Archive for December 20, 2009

Going on Furlough and Holiday Traveling

Georgia Tech is on furlough Dec. 21-24. According to official policy, “Employees are prohibited from working or otherwise provide services on a furlough day. It is a violation of Institute policy to do so.” I’m not sure if posting to this blog constitutes a “provided service.” But in any case, I’ll be heading up to visit family and snow in Michigan, so I’ll post rarely this week. Since I kept up a steady pace of posts this last week, I hope that I’ve left you some things to read and think about during this week before Christmas. Happy Holidays!

December 20, 2009 at 11:20 pm Leave a comment

Can Robotics Help Kids Learn Science?

A new project at Georgia Tech (I’m an advisor, so only peripherally involved) is exploring the role of robotics in helping kids learn science.  They’re asking the right kinds of questions — how do we design so that the focus is on science, and how do cross gender boundaries and school setting/context?  Our track record with robots and girls isn’t great, though the IPRE effort has had great results with undergraduate women.  What are the curriculum and pedagogical design principles that make it work?

Turning kids on to science and math with robotics has become routine, at least since the FIRST Robotics Competition began in 1992. But there is currently very little evidence about whether robots can actually teach students science, or whether they just serve to excite students already interested in science and engineering. Given the right context and design challenge, can robotics-based activities engage girls as much as boys? Are there differences in the way rural students engage in these types of materials, compared with urban or suburban students?

via GT | Can Robotics Help Kids Learn Science?.

December 20, 2009 at 2:49 pm Leave a comment

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