Category Archives: Research

Summer Beach Reading

Bazeley, P., & Jackson, K. (2013). Qualitative data analysis with NVivo. Sage Publications Limited. Coch, D., Fischer, K. W., & Dawson, G. (2010). Human behavior, learning, and the developing brain: Typical development. Guilford Press. Gough, D., Oliver, S., & Thomas, … Continue reading

Posted in Child Development, Research | Leave a comment

Elementary Robotics Book Talk – June 19, 2014 – Meekins Library, Williamsburg

Author’s Talk John Heffernan Elementary Robotics: Sustaining the Natural Engineering Instincts of Children Thursday, June 19, 2014 7 PM to 8 PM 2 Williams Street, Williamsburg, MA 01341 413-268-7472 Toddlers, preschoolers, and kindergarteners are natural engineers. They love sand castles, … Continue reading

Posted in Child Development, Research, Robotics, Teaching, Technology | 2 Comments

Comprehensive Exam Proposal

Comprehensive Examination Proposal Elementary Robotics Case Study John Heffernan University of Massachusetts, Amherst March 19, 2014   Problem Statement Designerly play has been identified as a fundamental component of childhood learning (Baynes, 1994). Designerly play is supported in typical preschool … Continue reading

Posted in Child Development, Research, Robotics | Leave a comment

Drumming Monkey – The Science of Rhythm

I have struggled for years with the science experiment part of the LEGO WeDo Drumming Monkey robot. The experiment workshop tells the students to write down “What I see or hear.” Without further instruction, second grade students tend to write … Continue reading

Posted in Child Development, Research, Robotics, Teaching | Leave a comment

Taxonomy of Robotics Skills

I have been thinking about a how robotics skills intersect. This Venn diagram show my first stab at a taxonomy of robotics skills and how engineering, programming, and building intersect in educational robotics. This still needs work but I would … Continue reading

Posted in Research, Robotics, Teaching | 2 Comments

Design Based Science Bibliography

Barak, M., & Zadok, Y. (2009). Robotics projects and learning concepts in science, technology and problem solving. International Journal of Technology and Design Education, 19(3), 289–307. Baynes, K. (1994). Designerly play. Loughborough: Loughborough University of Technology, Department of Design and … Continue reading

Posted in Research, Robotics | Leave a comment

Grade 3 Vehicle Challenge

Here are some photos from our grade 3 open ended challenge to design a WeDo vehicle.  I reviewed 3 ways to connect motor to wheels before they started: gears, pulleys, or direct drives. Students used the base WeDo kit. However, … Continue reading

Posted in Child Development, Research, Robotics, Teaching | 5 Comments

Design Based Science

A few of you may be interested in this literature review of design based science I just completed.  It reviews a good number of papers and studies that evaluate how science concepts and processes can be taught using design.  Design … Continue reading

Posted in Child Development, Research, Robotics | Leave a comment

Designing Ahead

How much young students can plan ahead is a hot topic in educational research (well, at least to me).  In discussing our recent designs, my son Aidan (age 7) volunteered that that he thinks about a design ahead of time … Continue reading

Posted in Child Development, Research | Leave a comment

4 Color Problem Case Study Results

I recently completed a exploratory research project that examined how learners respond to a difficult but motivating math problem.   I did a small case study, which compared adult math experts, advanced math students (one grade 1 and two grade 4), … Continue reading

Posted in Child Development, Research, Teaching | Leave a comment