CIDREE EXPERT MEETING, Lyon, January 13-14, 2020

Robotics & STEAM education

Project leader : Edwige Coureau-Falquerho & Sophie Soury-Lavergne
Country / Institute Workstream Leads : France, IFE-ENS Lyon Institute of Education

On January 13 and 14, 2020, CIDREE members from 6 European countries (France, Luxembourg, Ireland, Estonia, The Netherlands and Switzerland) participated in an expert meeting on “Robotics & STEAM education” in Lyon.

The meeting allowed participants to discuss the development of educational robotics and its role in STEAM education, linked to the development of digital education and digital humanities (ICT). For example, the discussions highlighted the different ways to introduce robotics in school and the need to integrate horizontal and interdisciplinary approaches to teachers training to help them take advantage of the potential of robotics activities and to adopt “problem solving” pedagogical practices. 

The presentations also made it possible to explore the tension between “robotics as a tool to learn” and a means to learn different areas of knowledge related to STEAM (i.e. robots as a means to learn math, computer science, art…) and “robotics as a learning object” (a specific content knowledge about robots: learning what a robot is, its properties…). A common finding is that Robotics is interesting for learning in general because robots are artefacts that articulate tangible and digital environments: they involve the learner’s body, emotions and reasoning to act on reality. And they engage the conceptual with manipulation and an experimental dimension. 

The meeting enabled a presentation of Poppy station, a NGO project that aims to develop open source robotics & AI for education, training, research and culture.  The Poppy project could be a meeting point for further collaborative research works and training projects. The concrete outcomes of the meeting are the collaboration for next RNRE2021 organisation and the setting up of a study visit in Bordeaux in June 2021.

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