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Robotics and Science Literacy: Thinking Skills, Science Process Skills and Systems Understanding

Journal of Research in Science Teaching Volume 45, Number 3, ISSN 0022-4308


This paper reports the results of a study of the relationship of robotics activity to the use of science literacy skills and the development of systems understanding in middle school students. Twenty-six 11-12-year-olds (22 males and 4 females) attending an intensive robotics course offered at a summer camp for academically advanced students participated in the research. This study analyzes how students utilized thinking skills and science process skills characteristic of scientifically literate individuals to solve a robotics challenge. In addition, a pre/post test revealed that course participants increased their systems understanding, t (21) = 22.47, p less than 0.05. It is argued that the affordances of the robotics environment coupled with a pedagogical approach emphasizing open-ended, extended inquiry prompts the utilization of science literacy-based thinking and science process skills and leads to increased systems understanding. (Contains 2 figures, 3 tables and 1 note.)


Sullivan, F.R. (2008). Robotics and Science Literacy: Thinking Skills, Science Process Skills and Systems Understanding. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 45(3), 373-394. Retrieved January 21, 2020 from .

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