Science, technology, engineering, and arithmetic (STEM) education is critical in strengthening the STEM workforce within the 21st century (Becker & Park, 2011). The STEM workforce plays a critical role in meeting future occupational needs, fostering innovation, and strengthening the competitiveness of a nation (National Science Board, 2015).
STEM knowledge is important for not only STEM occupations but also non-STEM occupations (National Science Board, 2015). Student STEM achievement within the us , however, has been less than in other nations (Adams, Miller, Saul, & Pegg, 2014; National Science Board, 2010). A decade ago, a declining trend within the number of K-12 students curious about STEM careers was noted (Apedoe, Reynolds, Ellefson, & Schunn, 2008) and, more recently, a shortage of qualified STEM personnel (National Science Board, 2015).
The teaching of STEM subjects in elementary grades is vital because the grade school years are a critical time for college kids to develop a STEM interest (Adams et al., 2014). However, elementary teachers face multiple challenges in teaching STEM. First, they’re known to possess limited STEM content knowledge (Davis, Petish, & Smithey, 2006; Li, 2008). Second, they need attended have anxiety about, negative attitudes toward, and low confidence in teaching STEM subjects (Adams et al., 2014; Bursal & Paznokas, 2006; Philippou & Christou, 1998). Third, many teachers haven’t been found to be prepared to show engineering (Rogers, Wendell, & Foster, 2010) although the discipline of engineering is critical for preparing future citizens for a technical world and educating future engineers.
An integrated approach has been utilized in teaching STEM (Czerniak & Johnson, 2014; Johnson, 2013). the issues of life aren’t supported one discipline; rather, they’re multidisciplinary in nature, calling for knowledge from different areas (Czerniak & Johnson, 2014). An integrated approach allows students to ascertain connections among different fields and develop problem-solving and important thinking skills (Elliott, Oty, McArthur, & Clark, 2001).
Moreover, this approach sparks students’ interest in STEM by highlighting the usefulness and relevance of STEM knowledge in their lives (Petrie, 1992). Students also can develop critical thinking skills when an integrated approach is used in STEM teaching.
The qualitative study described during this article examined how preservice elementary teachers integrated robotics into STEM lesson designs and why they designed their lessons during a particular way. it had been a part of an educator professional development and scientific research that aimed to organize preservice elementary teachers to integrate robotics into their teaching. this text , when discussing major findings, also provides suggestions for teacher education schemes that prepare teachers to show STEM in elementary classrooms.
Concrete objects like manipulatives are wont to teach children abstract concepts for several years (Bers & Portsmore, 2005). Educational robots are newer manipulatives and conducive to STEM learning in various ways. Robotics can spark students’ interest in STEM subjects (Rogers & Portsmore, 2004); assembling and programming robots provides students with opportunities to find out mathematics, physics, and engineering concepts (Bers, 2008); and hands-on robotics activities provide students with occasions to use abstract STEM knowledge (Bers, 2008; Nugent, Barker, Grandgenett, & Adamchuk, 2010).
Research has shown that robotics can enhance student learning in science (Whittier & Robinson, 2007), technology (Barker & Ansorge, 2007), engineering (Barker & Ansorge, 2007; Kaya, Newly, Deniz, Yesilyurt, & Newley, 2017), mathematics (Highfield, 2010; Hussain, Lindh, & Shukur, 2006), and programming (Jaipal-Jamani & Angeli, 2017). Moreover, robotics activities can enhance students’ three-dimensional thinking skill, facilitate their development of technological literacy (Bers, 2008), and attract them to technology-related careers (Nugent et al., 2010).
Whether young children can enjoy robotics could be a priority for educators. Prior research shows that children as young as 4 years old are ready to build and program robots (Cejka, Rogers, & Portsmore, 2006; Kazakoff, Sullivan, & Bers, 2013). Robotics provides an environment for young children to find out engineering concepts (Resnick, 2017) and programming (Bers, Flannery, Kazakoff, & Sullivan, 2014), and creates a context for them to experiment with their ideas and develop creativity skills (Resnick, 2017). Since educational interventions that begin earlier have a more enduring impact than those implemented later in children’s lives (Reynolds, Temple, Ou, Arteaga, & White, 2011), it’s appropriate to integrate robotics into early learning curriculum.