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Problem Solving and Creativity: Complementing Programming Education with Robotics

Komm, Dennis; Regez, Adrian; Hauser, Urs; Gassner, Marco; Lütscher, Pascal; Puchegger, Rico; Kohn, Tobias (2020). Problem Solving and Creativity: Complementing Programming Education with Robotics. In: Proceedings of the 2020 ACM Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education (ITiCSE ’20) (pp. 259-265). New York, NY, USA: ACM 10.1145/3341525.3387420

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With its direct feedback and the tangible machine, robotics is a strong motivator for engaging students in STEM fields, as evidenced by the popularity of competitions and events such as FIRST and Robo Games. However, in the context of K-12 computer science education, the potential of robotics seems as yet hardly tapped into. In an attempt to bridge the gap, we designed a Python library for robotics with Lego's EV3 robots to complement programming classes. We employed our library to teach secondary school students as part of an outreach activity. Our approach is built around open-ended tasks instead of narrow exercise statements. Although our activity was based on the EV3 Space Challenge Set, we encouraged the students at any time to pursue their own ideas and even their own challenges. While students had little problems in using Python to program their robots, we still found a series of misconceptions and observed that female students were more interested in following their own creative projects than in solving given challenges.

Item Type:

Book Section (Report Section)

PHBern Contributor:

Regez, Adrian






Jessica Brunner

Date Deposited:

26 Jul 2022 11:29

Last Modified:

19 Oct 2022 13:54

Publisher DOI:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

Applied Computing, Education, Digital libraries and archives, Computing education, Computational thinking, Programming, Coding



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