Teacher and student views on educational robotics: The Pan-Hellenic competition case

  • Anastasios Theodoropoulos
  • Angeliki Antoniou
  • George Lepouras


The present work is an observational study recording the teachers’ and students’ attitudes from the Pan-Hellenic Educational Robotics (ER) competition. The study investigates the benefits of students’ involvement with robotics regarding skills, motivation and learning. Additionally, it is researched whether ER should be introduced in the compulsory curricula. A qualitative methodology was used with teachers. Although the sample was relatively small, the results were quite homogeneous showing a very high level of engagement and motivation of teachers and students. A mainly quantitative methodology was used to gather data from students. The results show that there are numerous benefits for students: they seem to increase their collaboration, problem solving and creativity skills; understand STEM concepts in computer science and engineering, and gaining programming knowledge in particular. Also, most of the teachers and many of the students consider that ER should be part of the compulsory curriculum. Under certain conditions, ER could be an essential part of the school program, as it can bring together young people from all over the world to learn and develop important 21st century skills.


1. Rockland, R.; Bloom, D.S.; Carpinelli, J.; Burr-Alexander, L.; Hirsch, L.S.; Kimmel, H. Advancing the "e" in k-12 stem education. 2010.
2. Theodoropoulos, A.; Antoniou, A.; Lepouras, G. In Educational robotics in the service of cse: A study based on the panhellenic competition, Proceedings of the 11th Workshop in Primary and Secondary Computing Education, 2016; ACM: pp 84-87.
3. Theodoropoulos, A.; Antoniou, A.; Lepouras, G. Students teach students: Alternative teaching in greek secondary education. Educ Inf Technol 2016, 21, 373-399.
4. Fagin, B.S.; Merkle, L.D.; Eggers, T.W. In Teaching computer science with robotics using ada/mindstorms 2.0, ACM SIGAda Ada Letters, 2001; ACM: pp 73-78.
5. Ben-Ari, M. In Constructivism in computer science education, Acm sigcse bulletin, 1998; ACM: pp 257-261.
6. Armoni, M.; Meerbaum-Salant, O.; Ben-Ari, M. From scratch to "real" programming. ACM Transactions on Computing Education (TOCE) 2015, 14, 25.
7. Catlin, D.; Robertson, S. In Using educational robots to enhance the performance of minority students, TRTWR 2012 Conference, Riva La Garda Italy, 2012.
8. Pittí, K.; Curto, B.; Moreno, V.; Rodríguez, M.J. In Resources and features of robotics learning environments (rles) in spain and latin america, Proceedings of the First International Conference on Technological Ecosystem for Enhancing Multiculturality, 2013; ACM: pp 315-322.
9. Piaget, J. The origin ofintelligence in the child. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul: 1953.
10. Papert, S. Mindstorms: Children, computers, and powerful ideas. Basic Books, Inc.: 1980.
11. Papert, S.; Harel, I. Situating constructionism. Constructionism 1991, 36, 1-11.
12. Kawell, G.; Schafer, B. In Brainstorming how to use lego mindstorms ev3 in the classroom, Proceedings of the 46th ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education, 2015; ACM: pp 692-692.
13. Lui, A.K.; Ng, S.C.; Cheung, Y.H.; Gurung, P. Facilitating independent learning with lego mindstorms robots. acm Inroads 2010, 1, 49-53.
14. Jin, K.H.; Kearns, G. In Just enough programming for eight-years olds, Proceedings of the 46th ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education, 2015; ACM: pp 675-675.
15. Klassner, F.; Schafer, B. In Using the new lego mindstorms ev3 robotics platform in cs courses, Proceedings of the 45th ACM technical symposium on Computer science education, 2014; ACM: pp 745-746.
16. Simon. Using a primary-school challenge in a third-year it course. In Proceedings of the Twelfth Australasian Conference on Computing Education - Volume 103, Australian Computer Society, Inc.: Brisbane, Australia, 2010; pp 147-154.
17. Druin, A.; Hendler, J.A. Robots for kids: Exploring new technologies for learning. Morgan Kaufmann: 2000.
18. Kazerouni, A.; Shrewsbury, B.; Padgett, C. In Using the nxt as an educational tool in computer science classes, Proceedings of the 49th Annual Southeast Regional Conference, 2011; ACM: pp 67-69.
19. Anderson, M.; Gavan, C. In Engaging undergraduate programming students: Experiences using lego mindstorms nxt, Proceedings of the 13th annual conference on Information technology education, 2012; ACM: pp 139-144.
20. McGill, M.M. Learning to program with personal robots: Influences on student motivation. ACM Transactions on Computing Education (TOCE) 2012, 12, 4.
21. Sklar, E.; Eguchi, A. In Robocupjunior—four years later, Robot Soccer World Cup, 2004; Springer: pp 172-183.
22. Lu, D.V.; Mead, R. In Introducing students grades 6–12 to expressive robotics, Human-Robot Interaction (HRI), 2012 7th ACM/IEEE International Conference on, 2012; IEEE: pp 411-411.
23. Benitti, F.B.V. Exploring the educational potential of robotics in schools: A systematic review. Computers & Education 2012, 58, 978-988.
24. Rusk, N.; Resnick, M.; Berg, R.; Pezalla-Granlund, M. New pathways into robotics: Strategies for broadening participation. Journal of Science Education and Technology 2008, 17, 59-69.
25. Apiola, M.; Lattu, M.; Pasanen, T.A. In Creativity and intrinsic motivation in computer science education: Experimenting with robots, Proceedings of the fifteenth annual conference on Innovation and technology in computer science education, 2010; ACM: pp 199-203.
26. Varnado, T.E. The effects of a technological problem solving activity on first lego league participants' problem solving style and performance. Virginia Tech, 2005.
27. Welch, A.G. The effect of the first robotics competition on high school students' attitudes toward science. University of Kansas, 2007.
28. Kandlhofer, M.; Steinbauer, G. Evaluating the impact of educational robotics on pupils' technical-and social-skills and science related attitudes. Robotics and Autonomous Systems 2016, 75, 679-685.
29. Melchior, A.; Cohen, F.; Cutter, T.; Leavitt, T.; Manchester, N. More than robots: An evaluation of the first robotics competition participant and institutional impacts. Heller School for Social Policy and Management, Brandeis University 2005.
30. Melchior, A.; Cutter, T.; Cohen, F. Evaluation of first lego league. Waltham, MA: Center for Youth and Communities, Heller Graduate School, Brandeis University 2004.
31. Diethelm, I.; Hubwieser, P.; Klaus, R. In Students, teachers and phenomena: Educational reconstruction for computer science education, Proceedings of the 12th Koli Calling International Conference on Computing Education Research, 2012; ACM: pp 164-173.
32. Giannakos, M.N.; Jaccheri, L. In What motivates children to become creators of digital enriched artifacts?, Proceedings of the 9th ACM Conference on Creativity & Cognition, 2013; ACM: pp 104-113.
33. Hubwieser, P. In The darmstadt model: A first step towards a research framework for computer science education in schools, International Conference on Informatics in Schools: Situation, Evolution, and Perspectives, 2013; Springer: pp 1-14.
34. Hubwieser, P.; Armoni, M.; Brinda, T.; Dagiene, V.; Diethelm, I.; Giannakos, M.N.; Knobelsdorf, M.; Magenheim, J.; Mittermeir, R.; Schubert, S. In Computer science/informatics in secondary education, Proceedings of the 16th annual conference reports on Innovation and technology in computer science education-working group reports, 2011; ACM: pp 19-38.
35. Sjoberg, S.; Jensen, F. Rose: The relevance of science education. A comparative and cooperative international study of the contents and contexts of science education.[Online] http://folk/. uio. no/sveinsj/ROSE_files. htm 2001.
36. Oppenheim, A.N. Questionnaire design, interviewing and attitude measurement. Bloomsbury Publishing: 2000.
37. Bühner, M. Einführung in die test-und fragebogenkonstruktion. Pearson Deutschland GmbH: 2011.
38. Glynn, S.M.; Brickman, P.; Armstrong, N.; Taasoobshirazi, G. Science motivation questionnaire ii: Validation with science majors and nonscience majors. Journal of Research in Science Teaching 2011, 48, 1159-1176.
39. Pintrich, P.R.; De Groot, E.V. Motivational and self-regulated learning components of classroom academic performance. Journal of educational psychology 1990, 82, 33.
40. Nugent, G.; Barker, B.; Grandgenett, N.; Adamchuk, V.I. Impact of robotics and geospatial technology interventions on youth stem learning and attitudes. Journal of Research on Technology in Education 2010, 42, 391-408.
41. Cruz, I.L.J. Robotics as a means of increasing student achievement in middle school science. Faculty of the Louisiana State University and Agricultural and Mechanical College in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Natural Sciences in The Interdepartmental Program in Natural Sciences By Ingrid Lorelei J. Cruz BS, University of the Philippines, 2010.
42. Bebras. Bebras: International challenge on informatics and computational thinking. http://www.bebras.org/ (09/06/2017),
43. Clark, D. Testing programming skills with multiple choice questions. Informatics in Education-An International Journal 2004, 161-178.
44. Fraser, B.J. Tosra: Test of science-related attitudes: Handbook. Australian Council for Educational Research: 1981.
45. Mayring, P. In On generalization in qualitatively oriented research, Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung/Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 2007.
46. Klein, J.D.; Keller, J.M. Influence of student ability, locus of control, and type of instructional control on performance and confidence. The Journal of Educational Research 1990, 83, 140-146.
47. Catlin, D.; Woollard, J. In Educational robots and computational thinking, Proceedings of 4th International Workshop Teaching Robotics, Teaching with Robotics & 5th International Conference Robotics in Education, 2014; pp 144-151.
48. Smith III, J.P.; Disessa, A.A.; Roschelle, J. Misconceptions reconceived: A constructivist analysis of knowledge in transition. The journal of the learning sciences 1994, 3, 115-163.

How to Cite
THEODOROPOULOS, Anastasios; ANTONIOU, Angeliki; LEPOURAS, George. Teacher and student views on educational robotics: The Pan-Hellenic competition case. Application and Theory of Computer Technology, [S.l.], v. 2, n. 4, p. 1-23, july 2017. ISSN 2514-1694. Available at: <http://www.archyworld.com/journals/index.php/atct/article/view/94>. Date accessed: 23 july 2017. doi: https://doi.org/10.22496/atct.v2i4.94.
Conference Papers