ERIC Number: EJ1130279
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Abstractor: As Provided
Hands Off: Mentoring a Student-Led Robotics Team
Dolenc, Nathan R.; Mitchell, Claire E.; Tai, Robert H.
International Journal of Science Education, Part B: Communication and Public Engagement, v6 n2 p188-212 2016
Mentors play important roles in determining the working environment of out-of-school-time clubs. On robotics teams, they provide guidance in hopes that their protégés progress through an engineering process. This study examined how mentors on one robotics team who defined their mentoring style as "let the students do the work" navigated the challenges of a "build season" and participation in regional competitions. What were some of the challenges faced by mentors and students? How did they cope when students played the largest role in team and design decisions? The mentor-student interactions captured in the research showed mentors playing supporting roles while students took command of all aspects of building the robot. The students on the team found themselves self-directing, learning, and gaining confidence by doing, and having fun with like-minded peers.
Descriptors: Science Instruction, Mentors, Robotics, Clubs, Teamwork, Student Participation, Barriers, Coping, Student Role, Design, Interaction, Qualitative Research, Case Studies, Observation, Interviews, Competition, High School Students, After School Programs
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: High Schools; Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A