robotics curriculum in an effort to assess the potential benefits of robotics education in elementary school education. The curriculum used within this study consists of four unique lesson plans that use the concepts behind constructionist learning to cover a breadth of topics, including robotics, engineering, mathematics, measurement and teamwork. Data collection occurred through incremental assessments and an end-of-program survey. The findings of this study reveal inconclusive results regarding the effectiveness of the robotics curriculum in terms of student performance in the topics of mathematics, engineering, measurement and teamwork. However, survey results show that the curriculum was well received and also positively impacted students’ desire to pursue engineering professionally. In this regard, the robotics curriculum effectively increased students attitudes towards engineering. These results indicate the potential value of combining the entertainment value of robotics with educational material in terms of increasing attitudes towards Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.