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11:00-11:30 Session 2: Invited talk
Artificial Intelligence in Education
11:30-13:00 Session 3: Robotics in Education
On Autonomous Mobile Robot Exploration Projects in Robotics Course

ABSTRACT. Autonomous mobile robot exploration can be considered a representative task where multiple problems need to be addressed and solutions integrated into a software framework that exhibits desired autonomous behavior of the robot. The problem includes online decision-making in selecting new navigational waypoints towards which the robot is autonomously navigated to explore not yet covered part of the environment. A mobile robot's navigation consists of localization, mapping, planning, and execution of the plan by following the path toward the waypoint. For these very reasons, we decided to include mobile robot exploration as one of the tasks in our Artificial Intelligence in Robotics (UIR) course that is opened at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Czech Technical University in Prague. In this paper, we present our experience running the course where the students start with relatively small isolated tasks that are then integrated into a full exploration framework. We share the students' feedback on our initial approach for the task that becomes a mandatory part of the course evaluation and grading.

Introducing coding and robotics: Prospective mathematics teachers’ metacognitive thinking in Scratch

ABSTRACT. This paper reports on prospective mathematics teachers’ metacognitive thinking when introduced to coding and robotics in the Scratch programming environment. A convenience sample of 61 Intermediate Phase second-year mathematics students participated in this qualitative study. Students were randomly assigned to groups of 5–6 members and worked together on several activities. Data were gathered by means of two Scratch programming tasks, a PowerPoint presentation, and a video as well as group reflections on their thought processes. Individual students also completed twelve reflective questions using Google Forms. Data were manually analyzed, and the findings revealed that students’ individual and group metacognitive abilities were crucial in supporting their thinking in coding tasks. In addition, we suggested meta-construction as an important skill to be successful in coding and robotics activities.

Experience Prototyping: Smart Assistant for Autonomous Mobility Concept
PRESENTER: Michala Lipkova

ABSTRACT. The paper describes the subsequent development of two bachelor's degree projects as a part of a commissioned research project for Czech car manufacturer Škoda Auto. The first bachelor's degree project by R. Hnilica from the field of industrial design focused on developing an interaction design concept of a smart personal assistant, suitable for both children and adult passengers in autonomous cars. The follow-up bachelor's degree project of a small robotic assistant by D. Plachý delivered a working prototype demonstrating partial functionality of the design concept. In the paper, we focus more on the design setup and the description of the process than on the technical details of our solution.

13:00-14:00Lunch Break
14:00-16:00 Session 4: Pedagogical aspects
Educational Robotics and Complex Thinking: Instructors Views’ on Using Humanoid Robots in Higher Education
PRESENTER: Azeneth Patiño

ABSTRACT. This paper presents the results of a study that aimed to analyze the perspectives of higher education instructors regarding humanoid robots and the use of educational robotics in higher education for STEM fields. The study employed survey method of data collection to examine the views of 192 instructors on the benefits and challenges of using humanoid robots in higher education, as well as their perceptions of the current state and future trends of educational robotics. Results of the survey reveal instructors' positive attitudes towards the use of humanoid robots in higher education, highlighting the perceived potential for these robots to enhance student engagement, motivation, and learning outcomes. However, the study also identifies challenges such as the high cost of acquisition and maintenance of humanoid robots, as well as the need for ongoing professional development for instructors to effectively integrate these robots into their teaching practices. Overall, this research provides valuable insights into the current state of the field and the future direction of educational robotics in higher education for STEM fields.

Educational Robotics and Computational Thinking: Framing Essential Knowledge and Skills for Pedagogical Practices
PRESENTER: Sukie Van Zyl

ABSTRACT. The aim of the study on which this conceptual paper is based, was to provide an updated view and nuanced understanding of educational robotics and computational thinking. A brief overview of knowledge and skills required for educational robotics and computational thinking are provided to inform pedagogical practices.  We propose five integrated dimensions of computational thinking and suggest a problem-driven framework to visualize integrated robotics and computational thinking abilities. Based on the framework, we also suggest pedagogical practices for enhancing computational thinking through educational robotics in the classroom. The proposed framework can be implemented for enhancing computational thinking with robotics as a basis for future research.

Validation of Teachers’ Competencies for Applying Robotics in Science Education

ABSTRACT. This research aims to identify the required competencies needed to integrate robotics activities into science education, particularly due to the lack of comprehensive models that address the necessary competencies for teachers to effectively teach science with robotics. A list of competencies needed by middle school teachers to integrate robotics activities into science classrooms was developed in the following steps. First, an initial list of competencies was developed based on a literature review in the field of robotics education that focused on various aspects of the TPACK model and open observations during a teachers’ development program. Second, experts and experienced robotics teachers were interviewed regarding the competencies needed to develop and implement robotics activities suitable for science education, which resulted in an updated list of competencies and adding additional competencies in the context of 21st-century skills. Third, Fifty- five teachers rated the items on a scale from 1-not necessary to 5-very necessary. Factor analysis was performed and the items were examined concerning the rating they received. Understanding how robotics can be coordinated with pedagogy and scientific knowledge for effective teaching, the present study adapted a TPACK instrument for use of robotics to teach classroom science and reformulated it with 21st-century skills.

Evaluation of a robotic system in secondary school

ABSTRACT. This paper addresses a need for basic education in the field of computational thinking skills to prepare students for ever-faster digitization at work and in life. We present the underlying considerations and a teaching approach for secondary school students with educational robots and detail seven teaching units. We show the results of evaluating the approach in a case study in a 12th-grade class at a vocational school with nine students, using an adapted Callysto test. The results suggest an increasing students' motivation and interest in computational thinking.

16:00-16:30Coffee Break & Poster session
16:30-17:30 Session 5: Devices and tools, hardware
esieabot: a low-cost, open-source, modular robot platform used in an engineering curriculum
PRESENTER: Gauthier Heiss

ABSTRACT. This paper is about the design and the pedagogical applications of a modular robot called esieabot. The robot has been used as part of an engineering curriculum and has already been distributed to more than a thousand students. The authors explain the technological choices and compare with other available platforms used in education. Uses of the robot in different educational activities are discussed. The results show that when each student has their own robot it encourages the development of ideas outside the classroom and stimulates creativity. It has also been observed that the manipulation of this tool facilitates multidisciplinary approaches in the classroom. Future work will focus on setting up a systematic measurement of the impacts of the robot's application in educational activities. It will also include an analysis of the obstacles to the adoption of this educational tool particularly in terms of maintenance and teacher training.

Single Session Walking Robot Workshop for High School Students
PRESENTER: Martin Zoula

ABSTRACT. This paper exposes our single-session Walking Robot Workshop for high school students. Students program a walking pattern for real hardware from scratch in four hours. We aim to motivate the students to have a deeper appreciation and understanding of science by emphasizing the interdisciplinary context of the solved task. Hence, a discussion of the direct kinematic task with a three-degrees-of-freedom robot leg is included in the Workshop. The Workshop design and recent experience are described so others can reproduce our results.