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Asu Summer Research Internship Exposes Middle School Students to Robotics, Complex Data Collection

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Credit: Franklin High School (MA)

A discovery-based, three-day workshop at Arizona State University (ASU) for junior high school students aims to get young adults interested in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields by exposing them to technologies such as graphing calculators, ultrasonic range finders, and data collection probes. The workshop, which enables the students to explore STEM concepts through inquiry and discovery, is an extension of ASU's Leaning through Engineering Design and Practice: STEM Education for an Equitable Future program.

The National Science Foundation-funded research and community collaborative is an effort to introduce underrepresented youth to STEM subjects and career opportunities. It also operates year-round as an after-school program.

junior high school students Junior high school students Wesley Burnham, 14,left, and Khoi Nguyen, 14, right, learned how to program a graphing calculator at ASU's discovery-based internship program supported by NSFfunding. Credit: Suzanne Starr / Arizona State University
The summer session includes challenges to teach students to program and use a graphing calculator as a computational and analytical tool, teaching participants to collect and record data using different types of probes, and to analyze relationships among variables through tables and graphs. The students also work with a robot chassis and learn to teach it to autonomously navigate through student-constructed obstacle courses. Remote-controlled cars are used to teach distance versus time and velocity versus time graphs. Students are challenged to manipulate their remote-controlled cars to match graphs stored on their calculators.

From Arizona State University
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