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PhD Awarded for Study of Roamer Activity

Scientific Study Shows the Effectiveness of Roamer

We always said you could get a PhD by doing a comprehensive study of almost any Roamer Activity.  Well now someone has just done exactly that.  Dr. Stephanie Holmquist has just been awarded a PhD from the University of South Florida for her dissertation entitled: A multi-case study of student interactions with educational robots and impact on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) learning and attitudes.  This is an exciting development and makes a good contribution to the gathering evidence about the effectiveness of Educational Robotics.

Study of Roamer Activity Spacecraft Rescue

The focus of the study was the Spacecraft Rescue Project featured in Roamer Tumblr article.  The project was run in an extra-curricular setting with a group of ten students using the Roamer and a control group of ten not using the robot.  The activity indicated both groups high levels of interactivity and gains regarding pre and post STEM test scores.  Both groups also demonstrated a high level understanding and depth of knowledge relating to STEM concepts.

When considering participants impact on STEM attitudes, the study suggested a practical significance in math attitudes for the group working with the robots.

This study is significant as it yielded valuable information concerning the use of educational robots in the elementary environment. In particular, it supports the idea that STEM concepts can be promoted utilizing authentic instructional strategies.  It suggests there is a potential impact regarding the use of educational robots in the elementary setting. This study also supported the use of authentic assessment strategies for this type of activity. Overall, both groups were actively involved and engaged, with the group working with the robot demonstrating a slightly higher depth of knowledge, substantive, conversation, as well as a slight boost in efficacy in math, science, and engineering and technology attitudes. The results of the study align with the underlying conceptual framework as well as the use of authentic assessment. This study aligns to the movement to promote STEM education at an elementary level. In addition, the type of activity associated with this study can potentially help students make sense of career oriented experiences, thus promoting career awareness within an interdisciplinary approach.


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