Davis, California, June 20, 2016 – Center for Integrated Computing and STEM Education (C-STEM) at University of California, Davis today announces the release of C-STEM Studio 2.0. C-STEM Studio is a user-friendly free platform for hands-on learning math and coding with robotics. It also includes code, comprehensive documentation, teacher guides and textbooks in one download.
C-STEM Studio is the most engaging way to learn math, coding and robotics, the simplest approach to program a robot and the easiest technology to control multiple robots. The software works with both Linkbots made by Barobo, Inc. and Lego Mindstorms NXT/EV3 robots and can be used to program both real and “virtual” robots. It can also be used to conveniently program an Arduino microcontroller.
(Running a challenge task from 2016 RoboPlay Challenge Competition in RoboSim through C-STEM Studio)
This new release of C-STEM Studio v2.0 includes the following major new features:
(1) RoboSim now works with Lego Mindstorms NXT/EV3, has customizable backgrounds which include the 2014, 2015, and 2016 RoboPlay Challenge Competition boards, and supports customizations through background drawings and object insertions. The user can create his/her own challenge boards.
(2) RoboBlockly background boards can now be customized to the user’s liking. Educators can now engage students by creating boards which involve classroom specific ideas or even encourage students to submit design ideas themselves.
(3) Ch Arduino now supports Bluetooth communication with Arduino boards, including Arduino 101, and added a new module called ChDuino, a simple graphical user interface to interact with Arduino boards.
(4) Added new musical features for programming Linkbot, NXT, and EV3 to play melodies and music notes.
(5) All curriculum materials including textbooks and programs use the new and simpler programming model in changing color, width, and shade for plotting as well as new features in C-STEM Studio v2.0.
(6) Added many video tutorial lessons on how to use various components in C-STEM Studio.
(7) Added Video Tutorials tab for launching the C-STEM video tutorial website.
(8) Added Documentation tab for easy access to all documentation and textbooks in a single page.
C-STEM is a UC Approved Educational Preparation Program for Undergraduate Admission to all UC campuses and with UC A-G Program Status. The C-STEM Math-ICT Pathway provides K-12 students with 12 years of hands-on integrated math and computer science education with coding in Blockly and C/C++. The C-STEM math, coding, robotics curriculum can be used ranging from four weeks as supplementary materials for STEM courses, one semester course, to a full-year course, multi-year Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) career pathway. The C-STEM curriculum is particularly effective in engaging students who are under-performing in math and closing the “achievement gap” for students from underrepresented groups, said Center Director Harry Cheng, professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at UC Davis.
The C-STEM math, coding, and robotics curriculum is already in use in about 200 elementary, middle and high schools, mostly in California, affecting some 10,000 students. The Center focuses on Algebra, a gatekeeper for high-school graduation and careers in STEM fields. The C-STEM Algebra curriculum with computing and robotics is fully aligned with Common Core State Standards – Mathematics.
The Center provides C-STEM professional development for K-14 teachers without any prior computing and robotics experience to use freely available C-STEM Studio and RoboBlockly , as well as C-STEM integrated curriculum effectively. The Center can provide professional development opportunities to the school, district, county, and region through C-STEM 2-Day Academy, 1-Week Institute, On-Site Professional Development, and Train-the-Trainer Affiliate Program
This summer, teachers can learn how to work with C-STEM classes at 1-Week professional development Institutes in Davis, Irvine, San Diego, and Los Angeles. Teachers taking the institutes will be ready to use C-STEM curriculum in their classrooms this fall.
This work is partially supported with grants from the National Science Foundation and California Department of Education.