Investigating the Impact of Educational Robotics on Underserved Students’ Career Interests


Among its many benefits, educational robotics has been found to increase in student completion of STEM degrees and interest in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) careers. Given the national and international demand for a workforce trained in STEM areas, increasing student attitudes toward STEM and interest in careers in STEM areas is critical. Educational robotics provides students with an authentic, hands-on way to experience interdisciplinary STEM learning, which increases positive perceptions of these disciplines as well as interest in related careers. Yet the benefits of educational robotics are not always equally distributed for students, and therefore the impact of this curriculum is not well understood for underserved communities. In this study, an educational robotics curriculum was implemented in an urban private school that serves primarily minority students. The students at this school—ranging from third to eighth grade—had no prior experience with robotics, and little to no experience with construction-type toys or programming applications. A pre-survey was administered prior to a 12 week robotics curriculum (differentiated by age group), followed by a post-survey. The survey results on how student interest in STEM careers changed will be discussed. This research project aims to create a small window into the impact a robotics program could have on underserved students in particular to engage and prepare them for a future in STEM.

Author Information
Jessica Drayer, Technology Teacher, United States
Lauren Harter, VEX Robotics, United States
Rachel VanCampenhout, Duquesne University, United States

Paper Information
Conference: ERI2023
Stream: Coding and Robotics

This paper is part of the ERI2023 Conference Proceedings (View)
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To cite this article:
Drayer J., Harter L., & VanCampenhout R. (2023) Investigating the Impact of Educational Robotics on Underserved Students’ Career Interests ISSN: 2435-1202 – The IAFOR Conference on Educational Research & Innovation: 2023 Official Conference Proceedings
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon