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Robot RAL-ly international - Promoting STEM in elementary school across international boundaries using remote access technology

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6 Author(s)
Maxwell, A. ; Fac. of Eng. & Surveying, Univ. of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba, QLD, Australia ; Fogarty, R. ; Gibbings, P. ; Noble, K.
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Engaging school children early in STEM activities plays an important role in their choice to study engineering in later years. This paper describes a pilot project where Remote Access Laboratory technology at a university is employed in an inquiry-based learning activity with elementary school children in Japan and Australia. Investigation into how RAL technology facilitated collaborative learning in the K-12 demographic was then examined. Children in Japan designed a track that was constructed by their peers in Australia. The Japanese students then navigated the track in Australia with remotely controlled robots using the RAL system. A number of camera feeds allowed the students to observe the robots and the track. Both groups of students, as well as the participant researchers, took part in co-constructed focus group discussions after the event. A thematic analysis indicates that these activities provide students with opportunities for rich learning experiences in science, math and technology. Engaging young children in STEM activities provides a strong pathway to a better understanding of science concepts and ultimately a career in engineering.

Published in:

Remote Engineering and Virtual Instrumentation (REV), 2013 10th International Conference on

Date of Conference:

6-8 Feb. 2013