Spike Up Prime Interest in Science and Technology Through Constructionist Games


Robotics sets have been successfully used in elementary and secondary schools in conformance with the ’learning through play’ philosophy fostered by LEGO Education, while utilizing the Constructionism didactic approach. Learners discover and acquire knowledge through first-hand tangible experiences, building their own representations in a constructivist learning process. Usual pedagogical goals of the activities include introduction to the principles of control, mechanics, programming, and robotics [1]. They are organized as hands-on learning situations with teamwork cooperation of learners, project- based learning, sharing and presentations of the learners group experiences. Arriving from this tradition, we focus on a slightly different scenarios: employing the robotics sets and the named approaches when learning Physics, Mathematics, Art, Science, and other subjects. In carefully designed projects, learners build interactive models that demonstrate concepts, principles, and phenomena, perform experiments, and modify them in elaboration phases with the aim to connect, create associations and links to the actual underlying theoretical curriculum. In this way, they are collecting practical experiences which are prerequisite to successful learning process. Based on feedback from children, we continue upon two previous sets of activities that focused on Physics and Mathematics, this time with projects built around games. Learners play various games with physical artifacts in the real-world - with the models they build. They acquire skills while playing the games, analyze them, and learn about the underlying principles. They modify the game rules, strategies, create extensions, and interact with each other in an entertaining and engaging settings. This time we have designed the activities together with the children, students of applied robotics seminar, and an undergraduate student of Applied Informatics. In this way, we have immediately received feedback and verified their applicability and feasibility.

15th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies