Acquisition of Physics Content Knowledge and Scientific Inquiry Skills in a Robotics Summer Camp

Winter 2007-2008

Source: . Journal of Research on Technology in Education, Volume 40 Number 2, Winter 2007-2008, pp. 201-16.

Despite the growing popularity of robotics competitions such as FIRST LEGO League, robotics activities are typically not found in regular K–12 classrooms. We speculate that, among other reasons, limited adoption is due to the lack of empirical evidence demonstrating the effect of robotics activities on curricular goals.

This paper presents a mixed methods study exploring the impact of a summer robotics camp on middle school students’ physics content knowledge and scientific inquiry skills. It was found that the camp enhanced students’ physics content knowledge but failed to improve their skills in conducting scientific inquiry. Qualitative data provided an explanation of the findings.

Updated: Mar. 09, 2008