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Authors: Jenny Liu 1 ; Wendy Feenstra 2 ; Alvar Saenz Otero 1 and Kathleen Magrane 3

Affiliations: 1 Massachusetts Institute of Technology, United States ; 2 Aurora Flight Sciences, United States ; 3 Massachusetts Afterschool Partnership, United States

ISBN: 978-989-758-021-5

Keyword(s): Middle School, Programming, Competition, Robotics, International Space Station, SPHERES, NASA.

Related Ontology Subjects/Areas/Topics: Computer-Supported Education ; e-Learning ; Game-Based and Simulation-Based Learning ; Learning/Teaching Methodologies and Assessment

Abstract: This position paper discusses the use of the Zero Robotics Summer Program competition as a tool to teach programing to students in middle school (ages 11-14). The benefits of teaching programing at that age are discussed, including grasping the student attention early on and providing a useful skill. Zero Robotics is a free programming competition where students program microsatellites to compete with other student-programmed satellites in a virtual game using an online simulation. The finalists see their code compete on the SPHERES satellites aboard the International Space Station, during a final competition transmitted live. The game and curriculum teaches students physics, mathematics, and programming concepts. This position paper argues that it is possible to engage students in programing by providing the right incentive (space) through a competitive environment where teachers have a curriculum to back them up, without becoming a standard classroom exercise.

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Paper citation in several formats:
Liu, J.; Feenstra, W.; Saenz Otero, A. and Magrane, K. (2014). STEM Education - Students Touch Space Through Free Robotics Programming Competition.In Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Computer Supported Education - Volume 2: CSEDU, ISBN 978-989-758-021-5, pages 270-274. DOI: 10.5220/0004944802700274

@conference{csedu14,
author={Jenny Liu. and Wendy Feenstra. and Alvar Saenz Otero. and Kathleen Magrane.},
title={STEM Education - Students Touch Space Through Free Robotics Programming Competition},
booktitle={Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Computer Supported Education - Volume 2: CSEDU,},
year={2014},
pages={270-274},
publisher={SciTePress},
organization={INSTICC},
doi={10.5220/0004944802700274},
isbn={978-989-758-021-5},
}

TY - CONF

JO - Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Computer Supported Education - Volume 2: CSEDU,
TI - STEM Education - Students Touch Space Through Free Robotics Programming Competition
SN - 978-989-758-021-5
AU - Liu, J.
AU - Feenstra, W.
AU - Saenz Otero, A.
AU - Magrane, K.
PY - 2014
SP - 270
EP - 274
DO - 10.5220/0004944802700274

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