The Effects of Robotics Training on Children’s Spatial Ability and Attitude Toward STEM

Burak Sisman*, Sevda Kucuk, Yavuz Yaman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

45 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Robotics technology has gained significance in educational environments in recent years. Educational robotics provide students with the opportunity to collaborate in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) oriented activities. This study aims to examine the effects of robotics training on children’s spatial ability and attitude toward STEM. A one-group pretest–posttest design, a type of pre-experimental design, was used in the study. The participants were 39 elementary school students (34 boys and 5 girls aged 8–12) who participated in a long-term (31 weeks) robotics course. The course had four main learning objectives related to STEM fields: mechanical design, electronics, algorithms, and robotics programming. The spatial visualization and mental rotation tests were used to determine the children’s spatial ability. The STEM attitude scale was used to reveal their attitudes toward science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and related twenty-first century skills. Data were analyzed using t-test and Wilcoxon signed ranks tests. According to the findings, the children’s spatial visualization and mental rotation test scores were significantly increased at the end of the course. Moreover, the children’s attitudes toward STEM were significantly improved. The results showed that educational robotics may improve children’s spatial ability and attitudes toward STEM. The implications of the study were discussed in detail.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)379-389
Number of pages11
JournalInternational journal of social robotics
Volume13
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 13 Apr 2020
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Educational robotics
  • Interactive learning environments
  • Secondary education
  • Spatial thinking
  • STEM

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