Deadline for application for 2012-2013 Robotics Fellows: October 19, 2012
Notification Date for Application: October 26, 2012
This three-year project, with a grant of $950,958 from the National Science Foundation, will study how to use co-robot systems and math-oriented co-robotics competitions to enhance student engagement, increase students’ motivation in learning Algebra and subsequent STEM subjects, and interest in pursuing STEM related careers and post-secondary study. We will develop innovative co-robot technology and curricula to transform math and science education by integrating computing, robotics, and engineering into K-12 education. Modular robots will be used as co-robot platforms for this project. Modules can be used alone or in collaboration with others, making it a flexible and scalable educational tool. The co-robot systems with modular robotics technology will not only facilitate personalized learning with engaging activities, but also enhance communication and collaboration. One of the major focuses of the project is on using computing and co-robotics to enhance student learning of Algebra to close the achievement gap. Algebra is one of the most important and also one of the most difficult courses for students in K-12 grades. It is considered the gatekeeper for students pursuing further studies in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). Robotics involves a variety of math, information technology, and engineering concepts. Introducing computing and robotics into the Algebra curriculum helps make abstract ideas concrete and allows students to apply mathematical concepts to real world problems. The co-robot curriculum, Math Programming Competition, RoboPlay Competitions are especially designed for students who are taking Algebra, which can excite their imagination and foster their interest in learning math in classroom, after-school, and out-of-school programs and develop students’ critical thinking and reasoning capabilities.
The project will be carried out through the C-STEM Center and implemented in K-12 schools in the greater Sacramento region. A total of 24 math/CS/tech teachers in secondary schools in the greater Sacramento region will be recruited over the three year period as Robotics Fellows to participate in the project. They will implement the program in classroom, after-school, and out-of-school programs.
The program will be integrated with the annual UC Davis C-STEM Day, which is organized to build public awareness and advocate for computing and STEM education. Students participating in the project will showcase their accomplishments at the Math Programming and RoboPlay Competitions on C-STEM Day. Fellows will share their experiences at the UC Davis Annual Conference on Computing and STEM Education.
Payments for Robotics Fellows
Robotics Fellows will be trained with co-robot skills for classroom teaching with teaching resources and support of the UCD project team. Each Fellow will be provided with about $5,000 of robotics equipment. Therefore, each student in a Fellow’s class will have a modular robot for personalized and collaborative learning. In addition, each Fellow will be given a stipend of about $2,000 annually for their work and time spent on the project.
This year we are recruiting 6-10 motivated STEM teachers to participate in the program as Robotics Fellows. To build the momentum, teachers, who have attended any previous C-STEM training and are from schools with prior collaboration with the C-STEM Center, especially schools with multiple teachers working with the Center, will have high priority. We encourage schools to use robotics platforms in multiple sessions in regular classroom teaching.