Catching Up: An Observational Study of Underserved Primary and Secondary Student Mindsets When Introduced to Educational Robotics


Student attitudes toward STEM subjects decline as they progress through primary and secondary school, making interventions even more critical for students in these age groups. Integrating educational robotics into the classroom has been shown to increase student perceptions of STEM topics while also having many other positive learning benefits such as increased mastery of STEM concepts and STEM degree achievement. Furthermore, research on mindset in school-aged children found that students who held growth mindset beliefs had higher learning outcomes, persistence, and self-esteem compared to students who held fixed mindset beliefs. In this observational study, an educational robotics curriculum was implemented across grades 3–8 in an urban private school consisting primarily of underserved, minority students. The same robotics kit was used across all ages with differentiation in the STEM labs taught to different ages. The technology teacher—the principal investigator for this study—recorded results from a growth mindset survey and journaled about student reactions to the robotics curriculum as the school year progressed. Observations about student prior experience, attitudes, self-beliefs, and mastery are used to draw insights on the effects of educational robotics for underserved student populations. As the body of research on STEM learning through educational robotics expands and robotics increasingly becomes considered a standard in primary and secondary education, it is critical to consider the needs of students encountering robotics for the first time and how to support and grow their attitudes and mindsets.

Author Information
Jessica deBruyn, Sister Thea Bowman Catholic Academy, United States
Rachel Van Campenhout, Duquesne Univeristy, United States

Paper Information
Conference: ERI2022
Stream: STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Arts & Math) Education

This paper is part of the ERI2022 Conference Proceedings (View)
Full Paper
View / Download the full paper in a new tab/window

To cite this article:
deBruyn J., & Campenhout R. (2022) Catching Up: An Observational Study of Underserved Primary and Secondary Student Mindsets When Introduced to Educational Robotics ISSN: 2435-1202 – The IAFOR Conference on Educational Research & Innovation: 2022 Official Conference Proceedings
To link to this article:

Video Presentation

Comments & Feedback

Place a comment using your LinkedIn profile


Share on activity feed

Powered by WP LinkPress

Share this Research

Posted by James Alexander Gordon