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Robotics in education has special relevance in current digital society where students should know how to deal with technology. In this paper, it is presented an educational experiment in the mobile robotics domain. The referred experiment was part of a summer camp, which took place at the Polytechnic Institute of Bragança Portugal, being its technological aspects related with mobile robotics. Other than the technological aspects, the students participated in many different cultural and social activities, having the opportunity to know the city of Bragança and also to know different persons, mainly students, professors, researchers and laboratory technicians. The applied approach in the summer camp was a challenge based learning methodology, being involved in the experiment 3 professors, 4 monitors, working with a group of 16 secondary school students. The described experiment was planned as an activity of the RoboSTEAM - Integrating STEAM and Computational Thinking development by using robotics and physical devices ERASMUS+ Project.
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Educational Robotics Summer Camp at IPB:
A Challenge based learning case study
José Gonçalves, José Lima,
Thadeu Brito
Research Center in Digitalization
and Intelligent Robotics, IPB
Bragança, Portugal
{goncalves, jllima, brito}
Lainay Brancalião, Caio
Camargo, Vitor Oliveira
Polytechnic Institute of Bragança
Bragança, Portugal
Miguel Á. Conde
University of León
León, Spain
Robotics in education has special relevance in current digital
society where students should know how to deal with technology.
In this paper, it is presented an educational experiment in the
mobile robotics domain. The referred experiment was part of a
summer camp, which took place at the Polytechnic Institute of
Bragança Portugal, being its technological aspects related with
mobile robotics. Other than the technological aspects, the students
participated in many different cultural and social activities, having
the opportunity to know the city of Bragança and also to know
different persons, mainly students, professors, researchers and
laboratory technicians. The applied approach in the summer camp
was a challenge based learning methodology, being involved in the
experiment 3 professors, 4 monitors, working with a group of 16
secondary school students. The described experiment was planned
as an activity of the RoboSTEAM - Integrating STEAM and
Computational Thinking development by using robotics and
physical devices ERASMUS+ Project.
Applied computing Education • Applied computing
Robotics Social and professional topics Computational
thinking • Social and professional topics K12 Education
Summer camp, Robotics, Challenge Based Learning, Erasmus
ACM Reference format:
José Gonçalves, José Lima, Thadeu Brito, Lainay Brancalião, Caio
Camargo, Vitor Oliveira, Miguel Á. Conde. 2019. Educational Robotics
Summer Camp at IPB: A Challenge based learning case study. In
Proceedings of Seventh International Conference on Technological
Ecosystems for Enhancing Multiculturality (TEEM'19)). ACM, New York,
NY, USA, 6 pages.
1 Introduction
The Polytechnic Institute of Bragança (IPB), which is a Portuguese
Public Superior Education Institution, promotes and supports,
every year, summer camps, in order to promote science and the
Institution among potential new students, from technical and
secondary schools. The Portuguese Foundation for Science and
Technology (FCT) and the ERASMUS+ Spanish agency, also
supported the 2019 summer camp edition, being the summer camp
integrated in the RoboSTEAM - Integrating STEAM and
Computational Thinking development by using robotics and
physical devices - ERASMUS+ Project. This project will provide
frameworks and tools to facilitate the learning actions based on
robotics to teach STEAM areas [1]. The description of similar
projects can be found in [2-5]. Innovative practices in the digital
era by applying challenge based learning approaches to address
integrating STEAM will be created. Computational thinking
development using robots with physical devices is the main focus
of this project. Computational Thinking capabilities in pre-
university students have been studied by several authors [6-8]. At
the end, exchange of experiences and challenges between schools
in different socioeconomic contexts, through two pilot cycles will
be applied. The project consortium is coordinated by the University
of León and includes the participation of CeDRI / IPB among other
6 partners. The project will have a duration of 20 months. Having
in mind the approach of Challenge Based Learning, a summer camp
in the mobile robotics domain was conceived, taking advantages of
the fact that mobile robotics is a multidisciplinary subject that is
very appealing for different ages and different student
backgrounds. Some Coding issues in pre-university
studying/teaching can be found in [9-13]. The persons that
participated in the summer camp were 2 professors, 4 monitors and
16 students, being the group shown in Figure 1. The authors have
experience in the use of robotics in education as can be seen in [14-
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J. Gonçalves et al.
Figure 1: Participants of the summer camp.
This work is structured as follow. After an introduction in this
section, the description of Summer Camp is presented in Section 2.
Then, in Section 3, the proposed challenge is stated showing the
similarities and differences among all the approaches. The project
results are shown in Section 4, and Section 5 points out the
conclusion and future work.
2 Summer Camp
The Robotics Summer Camp at IPB has a duration of 5 days, not
being only scientific, because the students have many activities that
are not related with the scientific topics of the summer course,
being mainly cultural and social. The summer course starts Monday
morning with the welcome reception, and then students, after lunch,
initiate the course with a mini challenge that is shared by all the 16
students. From Tuesday to Thursday the students will be separated
in 4 groups, having each group to address a challenge. However,
the development of a Challenge involves to many hours for the
camp, so the idea solving something more concrete as a Mini-
Challenge that can be decomposed in Nano-Challenges. Each of the
groups have dealt with Nano-Challenge. [18] The summer camp
ends on Thursday with a farewell dinner and on Friday it’s a
travelling day for them to get back to their homes. The students are
from secondary schools and have an average age of nearly 15,5
years old, being present students from 14 to 17 years old, from all
over the country (Portugal). The physical space that was used in the
summer camp was the Laboratory of Control, Automation and
Robotics of the school of technology and management of the IPB,
that can be seen in Figure 2.
Figure 2: Laboratory of Control, Automation and Robotics of
the school of technology and management of the IPB.
To teach the students, there were 3 professors coordinating the
course, José Gonçalves and José Lima from the IPB and also
Miguel Ángel Conde, from the University of León, being the
ROBOSTEAM Project Manager. There were also 4 monitors (3
master students and a fellowship student), that played an important
role, mainly in the Nano-Challenges, because each one supervised
a different group that had a different Nano-Challenge.
Both the Mini-Challenge and Nano-Challenges were evaluated
concerning the degree of success of each challenge, having in mind
the context in which the challenges were done. The students will
work with hardware only during the Nano-Challenges, having to
solve previously a Mini-challenge that they have to answer a
research question but they do not have to implement hardware or
program any physical device.
3 Challenges Descriptions
Over the years, increasing fossil fuels as a source of energy for
vehicles has generated a major impact on the environment. In this
sense, a possible solution to solve this problem in controlled
environments can be the use of mobile robots. However, mobile
robotics requires the development of many tasks working together
to solve problems that seem trivial to humans. Demonstrating some
of these tasks for students can motivate future developers in the
field of robotics. Thus, the challenge of transport and navigation of
mobile robots is proposed to encourage students.
To reach the proposed goal, the 16 students were separated into
4 groups, as already mentioned in Section 1. By this way, each
group took care of researching and developing a solution through
Nano-challenges and Mini-Challenges. To define the assessment
strategy and applied methods, the following subsections define
each of these ramifications of the challenge of reducing the
environmental impact of the use of fossil fuels.
3.1 Mobile Robots to Digital Transportation
One of the tasks involving the transport of loads by mobile robots
is navigation. The ability to navigate means that the robot can move
around in a certain environment without the help of a joystick.
Therefore, it is necessary that the robot has the perception of the
environment through sensing, and thus be guided by some
orientation. In this way, it is proposed for the students the process
of digitizing a factory floor with the intention of indicating to the
mobile robot the region that is going through and what action
should be done for each occasion. The main idea is to create small
circles or squares on a factory floor, by filling them with several
colors. Therefore, the robot being equipped with some color sensor
can be pre-programmed to act according to the identified color.
Consequently, this purpose could easily be applied in real
situations, since the shop floor does not need to undergo major
Educational Robotics Summer Camp at IPB
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This process is totally connected to the line follower task since
the robot still needs to be guided to move through a line. Therefore,
this proposal was made in conjunction with the group of Subsection
3.1.1 The kit and track used. After a brief description of the
problem and the proposed solution, the students received a kit of a
pre-assembled robot, color sensor TCS3200 RGB, and a track that
simulates a shop floor. The mobile robot was pre-assembled due to
the short-term of the course and also to avoid possible doubts of the
students since the applied hardware has characteristics of high
educational level. Figure 3 shows the mobile robot and the track
Figure 3: The robot model and the illustration of the track.
The students received the same materials available for the
competitors of the Robot@Factory Lite competition (R@FL),
available in [19]. The robot kit contains 3D printed supports, two
DC motors, one DC motor driver, a tracker sensor with 5 infrared
sensors to follow the floor line, an electromagnet to attach the
boxes, a touch switch, an Arduino Nano microcontroller and a
demo code, also available in [20]. The robot model used in the
competition does not have extra support for the application of the
color sensor, so students are expected to be able to design and print
a part that can fix the color sensor in the robot.
3.1.2 Evaluation method. As it is expected that students do not
have much experience with robotics and microcontrollers, the
expectation of evaluation lies in their understanding of the theme
and also in the logistics of applying the colors on the lane to indicate
the actions that the robot should perform. Another relevant point is
the observation of the resourcefulness of working with 3D
drawings and the adaptations of an existing project since the
available model needed support for the color sensor.
To compare the evolution of learning, students are asked to
report at the end of each course day. In this report done by them is
described with their own words what they understood the activity,
as well as the tools they found in their research to find a solution to
the problem. Thus, it is possible to compare at the end of the course
the students' behavior if there was or not an improvement in
3.2 Follow Lines with A Mobile Robot To
Facilitate Autonomous Navigation
The Nano-Challenge proposed to the students was to develop a
mobile robot that could follow a line and identified intersections,
based on the R@FL, the rules are shown in [17]. For that purpose,
some activities should be developed first, since the students did not
have previous knowledge about robotics. First, the track and the
objects of the challenge were shown to the students and they were
asked to do a research to find sensors that could be used to complete
the challenge and learn how those devices works. After that, the
students took some programming and Arduino lessons followed by
some activities such as writing in the serial port and making some
mathematical operations using Arduino. At least they were
presented to the mobile robot they should use and, a demo code
with some functions and examples of how the mobile robot works.
Next, it is expected that students perform control from the
following line sensors and the command to move the motors. The
demo code did not have this function as shown in Figure 4.
Figure 4: Mobile robot moving without system control.
3.2.1 Robot model applied. As already mentioned in the
previous subsection, the robot made available to students is based
on the model provided by the organizers of R@FL. The track
provided was also the one provided by the proposal of the previous
subsection. Similarly the other proposal, the building process of the
mobile robot can be complicated, the focus of this challenge should
be the control of the mobile robot. For that purpose, the robot was
previously built.
3.2.2 Criteria of assessment. The first evaluation criteria was
the student’s perception about the STEAM areas, so the professors
and the monitors could know which activities should be given for
the students to achieve better results.
The criteria to evaluate the Nano-Challenge were the time
employed to solve each task, the degree of success using the robot
and the accuracy following the line, the degree of success in the
robot detection of the crossings and the decisions it makes when it
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J. Gonçalves et al.
3.3 Follow Line with Mobile Robot Using Scratch-
Based Programming
In this challenge using the mBot robot, the students had to build a
block program in mBlock 5 that makes the robot follow a line. They
accomplish the challenge the monitor started explaining to the
students how does work the line - follow sensor of mBot and how
to use each block category of mBlock 5 to create block
programming. Then, in the track as in Figure 5, was shown the
preset mode line - follow of mBot to introduce the initial idea of
how they could solve the challenge.
Figure 5: Track used during the challenge of follow line using
Scratch-Based, with mBot.
3.3.1 The mBot and mBlock 5. The device used during the
follow line challenge is the mBot robot, from Makeblock Co. Ltd.,
an entry-level STEAM educational robot kit for beginners, that
makes teaching and learning robot programming simple. Thereby,
the students involved during the challenge can learn about some of
the robot machinery and electronic parts, get ideas about how
works the fundamentals of block-programming, and develop their
logical thinking and design skills.
The mBot already comes with 3 preset control modes: 1 -
Obstacle avoidance mode, 2 - Line - follow mode and 3 - Manual
control mode. About the specifications of mBot, the main control
board is microcontroller ATmega328 and comes with a light
sensor, button, IR receiver, ultrasonic sensor, line follower sensor,
there are the possibilities to program other modules like the buzzer,
2x RGB LED, IR transmitter and two motors. Can be powered with
a 3.7V lithium battery or 6V (4x 1.5V) batteries [21].
To program the robot the students used mBlock 5 PC version, a
software-based on Scratch 3.0 designed to support STEAM
education. By supporting block-based and text-based
programming, mBlock 5 allows users to freely program the robot
to solve the challenge [22].
3.3.2 The applied assessment. To evaluate this Nano-Challenge,
there are some criteria to be observed as the time employed to solve
the challenge, the degree of success of follow a line using the mBot
and the accuracy following the line.
3.4 Maintenance and Calibration of Mobile
Robots Based on a Low Cost Stroboscope
Currently, microcontrollers are present in several types of
equipment that surround us and are essential for the operation of
many electronic devices. One of which is the stroboscope, an
optical instrument capable to generate flashes of light in different
frequencies and be applied in the maintenance, calibration or speed
measurement of moving bodies. The operation of this physical
device is based on the stroboscope phenomenon, a visual event that
occurs when a movement is represented by a series of samples and
when the frequency of the movement coincides with the frequency
of light pulses, the system will appear to be stationary.
The objective of this Nano-Challenge was the prototyping of a
stroboscope, to be applied in the maintenance and calibration of
mobile robots. The task was based on the use of microcontrollers
using the Arduino platform. In the first part, the students learned
the main concepts about microcontrollers, their functions,
applications, Arduino platform and how to program it in Integrated
Development Environment (IDE). From this, basic programming
activities such as turning on and blinking LEDs, using buttons and
showing messages on alphanumeric LCD display were proposed to
students during the first days.
The tasks were created based on the construction of the physical
stroboscope device, which was presented and demonstrated for the
students in the last day, thus many concepts about microcontrollers,
electronics and Arduino could be absorbed by the students and
helped them understand what contents learned previously would be
needed for the construction of this physical device.
Therefore, the last part consisted of students learning about the
stroboscope, the importance of the microcontroller in controlling
the tool developed and the applications in the real world, being one
of them the maintenance and calibration of mobile robots. Then, a
final challenge was proposed to them, to be developed together, in
which they had to make small parts that would consist of a
stroboscope, gathering activities done in previous classes, like
displaying frequency information and speeds on the display
according to button press and blinking an LED at selected
3.4.1 Description of kits used. For this Nano-Challenge were
used several devices and electronic components available by the
IPB, such as Arduino boards, protoboards, LEDs, resistors, buttons,
jumpers and alphanumeric LCD displays. A prototype of a
stroboscope was also used and presented to students, the Figure 6
shows on the left the electronic circuit schematic and on the right
the prototype. This prototype consisted of a 12V LED lamp
connected to an electronic circuit mounted on a protoboard and
controlled by the Arduino, in which an LCD Keypad Shield was
connected, responsible to show the different frequencies and speeds
in rpm on the display according to the pressing of the buttons.
For the demonstration of the stroboscopic effect, a fan with a
white tape marking was used for the students could see the
Educational Robotics Summer Camp at IPB
TEEM’19, October, 2019, León, Castilla y León Spain
movement appear stopped. The fan and lamp were powered by a
voltage source and the Arduino through the USB cable connected
to the computer.
Figure 6: Electronic circuit schematic (a) and the stroboscope
prototype (b).
3.4.2 Criteria of assessment. One of the first evaluation criteria
used in this Nano-Challenge was the students’ perception about
STEAM concepts, as well as the level of knowledge they already
had about microcontrollers or Arduino. Based on this information
obtained at the beginning of the course it was possible to determine
the number and level of the activities proposed for them.
Other criteria used as assessment were the time established to
execute the tasks, as well as the time spent to complete them. In
addition, at the end of each day the students wrote a summary about
what they learned in class, so that it was verified if the desired
knowledge was absorbed by them. The degree of success obtained
using a physical device to learn microcontroller and this way create
a prototype for application in mobile robots was also evaluated
through the final challenge.
4 Results of the Challenge
To achieve the goal of reducing the environmental impact caused
by the use of fossil fuels, it is proposed to replace vehicles with
mobile robots. In view of this, the Summer Camp was used to apply
the project, and some activities were carried out together and
several methods were stressed. Professors and monitors developed
strategies to evaluate students of the course, in which have ages
between 14 and 17 years. These assessment methods are distinct
because they have different purposes, so the following subsections
are elaborated the results acquired during the application of this
4.1 The Feedback of Nano-Challenge Titled
Mobile Robots to Digital Transportation
In this activity, four male students participated aged between 16
and 17 years. That on the first day they had reception in the IPB,
having the first contact with the laboratories and the presentations
of the professors and monitors. In addition, to the introduction of
the problem of the use of fossil fuels, in which already asked to
research on alternatives to solve the problem. In this first research,
the students could use any means to substantiate a solution. That is,
they could use the internet, ask the monitors, consult the relatives
and also the IPB library. During the first day, it was possible to note
the students' research capacity, who were able to finish the research
in a very short time until it was possible to have an open
conversation with the other 3 groups.
The following day, the students were presented with the track
and the kit with the robot mounted. During the presentation, a
conversation was held with the students about possible solutions to
the proposal to develop a mobile theft and apply it in the industry.
Then, along with the monitors, the students suggested to create a
mobile autonomous robot with some sensors to take the raw
material from one side to another. Still on the second day, it was
necessary to search the different types of sensors and
microcontrollers to apply in the robot.
The third day started with the idea of implementing a support
for the color sensor in the robot kit, so the students created a 3D
piece that fixed the sensor, as shown in Figure 7. The printing was
done in the IPB's own laboratory and with the help of the Tinkercad
software [23], and during printing the students had their first
contact with Arduino.
Figure 7: The support developed by students.
On the last day of the course, the color sensor support was
mounted on the mobile robot and evaluated which sectors of the
track are crucial for the robot to read the information of what should
be done. The Figure 8 shows the scan of the track with the colors
to be identified by the sensor. All color and caption settings were
taken from the reports the students made at the end of each day.
According to student development, each colored circle in Figure 8
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J. Gonçalves et al.
Red goes forward 15cm;
Blue turns left;
Green turns right;
Orange stops and one turn 180 degrees left;
Pink turns right, and turn 180 degrees to the right.
Figure 8: The digitalization of the shopfloor developed by
Then the support was applied to the mobile robot, as shown in
Figure 9.
Figure 9: The support applied on the mobile robot.
Throughout the four days of the course, it was possible to notice
the learning curve of the students. Although they did not carry out
the application in real situations, the students were able to perceive
the difficulty of implementing mobile robotics on an industrial
scale. Another point to be analyzed is the initialization of students
with robotics and tools that involve the sector, for example,
students had never used Arduino and made prototypes with 3D
parts. One possible explanation for not having performed the
activity in real situations is the daily time of course, since the class
had a period of 3 hours.
4.2 Challenge Assessment of Nano-Challenge
Titled as Follow Lines With a Mobile Robot to
Facilitate Autonomous Navigation
There were 4 students, working in pairs, in this challenge, all boys
aged between 16 and 17. On the second day of the summer school,
the students began the Nano-Challenge activities showing some
fast results. The students completed the research, cited in Section
3.2, within 30 minutes and started to do simple activities with
On the third and fourth day the students worked with the mobile
robot, having access to the demo code and taught about how the
functions work. The students first loaded the demo code in the robot
to see how it acts and saw that it did not followed the line
appropriately. From there, the students changed the demo code and
tested in the robot to see how the change affected the robot and
what else should be changed. After approximately one hour the
students solved the follow line problem, the robot was following
the line in the center of it. After that, the students started working
in the decisions and actions of the robot after crossing an
intersection. This last task wasn’t totally completed, but they made
a great improvement in the robot actions compared with the demo
The older pair of students showed more interest in the activities
and finished the tasks first, but none of the students showed to much
difficult on solving the tasks that were proposed to them.
4.3 Challenge Assessment of Nano-Challenge titled
As Follow - Line With Mobile Robot Using
Scratch-Based Programming.
The number of students involved in this challenge was 5, 3 males
and 2 females, the average of their ages is 15.2 years. To solve this
challenge students had to understand the operation of the line
sensor and how to use the sensor response values to structure the
logic in the block program. The mBot's line sensor consists of two
infrared sensors, being sensor 1 on the left and sensor 2 on the right,
so we have four possible response values to identify the black line
path in contrast to a white surface, as shown in figure 3, the
response value is 0 when both sensors are on the black line, value
1 when the sensor 2 is on the white surface and sensor 1 is on the
line, the value of the line sensor is 2 when the sensor 1 is on the
white surface and sensor 2 on the path in black and last it is 3 when
the response of both sensors is on the white surface.
Of the group of students, three of them reported being the first
contact with programming of a mobile robot, one said already that
it had experience in programming in Scratch platforms and the
other one informed already to have programmed robots in
platforms LEGO®, being the one that demonstrated more facility
in structuring the blocks in order to solve the problem.
After a few hours, the students were able to code in block
language the logic to follow the line, making mBot perform it
efficiently for cases where the response value of the line sensor was
0, 1 and 2. For the case where the response value of the sensor is 3,
Educational Robotics Summer Camp at IPB
TEEM’19, October, 2019, León, Castilla y León Spain
the students had some performance problems, because when the
robot was in that case it changed the direction of the course, and
then they thought of a way to solve it, which was when performing
the curves with lower speed in the motors, this would never reach
the case where the response value is 3.
In a general context, the students were efficient in solving the
Nano-Challenge around 3 hours, considering that most of them
never had previous experiences with the programming of mobile
robots, the degree of success of the program was considered good
since they tested the robot several times in the course worked
4.4 Challenge Assessment of Nanochallenge Titled
as Maintenance and Calibration off Mobile
Robots Based on a Low Cost Stroboscope
The group was composed of only three students, all boys, with an
average age of 16 and from secondary schools, in which two were
in the tenth grade and already had programming knowledge, but
they didn’t know about microcontrollers and had never
programmed an Arduino. The other student was in eleventh grade
and hadn’t any knowledge about the concepts.
These two students who knew how to program in C language
performed better compared to each other. This performance was as
much in relation to the time to develop the activities as in the
absorption of knowledge. However, in the final challenge, it was
remarkable how easy this student understood the necessary
calculations for the stroboscope creation, standing out more than
the other two at that point.
All the activities proposed to the students were completed
successfully within the time limit of approximately 3 hours per day,
with the exception of the final challenge. It was observed that more
time would be needed to develop it, because the students failed to
finish, but were doing a good job. Analyzing the summaries made
by them and the overall performance, it can be concluded that the
students were able to understand the expected concepts.
5 Conclusions and Future Work
The preparation of future students for our current Digital Society is
not an easy task. The students are used to the use of technologies;
however this is not enough. They should develop skills critical
thinking, problem solving techniques, work distribution, etc. In
may case this is achieved through STEAM related subjects or the
development of Computational Thinking. But integrating this in
our current educational landscape is really hard.
A possible way is during educational inititives as the Summer
Camp described in this work. Summer camps allows to work with
a reduced number of students, in groups and with advanced
technology as are Robotics and Physical Devices. In this case, with
the support of RoboSTEAM project also methodological
innovations as Challenge Based Learning Approaches were also
From the experiment it was possible to obtain several
conclusions: 1) Students are easily engaged with technology and
programming; 2) The use of challenges give them more freedom to
address their tasks and the possibility to involved not only their
peers but teachers, experts, parents, etc; 3) The use of Challenges
provides students of a wider perspective of problems that not only
solving problems or projects; 4) It is not necessary a deep
knowledge on programming or robotics to complete Nano-
Challenges; 5) Students perception about STEAM improves after
the experiments.
Taking this into account, it is clear that Challenge Based
Learning approaches works properly in controlled environments
and the use of Robotics and Physical devices can be positive to
develop skills related to those demanded by the digital society.
This paper is supported by ROBOSTEAM Erasmus+ KA201
Project with reference 2018-1-ES01-KA201-050939
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... Ten studies have been reviewed using selected criteria. The first article was on ER projects at a summer camp held in Portugal with secondary school students [8]. A second article on RoboSTEAM with a similar approach to the first article was also reviewed. ...
... Both studies used Challenge Based Learning with mini-challenge and nanochallenges. The third article reviewed was on World Robot Competition, a robotic competition that aims to equip the young generation with necessary robotics skills with the aim of motivating them to take up careers in STEM [8]. This study was conducted with the alumni of the World Robot Competition, using Gottfredson's career decision making theory. ...
... Finally, the tenth study on Olympiad on educational robotics was reviewed. Its aim was to train the trainers to go teach robotics to secondary school students in vulnerable places, however it was not fully considered for review due to limitations discussed later in this paper [8]. ...
Conference Paper
Various educational robotics (ER) initiatives have been carried out worldwide to motivate learners at different levels to learn by working with robotics equipment. A data extraction form was used in this study to review ten ER projects and initiatives, published between 2018 and 2020. A survey was also carried out to gather data regarding electronics and programming in primary schools' curriculum in Namibia. The articles describing the projects were reviewed based on selected criteria. The aim of this study was to do a systematic review on different ER initiatives and see how the approaches used could be employed to the Namibian context. This review indicated positive results on ER initiatives carried out worldwide.
... Dentro de los resultados del proyecto BotSTEM, se observa como el trabajo en este ambiente logra causar interés por los estudiantes y maestros titulares, siendo el diseño de ingeniería una de las principales fortalezas de este proyecto. En esta misma línea de trabajo práctico, en el proyecto RoboSTEM (Gonçalves, et al., 2019), se trabaja la robótica como una forma de proporcionar nuevas respuestas a los desafíos actuales que los estudiantes enfrentan en consonancia con la utilización de las TIC (tecnología, información y comunicación) como herramienta de acción en un ambiente de aprendizaje basado en desafíos. Los resultados arrojados son alentadores y muestran una alternativa basada en la motivación, creatividad e indagación que despierta este tipo de tareas en los participantes. ...
... Los resultados arrojados son alentadores y muestran una alternativa basada en la motivación, creatividad e indagación que despierta este tipo de tareas en los participantes. Gonçalves et al. (2019) presentan una experiencia educativa llevada en un contexto extra escolar, a través de un campamento de verano realizan un experimento educativo con 16 estudiantes en el Instituto Politécnico de Bragança Portugal, el que tiene por finalidad lograr que los alumnos/as puedan trabajar por medio de la tecnología aspectos de la robótica móvil. Las actividades fueron tutorizadas por 7 monitores directos, los que orientaban el trabajo mediante la utilización de dispositivos físicos y el desarrollo del pensamiento computacional para programar movimientos en los robots, en sus resultados se observan mejoras importantes en las habilidades conseguidas por los participantes, mayor dominio y destrezas por las áreas STEM trabajadas e independencia al momento de buscar una solución a los conflictos generados. ...
Full-text available
Innovar en la etapa escolar, especialmente en Educación Primaria (EP), resulta fundamental para promover un cambio formativo a temprana edad. Es en este momento donde fomentar la enseñanza en áreas de ciencia, tecnología, ingeniería y matemática, resulta preponderante para motivar a los estudiantes en el aprendizaje escolar. Considerando el paradigma actual de educación STEM, se presenta una experiencia en un aula de EP con estudiantes de 10 a 12 años, donde se incluyen elementos de la robótica, la programación (Scratch) y el pensamiento computacional con el objetivo de articular el aprendizaje de disciplinas STEM. Se desarrollan una serie de actividades en un ambiente de indagación permanente, en las que un grupo voluntario de estudiantes asisten a 15 sesiones de talleres en horario extraescolar. Se realiza una valoración del programa por medio de una encuesta de satisfacción, observándose una valoración positiva de las actividades educativas y la inclusión de elementos tecnológicos.
... CBL has also been drawing attention through published studies involving education in the areas of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). These studies include applications and adaptations for robotics [23], [24], physics, mathematics, computational tools [19], and mainly for learning mobile application development [14], [25], [26]. According to [18], the CBL approach allows flexibility for adaptation and customization for different learning environments, providing several entry points according to personal or institutional learning goals. ...
... The main objective of this experience has been to design a set of projects to be developed by students, mainly in the area of automated engineering, where students have to work in cooperative groups, including the possibility to integrate their results with groups from other subjects [4]. This approach brings some advantages, such as the discussion "outside the classroom" with consequent improvements in the students' conceptualization skills [5]; a simple and homogeneous compilation of the documents provided by the students [6]; and the possibility of improving knowledge in other areas of interest [7]. ...
Engineering education, the process of teaching knowledge and principles to the professional practice of engineering, can be done by resorting to several methodologies. Project Based Learning is a teaching method that allows students to get knowledge and skills by developing and solving complex problems or challenges, supported by a supervisor. In the presented work, a real airplane cockpit development is used as a case study for Mechanical, Mechatronics, Electrical, and Computer Science courses. Students are encouraged to develop modules to be applied in the cockpit and further integrated with other ones.
... Y es que el uso de herramientas tecnológicas, frente a las tradicionales, ofrece a los estudiantes un medio atractivo y motivador para fortalecer habilidades, como las de indagación, y potenciar el aprendizaje de contenidos curriculares (Chung, Cartwright y Cole, 2014;Taylor, Vásquez y Donehower, 2017). También supone un terreno abonado para abandonar metodologías didácticas transmisivas, facilitando la incorporación de otras activas, incluso fomentando el desarrollo de nuevos enfoques metodológicos Gonçalves et al., 2019). ...
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Frente a la necesidad de una formación científica a temprana edad, el uso de la robótica en el contexto educativo constituye un importante recurso didáctico para el desarrollo de una educación centrada en las áreas STEM. Se ha realizado una revisión sistemática, siguiendo las directrices de la Declaración Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (Prisma), con el objetivo de caracterizar la producción científica relacionada con Educación STEM, desde el trabajo con robótica educativa en Educación Primaria, así se plantean preguntas de investigación sobre indicadores bibliométricos, metodologías de investigación utilizadas, la relación entre aéreas STEM y robótica educativa, o aspectos sociales y de género.La búsqueda se realizó en tres bases de datos internacionales (Scopus, ERIC y WoS), logrando identificar 463 artículos, seleccionándose 26 documentos que cumplían con todos los criterios de inclusión. Los hallazgos dan cuenta que las investigaciones con metodologías mixtas son las más utilizados, y a su vez presentan un mayor número de citaciones en Google Scholar. Respecto al enfoque de género de los primeros autores y los grupos de investigación, estos se presentan de forma equitativa. De igual forma no se evidencian diferencias en el acceso, desarrollo y adquisición de habilidades entre los participantes como resultados de las investigaciones. También, se observa una mayor implementación de propuestas en el horario extraescolar, mejorando la actitud y adquisición de habilidades en áreas STEM.
The Slovak competition the Summer Robotic League is for pupils aged between 9 and 16 who want to better prepare their teams for the international competition FIRST LEGO League or for pupils who just love robotics. The Summer Robotic League exists since 2013 and has not yet been explored in terms of educational aspects. The archive offers a variety of students’ solutions that are suitable for qualitative analysis. In this article we therefore focus on the analysis of the tasks in selected year of The Summer Robotic League. In our research we used qualitative methods of data collection and data analysis. We analysed the submitted solutions of participants and tried to find dependencies between tasks and solutions and we identified misconceptions related to used programming concepts in participants’ solutions. These results should serve to better design tasks in the next Summer Robotic League.
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Technology has transformed the social scenario by incorporating strategies, techniques and methods to obtain more significant educational processes. The main initiative promoted is the strengthening of skills and competencies in programming and computational thinking. This article evidences the effect of a training program on educational robotics on the acquisition of computational thinking and programming skills in young children. The research design is quasi-experimental , with pretest and post-test measures, with an experimental and control group. The sample of participants consists of 46 students of the first year of Primary Education, with age between 6 and 7 years, belonging to a Spanish educational centre. Computational thinking is measured through the dimensions: algorithmic thinking sequences, abstraction-patterns and debugging. The learning activities used in the intervention sessions were an adaptation of the training actions proposed in the robotics study program "TangibleK". The results obtained in this study reveal positive effects concerning the performance achieved by the participants in the activities carried out. This indicates a significant effect on the strengthening of skills linked to computational thinking. The differences found between the pretest and post-test measures of the experimental group are statistically significant and superior to those presented by the control group. In this way, it was concluded that the participants of the training program in robotics and programming obtain a more significant advance in the three dimensions of the computational competence explored. R E S U M E N La tecnología ha transformado el escenario social incorporando estrategias, técnicas y métodos para obtener procesos educativos más significativos. Una de las principales iniciativas que se promueve es el fortalecimiento de habilidades y competencias sobre programación y pensamiento computa-cional. Este artículo evidencia el efecto de un programa formativo utilizando robótica educativa en la adquisición de habilidades de pensamiento computacional y programación en niños de corta edad. El diseño de la investigación es de tipo cuasi-experimental, con medidas pretest y postest, con grupo experimental y control. La muestra la integran 46 estudiantes del primer curso de Educación Primaria, con edades entre 6 y 7 años, pertenecientes a un centro educativo español. El pensamiento computacional se mide a través de las dimensiones: pensamiento algorítmico-secuencias, abstrac-ción-patrones y depuración. Las actividades de aprendizaje utilizadas en las sesiones de inter-vención fueron una adaptación de las acciones formativas propuestas en el programa de estudio en robótica "TangibleK". Los resultados obtenidos muestran efectos positivos en relación con el desem-peño alcanzado por los participantes en las actividades desarrolladas. Lo que manifiesta un efecto significativo en el fortalecimiento de habilidades vinculadas al pensamiento computacional. Las diferencias encontradas entre las medidas pretest y postest del grupo experimental son estadística-mente significativas y superiores a las que presenta el grupo control. De esta forma se concluye que los participantes del programa formativo en robótica y programación obtienen un mayor avance en las tres dimensiones de la competencia computacional explorada.
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Conferencia invitada en el Seminario eMadrid sobre «Enseñanza de programación en niveles preuniversitarios» (21 de febrero de 2020, Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, Móstoles, España). El debate sobre el estudio de la Informática en niveles preuniversitarios y el desarrollo de las habilidades de pensamiento computacional está abierto a nivel internacional. En esta conferencia se profundiza en ello y se presenta la propuesta definida en el Proyecto Europeo RoboSTEAM para desarrollar estas competencias y habilidades mediante una aproximación de aprendizaje basado en retos usando kits robóticos.
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The official guide to Challenge Based Learning provides an overview of the framework and a a process for getting started.
Conference Paper
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In recent years, many developed countries have addressed computing education in primary or secondary education. Potential benefits for students in these educational stages and for the society are great, existing a wide range of approaches to such a computing education. The Spanish Computing Scientific Society (SCIE), with the support of the Spanish Board of Deans of Computing Schools (CODDII) created in September 2017 a working group formed by experts in either computing or computing education with the goal of elaborating a report with specific recommendations about this issue for the Spanish government. The report was issued in July 2018 and recommends, in conformance to Spanish educational laws, to establish a matter called "Informatics". This matter would preferably be implemented as a mandatory course offered from primary to secondary education. The course contents comprise six areas: programming, computers and operating systems, networks and the Internet, data, digital content, and security. The course would include issues of both digital literacy and computing as a discipline, with digital literacy contents based on the European DIGCOMP framework.
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NaSSIE - Navigation and Sensoring Skills in Engineering is a platform developed with the intent of facilitating the acquisition of some skills by Engineering Students, which is a core part of the process of controlling a mobile robot. In this paper, the chosen hardware and consequent physical construction of the prototype as well as vehicle’s associated software will be presented. As a use case, this platform was tested during the Robotic Day 2017 in Czech Republic. Preliminary results will also be presented of this year’s preparation for the Micromouse competition.
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Las tecnologías de la información son la infraestructura base para que el mundo, tal cual lo conocíamos hace una hora, funcione; y aquello que transformará el mundo que conoceremos en la próxima hora. En este contexto social, la educación, como cualquier sector productivo o de servicios, se ve afectada por la tecnología. Pero, ya no solo es hablar de la tecnología como medio para lograr mejores resultados de aprendizaje; se trata de poner encima de la mesa la recurrente idea de que se está formando a los profesionales del futuro con las metodologías, las herramientas y las estrategias del pasado.
Conference Paper
Mobile robotic applications are increasing in several areas not only in industries but also service robots. The Industry 4.0 promoted even more the digitalization of factories that opened space for smart-factories implementation. Robotic competitions are a key to improve research and to motivate learning. This paper addresses a new competition proposal, the Robot@Factory Lite, in the scope of the Portuguese Robotics Open. Beyond the competition, a reference robot with all its components is proposed and a simulation environment is also provided. To minimize the gap between the simulation and the real implementation, an Hardware-in-the-loop technique is proposed that allows to control the simulation with a real Arduino board. Results show the same code, and hardware, can control both simulation model and real robot.
The artikel looks at experiences made in the European project TACCLE3 coding, which examined new opportunities to intorduce coding in teacher training for primary school level.
Several countries have usually adopted several priorities for developing ICT competences from kindergarten to secondary education. Most of them are focused on the development of key competences and/or coding skills. Although coding may be very attractive for young students and a very good practice or experience, it could be more interesting to develop students’ logical thinking skills and problem-solving skills throughout programming approaches or computational thinking. This is a very exciting challenge with lots of possibilities regarding coding, robots, mobile devices, Arduino-based application, game-based learning, and so on. TACCLE 3 – Coding is a European Union Erasmus+ KA2 Programme project that supports primary school staff and others who are teaching computing to 4–14-year-olds. Specifically, TACCLE 3 project has three main objectives: (1) to equip fellow classroom teachers, whatever their level of confidence, with the knowledge and the materials they need to teach coding effectively; (2) to develop a website of easy-to-follow and innovative ideas and resources to aid teachers in teaching coding (they will also find a review of the current academic research and an overview of the resources currently available for teaching coding); and (3) to provide national and international in-service training courses and other staff development events to help support and develop confidence and competences in teaching coding. This chapter explains the work done in TACCLE 3 and the first experiences we have to introduce the computational thinking to the primary school teachers, with a special attention to the use of smart textile objects.
Several countries have usually adopted several priorities for developing ICT competences from kindergarten to secondary education. Most of them are focused on the development of key competences and/or coding skills. Although coding may be very attractive for young students and a very good practice or experience, it could be more interesting to develop students' logical thinking skills and problem-solving skills throughout programming approaches or computational thinking. This is a very exciting challenge with lots of possibilities regarding coding, robots, mobiles devices, Arduino-based application, game-based learning and so on. Thus, it is very important to explore the effect that these experiences have been taking into the pre-university students, both at primary and secondary education, with a special focus on the computational thinking as one of the components inside the toolbox to develop a reflexive and critical education in order to help children to solve problems using the technology with which they will live daily.
Conference Paper
We present TACCLE3 — Coding European Project (Ref. 2015-1-BE02-KA201-012307) in the XVIII International Symposium on Computers and Education — SIIE 2016, held within the V Congreso Nacional de Informatica — CEDI 2016 in the University of Salamanca, Spain, September 14th–16th, 2016. One of the sessions was devoted to Computational Thinking topic and TACCLE3 was selected to open this session. Taccle3 is a European Union Erasmus+ KA2 Programme project that supports primary school staff and others who are teaching computing to 4–14 year olds. It started at September 2015 and will end at August 2017.