Jessica Mullins

Johnson County

Jessica Mullins

Johnson County

Biography

Bringing Coding to Life with Robotics

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The action research for this grant will focus on the evaluation and growth of fifth-grade students’ problem-solving abilities in the areas of Science and Technology via the acquisition and refinement of coding skills as identified in the New Generation Science Standards. The question I am trying to answer is “What impact, if any, does coding have on the development of problem-solving skills for 5th-grade students?” To address the research question, fifth-grade students in my science class will first be evaluated on their problem-solving abilities by completing a pre-assessment. Then, with accommodations made based upon the outcomes of the pre-assessment, students will be introduced to the fundamental concepts of coding with the use of Wonder Workshop’s Dash & Dot Robots. Students will use the apps that have been designed for the robots to solve a series of challenges and puzzles, with the difficulty matched to meet their pre-assessment needs, by using their coding skills. The challenges will be scaffolded to allow students to experience immediate success in order to build self-confidence with coding and stimulate continued interest and enthusiasm. Additionally, the apps will be designed so that students will gain an understanding of computer science and programming simultaneously as they develop coding skills fused with problem-solving. The skills learned during this process will empower students and help increase their fluency in technology. Upon the development of foundational coding skills, students will then design solutions for real-world science and technology challenges by programming Dash & Dot. Students will work in small groups to complete Challenge Task Cards that come with the robots and those I design. By working collaboratively students will develop soft and hard skills via teamwork and creative problem solving that will ultimately help them succeed in today’s digital world while also preparing them early for the job market of tomorrow. The Dash & Dot Robots will encourage hands-on learning through play for students and help make problem-solving concrete and tangible for them. The accessories that are included with the Dash & Dot Robots will also challenge students to discover new and innovative ways to solve problems.