Robotics and Early-years STEM Education: the botSTEM Framework and Activities

Ileana M. Greca Dufranc, Eva García Terceño, Marie Fridberg, Björn Cronquist, Andreas Redfors

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Abstract

botSTEM is an ERASMUS+ project aiming to raise the utilisation of inquiry-based collaborative learning and robots-enhanced education. The project outputs are specifically aimed to provide in- and pre-service teachers in Childhood and Primary Education and children four-eight years old, with research-based materials and practices that use integrated Science Technology Engineering Mathematics (STEM) and robot-based approaches, including code-learning, for enhancing scientific literacy in young children. This article presents the outputs from the botSTEM project; the didactical framework underpinning the teaching material, addressing pedagogy and content. It is a gender inclusive pedagogy that makes use of inquiry, engineering design methodology, collaborative work and robotics. The article starts with a presentation of the botSTEM toolkit with assorted teaching practices and finishes with examples of preliminary results from a qualitative analysis of implemented activities during science teaching in preschools. It turns out that despite perceived obstacles that teachers initially expressed, the analysis of the implementations indicates that the proposed STEM integrated framework, including inquiry teaching and engineering design methodologies, can be used with children as young as four years old.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages12
JournalEuropean Journal of STEM Education
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Swedish Standard Keywords

  • Didactics (50302)

Keywords

  • STEM
  • preschool
  • robotics

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