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Implementation of the Educational Robotics Project

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ORIGINAL ARTICLE

JESUS, André Luis Neris de [1]

JESUS, André Luis Neris de. Implementation of the Educational Robotics Project. Revista Científica Multidisciplinar Núcleo do Conhecimento. Year. 06, Ed. 12, Vol. 04, pp. 75-85. December 2021. ISSN: 2448-0959, Access link: https://www.nucleodoconhecimento.com.br/education/educational-robotics-project

ABSTRACT

This article aims to explain the experiences in the context of robotics and to weave a dialogue between robotics and teaching with voluntary educational actions for teaching to students from less favored classes, held in 2017. The project had as general objective to solidify a theoretical-practical learning and provide students with technological means compatible with current historical development, in addition to awakening the spirit of creativity and ingenuity to future professionals. Another objective is to put students in contact with the basic rules of the programming language, instrumentalizing them to the universe of electronics enabling the analysis and assembly of electronic circuits. The purpose of the experiences in robotics is to make the student learn to use Arduino technology in its theoretical and practical aspects for assembling robotic devices, using the active methodology. In this context, the present study has as a guide question: is it possible to teach a robotics course in public schools and as a result obtain positive results? To answer this question, it will be reported about a technological pedagogical path carried out at the Sete de Setembro State College, a public school located in the Neighborhood of Paripe, a railway suburb of Salvador – BA. During the development of the project, it was possible to notice that students can have relevance in their work, exposing them in fairs and exhibitions, both local and national. Thus, the areas of analysis, robotics, education and teaching were conceived and programming and electronic languages were defined, such as the central actions of the project. The results developed in the project culminated in exhibitions at the National Fairs and Exhibitions.

Keywords: Education, robotics, Arduino, active methodology.

1. INTRODUCTION

This article proposes the explanation of a technological pedagogical path from the year 2017, at the Sete de Setembro State College, a public school located in the Neighborhood of Paripe, a railway suburb of Salvador – Ba. This is a voluntary action of this teacher, which had the authorization of the management of the teaching unit, through its director, who ceded the school’s dependencies for the implementation of the project.

The overall objective of the project was to solidify theoretical-practical learning and provide students with technological means compatible with current historical development, in addition to awakening the spirit of creativity and ingenuity to future professionals. Another objective was to put students in contact with the basic rules of the programming language, instrumentalizing them to the universe of electronics, enabling the analysis and assembly of electronic circuits.

In view of the importance of actions such as these, it is appropriate to define and explain the terms such as volunteering in the educational action, as well as its contents and the methodology used. The main purpose of the experiences in robotics is to make the student learn to use Arduino technology in its theoretical and practical aspects for assembling robotic devices, using the active methodology. In this context, the following guide question has been raised: is it possible to teach a robotics course in public schools and as a result achieve positive results?

Because the theme is not part of the curriculum of public schools in Bahia and combined with a desire of this clientele to participate in courses focused on technology, we are facing the economic factor as a hindrance to this educational training, making the participation of these students impossible. Faced with this situation, the opportunity to opportunistic the robotics project was the best perspective found as a volunteer work.

In this scenario, the rest time factor is left, often aside, so that it is possible to participate in these courses, which occur in the interval of classes between the evening and night shift, in addition to investments with the acquisition of Arduino robotics kits, sensors and electronic components, which are done with great satisfaction, for it is extremely gratifying to perceive the happiness of your student in participating in such a project.

The definition of robotics in education as well as the innovations that this theme has repercussions on the training of students show an intertwining of ideas in which it culminates in participation in events, at which time it is possible to demonstrate the productions of students in Fairs and Exhibitions in the city of Salvador – BA, with coverage in the state of Bahia and national.

2. TEACHING AND VOLUNTEERING: THEORETICAL ARTICULATIONS

In order to conceptualize voluntary actions, that is, volunteering, a term so used today, terms such as solidarity, citizenship, self-transformation, social transformation, desire to be useful and feel important, which represent, as Lovato (1996) puts it, determining factors related to being voluntary.

In this analysis of the sense of volunteering, Drucker (1997) contributes by mentioning the ideal or mission, as well as its importance of social value as fundamental elements of this type of work. The United Nations definition is that

o voluntário é o jovem ou adulto que, devido a seu interesse pessoal e seu espírito cívico, dedica parte do seu tempo, sem remuneração alguma, a diversas formas de atividade, organizadas ou não, de bem-estar social ou outros campos (CORULLÓN, 2002, p. 141).

The motivation to start the volunteer work of educational robotics at the Sete de Setembro State College, previously mentioned, is linked to the academic training in Technology and Education, an area of activity of this researcher for at least 20 years.

2.1 EDUCATIONAL ROBOTICS

In the guise of defining concepts, at this point it is necessary to understand the relationship between robotics and education. According to Débora Noemi, robotics makes students more close to science and technology, areas of knowledge that generate great interest in students. It is understood that robot programming brings a number of benefits to the quality of teaching. (NOEMI, 2021)

The term Educational or Pedagogical Robotics, can be understood by learning environments with the use of scrap materials or assembly kits composed of various parts, motors and sensors controllable by computer and software that allow programming the operation of the assembled models. (DIEB, 2021)

Educational Robotics is defined, according to Lopes (2008) as a set of resources that aims at scientific and technological learning integrated with other areas of knowledge, using activities such as design, construction and programming of robots. (LOPES, 2008, p. 46)

The term Educational Robotics is used by Maisonnette (2002) to define the control of electronic mechanisms through a computer, transforming it into a machine capable of interacting with the environment and performing actions defined by a program created by the programmer from these interactions.

It is from this intertwining of definitions of educational robotics that the project is guided, maintaining a perspective of enabling students to have a learning environment with the use of technology, in particular with Arduino, with the objective of developing projects in a multidisciplinary way in order to raise the student’s investigative spirit through an active methodology in the construction of knowledge.

2.2 TEACHING AND EDUCATIONAL ACTIONS

The first year of the course was offered only to students of the 6th year of elementary school. In view of the great demand and the limitation of vacancies there was a need to conduct a selection test for those interested.

Given the success of the project, already in progress, and with structured actions, the course was offered for the other segments of Elementary School II and High School. Robotics classes are taught in the Sunday period after the last hours of the school’s regular classes. In this way, course participants remain in school for robotics classes that take place twice a week from 5:40 p.m. to 7 p.m. throughout the school year period. The project took on a large dimension in the school, so much so that from 2018 it was necessary to make more schedules available for the classes and thus structured two classes, one class on Mondays and Wednesdays and the other class on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

The Educational Robotics Project is based on innovation, and mainly on the rescue by the desire to learn and is linked to one of the fastest growing technological segments in our society: robotics, representing the synergy of several areas of knowledge, such as electronics, physics, biology, control systems and informatics (SASAHARA; CRUZ, 2007).Despite this multidisciplinary bias of robotics and its use as a motivating element for teaching-learning, it is little used in public education institutions. These perspectives corroborate moraes’ (2010) thinking when he says that educational robotics can be the link between theory and practice, in order to build a solid bridge between classical and modern learning.

In this context, it is worth mentioning the content of the course. The Educational Robotics Project classes have a theoretical-practical character, being approached the theoretical aspects of a given subject and then carried out practical experiments. The structure has 4 training axes:

Table 1 – Study areas and contents of the educational robotics course

AREA OF STUDY CONTENT
ELECTRONICS Electrical concepts; electronic components; electric motors, sensors and simple circuit design with protoboard.
PROGRAMMING LANGUAGE Programming Logic, Pseudocode Algorithms, and C-Language Code Implementations, which is the basis for programming the Arduino platform microcontroller. Introduction to programming with Arduino; components of a program: creation of variables, selection and repetition commands, modularization.
ARDUINO Free and low cost platform. Arduino is a minicomputer capable of processing input and output information between other devices or components. Microcontroller concepts; introduction to the Arduino prototyping plate; inbound and outbound ports; analog and digital ports; microcontroller circuit projects.
ROBOTICS Through the integrations of the three previous axes the course allows students to develop robotic arms and robot carts, learning from mechanical assembly, the creation of circuits and the programming of the Arduino platform, all this step by step and in an easy and professional way.

Source: Own authorship

3. METHODOLOGY

The teaching methodology is considered as a didactic procedure to facilitate the learning process. The active methodology, on the other hand, is a broad process and has as its main characteristic the insertion of the student/student as the main agent responsible for their learning, committing themselves to their learning.

Lima (2016) defines that

as metodologias ativas promovem pró-atividade, comprometimento no processo educacional e vinculação da aprendizagem aos aspectos significativos da realidade. A robótica educacional entra nesta perspectiva como um instrumento a ser utilizado em promoção de um processo de aprendizagem dinâmico e ativo. (LIMA, 2016, p. 421)

In the Educational Robotics Project, the teacher uses the active methodology, because the themes addressed during the course, especially the contents of programming language, analysis and assembly of electrical circuits and the assembly and testing of robotic devices require on the part of students and teachers a posture, which is opposite to the methodologies in which the student participates in classes as a mere spectator and does not interact significantly in the teaching process learning.

Camargo and Daros (2018) state that:

as metodologias ativas são um conjunto de atividades organizadas, com a presença marcante da intencionalidade educativa. Os estudantes deixam de ser agentes passivos (que apenas escuta) e passam a ser membros ativos no processo de aprendizagem por meio de estratégias pedagógicas que estimulam a apropriação, a produção do conhecimento e a análise de problemas. (CAMARGO e DAROS, 2018)

However, in the active methodology the student becomes protagonist in the process of building his knowledge, being responsible for his trajectory and the achievement of his objectives, in which he/she must be able to self-manage his/her training process with or without teacher intermediation.

4. DEVELOPED ACTIVITIES

In order to explain the actions developed during the Educational Robotics Project[2], the following table demonstrates the implementation of the actions with the students who participated in the project at the Sete de Setembro State College.

Table 2 – Implementation of the actions of the Educational Robotics Project

Source: Own authorship

5. PARTICIPATION IN EVENTS

The Educational Robotics Project participated in a fair – FECIBA, and on this occasion it was possible to exhibit and carry out cultural exchanges, both among the participating schools, as well as participate in the competition between the experiences, which were guided by the teachers to stimulate the creation and structuring of scientific research in Basic Education, as the event’s website is.

One point to be made explicit is that in addition to competition, the teaching strategy must be based on cooperation. The interest is also to stimulate cooperation to strengthen a network of junior researchers and their advisors. (FECIBA, 2020)

The MNR – National Robotics Exhibition[3] is a scientific exhibition that seeks to stimulate the study and research in robotics. It is aimed at elementary, high school, technical and undergraduate, graduate or researchers students in the area. (MNR, 2015)

The objectives of the MNR aim at promoting and valuing interdisciplinary, collaborative, investigative and focused on experimentation and innovation; in addition to encouraging young people to scientific and technological careers, valuing the works they have developed, in order to generate better conditions for their technical and personal improvement, as defined by the event website. (MNR, 2015)

Bringing young people together in the same purpose provides this exchange and improvement of new projects, with ideas and technologies that will be coming.

The MNR has, therefore, this purpose, to disseminate science and technology to Brazilian society, especially technological and scientific advances in the area of Robotics, Automation and Engineering.

Both at the Fair and at the MNR, the students participated in the robotic device project to Assist the Visually Impaired Person, whose objective was to develop a robotic prototype, with Arduino technology, which allows the visually impaired to have a displacement autonomously and without the use of a walking stick, in order to provide quality of life.

6. RESULTS

The students realized that the cane used by the visually impaired has a certain limitation, such as not being able to detect obstacles above waist height, which can cause accidents. And as an alternative to this obstacle, they proposed to implement a robotic device, with Arduino technology, that would allow the visually impaired greater autonomy for moving the streets safely.

Therefore, the students had to, before the implementation of the project, go through two axes of formation, being them: to study the theoretical and practical principles of electronics such as electrical circuit; electronic components; protoboard; electric motors and types of motors (direct current, pitch and servo motor); sensors (infrared, light, temperature and ultrasound).

In parallel, training is carried out to develop programs using the C/C++ programming language. In view of this language, the main concepts of programming such as variable, data type, operator, function and control structures were worked.

After these theoretical deepenings at this stage, we started to implement small robotics projects such as: intelligent traffic lights and works involving the most varied sensors and devices of electronics and Arduino.

After this theoretical and practical immersion of Arduino technology, we started to build, program and test the robotic device. However, given the complexity of the project, new implementations were suggested by the students to make the device endowed with more resources and sensors, allowing the visually impaired a greater autonomy to come and go and consequently improve their quality of life.

7. FINAL CONSIDERATIONS

The use of educational robotics allowed students to relate theory with practice and, therefore, to experience knowledge in a more concrete way, with greater effectiveness in the teaching-learning process.

In this proposal, the student finds in pedagogical practice with educational robotics with Arduino technology, a way of understanding the concepts that previously seemed abstract, and to redesign them in a more practical way. This is because students become protagonists of the learning process, a perception reinforced by Papert’s constructionism theory (2008), considering that each one becomes responsible for their learning as they build something new.

The teaching of robotics allows the student to interact with different structures, operating on concrete, acting, exploring, looking, experimenting, attributing meaning, testing their hypotheses and finally, drawing conclusions. This conception is strongly linked to the active methodology used, because students are induced to build and program robots, and thus put into practice a whole theoretical arsenal of knowledge to realize the assembly of a robotic device.

Therefore, answering the guide question: is it possible to teach a robotics course in public schools and therefore obtain positive results? It is concluded that it is possible to obtain positive results with the teaching of robotics for public school students, considering that the final result, the elaborated devices were completed, work to the satisfaction and were presented in the most relevant shows in robotics at the national level, with social relevance of aid and improvement of quality of life.

At the end of this process, it is understood that at all times one learns, and new projects will be increasingly extremely significant for future technological innovations.

REFERENCES

CAMARGO, Fausto; DAROS, Thuinie Medeiros Vilela. A sala de aula inovadora: 9 estratégias pedagógicas para o aprendizado ativo. Porto Alegre: Penso, 2018.

CORULLÓN, Mónica Beatriz Galiano. Voluntariado na empresa: gestão eficiente da participação cidadã. São Paulo: Peirópolis, 2002.

DRUCKER, Peter. Administração de organizações sem fins lucrativos. São Paulo: Pioneira, 1997.

FEIRA de Ciências da Bahia – FECIBA. In: Governo do Estado. Estudantes educação. Disponível em:<http://estudantes.educacao.ba.gov.br/feciba> Acesso em: 12 nov. 2021.

FEIRA de Ciências da Bahia – FECIBA. Progestão: Programa de Capacitação de gestores. c2013. Disponível em: <https://cevogba.blogspot.com/2014/05/programa-ciencia-na-escola-iv-feciba> Acesso em: 12 nov. 2021.

LIMA, Valéria Vernaschi. Espiral construtivista: uma metodologia ativa de ensino-aprendizagem. Interface-Comunicação, Saúde, Educação, v. 21, p. 421-434, 2016.

LOPES, Daniel de Queiroz. A exploração de modelos e os níveis de abstração nas construções criativas com robótica educacional. 2008. 326f. Tese de Doutorado em Informática na Educação – CINED, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, 2008.

LOVATO, Flora. Voluntário, sinônimo de participação? Grandes empresas investindo no desenvolvimento social. São Paulo: AIESEC-FGV, 1996.

MAISONNETTE, Roger. A utilização dos recursos informatizados a partir de uma relação inventiva com a máquina: a robótica educativa. In: Proinfo – Programa Nacional de Informática na Educação – Paraná. Disponível em: <www.proinfo.gov.br>. Acesso em: 15 jun. 2002.

METODOLOGIAS ativas. In: WIKIPÉDIA: a enciclopédia livre. Wikipedia, 2006. Disponível em <https://pt.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metodologia_ativa > Acesso em: 07 nov. 2021.

METODOLOGIAS ativas. In: BLOG LYCEUM: Conhecimento Desenvolvendo a Educação. Disponível em: <https://blog.lyceum.com.br/metodologias-ativas-de-aprendizagem/>Acesso em: 07 nov. 2021.

MORAES, M. C. Robótica Educacional: socializando e produzindo conhecimentos matemáticos. 2010, 144f. Dissertação de Mestrado Programa de Pós-Graduação Educação em Ciências) – Universidade Federal do Rio Grande, FURG, 2010. Disponível em: <https://periodicos.ifpb.edu.br/index.php/praxis/article/download/1425/641> Acesso em: 21 out. 2021.

MOSTRA Nacional de Robótica – MNR: Uma iniciativa pública, gratuita e sem fins lucrativos. O que é a MNR? 2021. Disponível em: <http://www.mnr.org.br/anais/> Acesso em 12 nov. c2021.

NOEMI, Débora.  A importância da robótica na rotina de aprendizagem. Escolas Disruptivas. São Paulo. 24 mai. 2019. Disponível em: <https:// https://escolasdisruptivas.com.br/steam/robotica/>. Acesso em: 23 out. 2021.

PAPERT, S. A máquina das crianças: repensando a escola na era da informática. Ed. Rev. Porto Alegre: Artmed, 2008.

ROBÓTICA EDUCACIONAL. In: Dicionário interativo da educação brasileira. Agência Educa Brasil. Disponível em: https://www.educabrasil.com.br/robotica-educacional/. Acesso em: 23 out. 2021.

SASAHARA, L. R.; CRUZ, S. M. Hajime. Uma nova abordagem em robótica educacional. In: CONGRESSO DA SBPC, p. 27, 2007, Rio de Janeiro. Anais. Rio de Janeiro, 1242007. Disponível em: <https://periodicos.ifpb.edu.br/index.php/praxis/article/download/1425/641> Acesso em: 21 out. 2021.

APPENDIX – FOOTNOTE

[2] Projeto Robótica Educacional.

[3] MNR – Mostra Nacional de Robótica.

[1] Professional Master’s degree in Mathematics from the Federal University of Vale do São Francisco (UNIVASF), Lato Sensu Specialization in Media in Education, at the State University of Southwest Bahia (UESB); Degree in Mathematics from the Federal University of Bahia – UFBA; Bachelor’s degree in Systems Analysis from the State University of Bahia – UNEB; ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1376-7107.

Submitted: November, 2021.

Approved: December, 2021.

5/5 - (1 vote)
André Luis Neris de Jesus

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