Robot Roadshow Program
In Kansas, there are many schools, due to a rural or underserved nature, that fall short in providing access to technical resources to further interest in science education. We have developed a program, using robots, to interest school children in technical disciplines. This program is targeted at schools that do not have people or financial resources to fund a similar program on their own. To make the program interesting, robots are utilized as the vehicle to excite children about science. Our experience indicates that robots are almost universally captivating for children of all ages, in our case, K-12 students.
The Robot Roadshow Program uses a three step process: Pre-visit workbooks, the visit and presentation, and a follow-up session with the faculty to evaluate student impact.
The initial step is to send a workbook, consisting of puzzles, short readings, definitions and creative exercises, in advance for each student to complete. There is a different workbook for each of the following age groups: K-3, 4-6, 7-9, 10-12. Tailored by age group, the workbook will develop an appropriate set of skills and knowledge mandatory to get the most from the program upon the visit day. On the visit day, several of our robots will go to the school for interactive experiments with the students. Each experiment injects and reinforces principles of science in an interesting, fun and unique way for the students. The faculty follow-up session reviews and evaluates the impact on individual students and the class as a whole. The follow-up review is used to revise and continually improve the program to maximize the impact of the participant experience.
- Create opportunity for underserved/rural schools to have access to additional learning resources.
- Allow the students to enjoy math and science.
- Allow students to build a relationship between the study of math and science and interesting subjects (robots).
- Create process to reinforce the experience, so that after the visit the child's interest doesn't deteriorate.
Scott A. DeLoach
Department of Computing & Information Sciences
Kansas State University
234 Nichols Hall
Manhattan, KS USA 66506-2302