LEGO Robotics for Elementary Educators: Adventures in Robotics

Dr. Michelle Gaudette
Dr. Michelle Gaudette

Emerge Faculty Fellow: Dr. Michelle Gaudette

The LEGO Robotics for Elementary Educators: Adventures in Robotics project is a high impact experience, in which participants learn, practice, and apply the principles of robotics education through guided critical reflection, collaboration, action, and effortful learning opportunities. The project includes an online, interactive, and collaborative introductory robotics course and a challenge-based competition. This project provides learning experiences through high impact strategies, such as learning communities, and collaborative assignments and projects. Although the program is open to anyone in the College of Education and Professional Studies with an interest in educational robotics, integrated teaching, and many other facets of robotics education, it will focus on the skills and knowledge necessary for participants to use robotics as an integrative vehicle for educating children. Participants will build a foundation of critical reflection, knowledge, critical-thinking skills, and the self-confidence necessary to integrate robotics education into their future endeavors.

The LEGO Robotics for Elementary Educators: Adventures in Robotics project is a challenge-based, basic robotics course. Each week, participants learn skills and techniques in robot design, construction, and programming by building and programming a demonstration robot. Participants then apply newly acquired skills to modify the robot design and program to accomplish a novel task. Throughout the course, participants will self-reflect, share their experiences, difficulties, and successes and will collaborate, and give and receive feedback with peers and instructors in learning communities. Aligned with constructivist perspectives, this collaborative effort allows for the sharing of multiple perspectives and different thought processes, self-reflection, and shared learning experiences within a community of learners.

The basic robotics course culminates in a one-day challenge-based competition, in which participants compete in collaborative teams to accomplish a specific and novel goal. The challenge will be based on the Green City Challenge, a challenge-based thematic curriculum developed by Lego Robotics. The Green City is an ecologically sustainable model city, in which participants must design and program an autonomous robot to successfully complete seven missions that require application of the skills and knowledge acquired during the robotics course. The Green City Challenge provides a collaborative and effortful, challenge-based experience within the safety of a learning community.

Upon completion of the program, participants will have gained invaluable experience working on collaborative assignments and in competitive teams, while accomplishing varied, effortful, and novel tasks within the safety and support of a community of lifelong learners who continuously reflect upon their experiences improving their knowledge and skills. Multiple high impact strategies ensure reflective, rich, and deep learning that will positively impact each participant’s future career and educational goals, strengthen problem solving and critical thinking skills, engage and enrich a commitment to lifelong learning, and foster self-confidence in STEM related education and career fields.

Those participants, who successfully complete the program and are interested in furthering their experience in educational robotics, may be invited to participate in a week-long summer children’s camp, which will be based on the Green City Challenge curriculum. Participants will work collaboratively to develop a week-long thematic, challenge-based camp curriculum, incorporating the skills, knowledge, and experiences they have had throughout the program. This service learning opportunity will allow participants to serve as project managers, facilitating all camp activities, as well as acting as leaders and mentors to the children in the camp. The focus of the curriculum will be two-fold: 1) building and programming a robot to accomplish the seven Green City missions, culminating in the Green City Competition; and 2) extension activities that will allow children to research and explore concepts related to sustainability, culminating in the development of a sustainability plan for their schools and communities. On the final day of camp, parents and selected community stakeholders will be invited to attend the team competitions and presentations. The summer camp will be run out of the UWF Summer Explore Program office in Continuing Education.

High Impact Practices (HIPs) Utilized

  • Collaborative Assignment and Projects

For more information, please contact Dr. Michelle Gaudette at or (850) 474-2614.