Lessons from delivering a STEM workshop using educational robots given language limitations

Daniel Carrillo Zapata, Chanelle Lee, Manaswi Digumarti, Sabine Hauert, Corra Boushel

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference Contribution (Conference Proceeding)

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Educational robots are increasingly being used in schools as learning tools to support the development of skills such as computational thinking because of the growing number of technology-related jobs. Using robots as a tool inside the classroom has been proved to increase motivation, participation and inclination towards STEM subjects at both primary and secondary levels; however, language has usually not been considered as a mitigating factor. This paper reports our experience delivering nine workshops in English, using Thymio robots, to over two hundred students aged 9-12 across a week in the French cities of Nancy and Metz. Our goal was to test whether students would still have fun, learn something new and gain an interest in STEM even when the workshop was conducted in a foreign language. Our results indicate that using language that is easy to understand, although foreign, has a strong direct correlation (p = 0.001) with having fun and that the latter positively affects learning and increased interest in STEM.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication10th International Conference on Robotics in Education
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9783030269456
ISBN (Print)9783030269449
Publication statusPublished - 7 Aug 2019

Publication series

NameAdvances in Intelligent Systems and Computing
PublisherSpringer Link
ISSN (Print)2194-5357


  • Educational robots
  • bio-inspired robots
  • biomimicry
  • foreign-language workshop
  • Thymio

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  • Student Theses

    Shaping robot swarms through morphogenesis and interactive engagement with society

    Author: Carrillo Zapata, D., 29 Sep 2020

    Supervisor: Hauert, S. (Supervisor), Giuggioli, L. (Supervisor), Winfield, A. (External person) (Supervisor), Sharpe, J. (External person) (Supervisor) & Richards, A. (Supervisor)

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy (PhD)


    Cite this

    Carrillo Zapata, D., Lee, C., Digumarti, M., Hauert, S., & Boushel, C. (2019). Lessons from delivering a STEM workshop using educational robots given language limitations. In 10th International Conference on Robotics in Education (Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing). Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-26945-6_25