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


ŞİŞMAN B., KÜÇÜK S., YAMAN Y.

INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF SOCIAL ROBOTICS, vol.13, no.2, pp.379-389, 2021 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 13 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s12369-020-00646-9
  • Journal Name: INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF SOCIAL ROBOTICS
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Applied Science & Technology Source, Compendex, Computer & Applied Sciences, INSPEC, Psycinfo
  • Page Numbers: pp.379-389
  • Keywords: Educational robotics, Interactive learning environments, Secondary education, Spatial thinking, STEM
  • Istanbul University Affiliated: No

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.