Integrating robotics activities in science curriculum provides rich opportunities to engage students in real world science and help them to develop conceptual understanding of physics principles through the process of investigation, data analysis, engineering design, and construction. In addition, students become more confident learners and develop better problem-solving and teamwork skills. In this paper we describe a successful use of LEGO® MINDSTORMS® in designing robotics-based activities for teaching high school physics classes. Students design and perform novel science investigations with a toolset that helps them achieve a high reproducibility in their experimental designs. Several example projects that utilize LEGO MINDSTORMS are presented.
Computational Thinking (CT) is considered a core competency in problem formulation and problem solving. We have developed the Computational Thinking using Simulation and Modeling (CTSiM) learning environment to help middle school students learn science and CT concepts simultaneously. In this paper, we present an approach that leverages multiple linked representations to help students learn by constructing and analyzing computational models of science topics. Results from a recent study show that students successfully use the linked representations to become better modelers and learners.
During which season of the year would a rabbit's fur be thickest? A computer program called Aristo can tell you because it read about bears growing thicker pelts during winter in a fourth-grade study guide, and it knows rabbits are mammals, too. Aristo is being developed by researchers at the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence in Seattle, who want to give machines a measure of common sense about the world. The institute's CEO, Oren Etzioni, says the best way to benchmark the development of their digital offspring is to use tests designed for schoolchildren. He's trying to convince other AI researchers to adopt standardized school tests as a way to measure progress in the field.
Eighth graders Cristian Munoz (left) and Clifton Steward work on their Chromebooks during a language arts class at French Middle School in Topeka, Kan. Both students were eligible to bring the devices home this summer. Eighth graders Cristian Munoz (left) and Clifton Steward work on their Chromebooks during a language arts class at French Middle School in Topeka, Kan. Both students were eligible to bring the devices home this summer. When principal Kelli Hoffman ran into her students at a McDonald's during summer break, she knew they weren't there for the McNuggets.
On today's episode of the podcast, I got to chat with software engineer Jackson Bates who lives and works in Melbourne, Australia. Jackson used to be a high school English teacher, but gradually taught himself to code and landed a pretty sweet gig as a React dev, partly by chance. Today he works part time as a developer, part time as a stay at home dad, and volunteers his time with various open source projects. Jackson grew up in England, and studied English in school. Although going into education seemed a logical choice, he dabbled in other fields - like working at a prison cafeteria - for a while before landing a teaching job.