Pairing Educational Robotics with Geospatial Technologies in Informal Learning Environments

Bradley S. Barker, Neal Grandgenett, Gwen Nugent, Viacheslav I. Adamchuk


Educational robotics, when paired with geospatial technologies and taught in an informal educational environment, can be an innovative strategy to teach youth about science, technology, engineering, and mathematic (STEM) concepts. However, little is known about the true effects on conceptual knowledge and associated attitudes. Therefore, this study was conducted to examine the short-term effects of a series of five-day summer robotics/geospatial camps held in Nebraska. The study was conducted at six diverse locations and consisted of a five-day 4-H camp experience. The study examined the experiences of 147 youth between the ages of 10 and 15. A pretest-posttest quasi-experimental design was used in the study. Instrumentation consisted of a 37-question multiple-choice assessment targeting various STEM topics and a 38-question attitude questionnaire assessing STEM interests and attitudes. Results suggest that the 4-H robotics and geospatial summer camp program is a promising approach for supporting STEM-related learning and enhancing attitudes towards STEM.

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