ERIC Number: EJ1016543
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Feb
Reference Count: 7
Robots Bring Math-Powered Ideas to Life
Allen, Kasi C.
Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School, v18 n6 p340-347 Feb 2013
What if every middle school student learned to create a robot in math class? What if every middle school had a robotics team? Would students view mathematics differently? Would they have a different relationship with technology? Might they see science and engineering as fields driven by innovation rather than memorization? As students find themselves faced with open-ended problems that demand creativity as well as precision, they experience firsthand how mathematically informed decisions contribute to the quality of their robot, not to mention its functionality. Why should mathematics teachers try to incorporate robotics into math instruction? The answer is twofold: (1) students love robots; and (2) mathematics powers every robot. However, as students explore the materials and as their enthusiasm builds, teachers can make the mathematics both explicit and memorable for a motivated audience. Being aware of and promoting STEM education in the United States means more than helping students learn and experience math and science. It means changing students' perceptions of these disciplines through direct experience and creating situations for students to fall in love with these subjects and all that science, technology, engineering, and mathematics make possible in our world. It also means helping students see themselves as future scientists, tech specialists, engineers, and mathematicians. As educators consider strategies for strengthening STEM education at the middle school level and preparing all students to succeed in a STEM-based future, there is no question that the goal of "robotics in every school" holds undeniable promise as the innovation we need to change lives and to change the world.
Descriptors: Robotics, Mathematics Instruction, Middle Schools, Secondary School Mathematics, Problem Solving, Mathematical Concepts, Teaching Methods, Student Motivation, Student Attitudes, STEM Education
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. 1906 Association Drive, Reston, VA 20191-1502. Tel: 800-235-7566; Tel: 703-620-3702; Fax: 703-476-2970; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web site: http://www.nctm.org/publications/
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Middle Schools
Authoring Institution: N/A