Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute

Teaching through robotics: Learning math, science, and engineering with LEGO bricks

Chris Rogers, Ph.D.
 Tufts University

Thursday, January 6, 2005
Pacific Forum 3:00 p.m.

A group of us at Tufts' Center for Engineering Education Outreach have spent the last 15 years working with teachers, schools, industry, and government to make engineering an integral part of every child's education. The desire to build is part of every childhood and can be used as a powerful motivator to teach math, science, and even literacy skills. The results of our work have led to the technology/engineering standard in K-12 education in Massachusetts as well as engineering programs in schools around the world. In this particular talk I am going to present the work we do with LEGO in developing ROBOLAB; an educational toolkit developed at Tufts with the support of National Instruments and LEGO. We begin with children learning to build sturdy structures in kindergarten, fractions and decimal numbers in the 1st grade, graphing and modeling in 3rd grade, and end with college students learning robotics, electronics, and controls by building underwater LEGO submarines at MBARI. I will spend the bulk of the talk showing how parents, teachers, and engineering undergraduates work together to show children the importance of learning math and science. In reality, I will spend most of the time showing neat inventions of students from kindergarten to college.

To watch a video clip of a LEGO submarine please visit:

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