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Gender Difference in Handmade Robotics for Children

Abstract : There are several kits for sale in the educational market that aim to encourage children to interact with technology and programming through the use of enjoyable activities which incorporate tangible robots. However, less expensive “craft” alternatives are also available, including handmade robotics. This paper describes the development of Rospino, a robotics kit aimed at children aged from 9 to 11. The project is still being tested and is going through several design iterations based on feedback collected from teachers and children during the last year. The study presented in this paper is part of research still under development which aims to verify whether there are gender differences in self-efficacy and perceived engagement in handmade robotics activities. Despite the fact that some of the craft materials are not inherently attractive (e.g., rubber bands, bottle caps, pieces of wood, wires, etc. and could be labelled as “male stuff”) and the low self-efficacy of the girls as measured in the pre-test, the results (among 133 primary school students) demonstrate that females have been involved at the same level as males in the activity.
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Paolo Tosato, Monica Banzato. Gender Difference in Handmade Robotics for Children. 11th IFIP World Conference on Computers in Education (WCCE), Jul 2017, Dublin, Ireland. pp.209-220, ⟨10.1007/978-3-319-74310-3_23⟩. ⟨hal-01762853⟩

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