- Year 2019
- NSF Noyce Award # 1540780
- First Name Jeanne
- Last Name Weiler
- Discipline Biology, Chemistry, Geosciences, Physics
Dennis Robbins, Co-PI, Hunter College, firstname.lastname@example.org
Stephanie Diaz, Noyce Scholar, Hunter College; Stephanie.email@example.com
The Hunter College Noyce Science Scholars Program at Hunter College, Phase 2, recruits, prepares and supports new and diverse science teachers. We have created an annual one-week Summer Robotics Institute to train 14 current Noyce Undergraduate Scholars to teach robotics to middle school students during a two-week Robotics summer camp. Research from our Phase I project showed that Scholars overwhelmingly believed their early exposure to working with young students in informal summer program environments provided them with greater confidence and skills when engaging in their required pre-student teaching fieldwork in their formal education program.
One of the primary goals of our Noyce Phase 2 project is to prepare our pre-service science teachers with the understandings and skills in the innovative uses of various hands-on technologies (e.g., robotics, probeware, iPad apps, etc.) to support learning of mathematics, scientific reasoning, engineering principles and computer programming in the high school classroom. Overall, the Robotics curriculum has the explicit goal of exciting and engaging students in STEM related fields via interactive robotics.
Though hands-on workshops during a week-long summer institute, scholars are prepared to teach a STEM curriculum using LEGO® Mindstorms® robotic vehicles. Scholars learn a designed curriculum and appropriate teaching methods are modeled. Educational robotics has wide presence in New York City schools and scholars assume highly-needed summer teaching experiences at a four-week STEM/Robotics camp for middle school students in a school in midtown Manhattan as one of their first teaching experiences before their mandated student-teaching.
1. Scholars were surveyed last summer prior to and at the conclusion of their participation in the week-long Robotics Institute and again at the conclusion of their teaching experience in the two-week summer STEM camp to inform their training for this summer’s STEM camp. All 8 scholars believed that they benefitted highly from the experience in providing hands-on teaching opportunities using Robotics. We also present data on the Scholars’ initial beliefs about teaching robotics, their beliefs about the efficacy of using robotics to teach scientific concepts, their sense of preparedness in implementing the robotics curriculum after receiving training, and the degree of their enthusiasm in learning robotics as a teaching tool.
The Robotics strand of our technology initiative within the Noyce Phase 2 grant focusses on preparing our undergraduate pre-service science teacher Scholars in inquiry-based science pedagogy aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards that represents the best efforts in improving the engagement and achievement of urban students.