Comparison of an Introductory Engineering Course with and without LEGO Mindstorms RobotsTechnology Interface International Journal (2011)
An introductory engineering course was run in two concurrent terms, one without LEGO Mindstorms robots, and one with. A comparison was performed between the two approaches considering teamwork, leadership, and engineering problem solving. In both groups, the project covered the engineering design process from customer needs through a working prototype. The first semester, student design teams were allowed to choose any toy-related project. In the second, they were required to use the LEGO robots to navigate a maze, find a colored ball, and return it to the starting point. During the non-robotic semester, one or two members of each team tended to dominate the group, with some members seldom contributing. With the robotics groups, leadership changed throughout the engineering process as expertise of different individuals became important. The students were involved throughout the project as prototypes did not work and both mechanical and software changes were required. The robotics project required not just mechanical expertise, but also the ability to program. The LEGO system also introduced many of the students to programming for the first time through a graphical interface that allowed everyone to participate.
Publication DateMarch, 2011
Citation InformationKevin McFall and Harold N. Scholz. "Comparison of an Introductory Engineering Course with and without LEGO Mindstorms Robots" Technology Interface International Journal Vol. 11 Iss. 2 (2011)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/kevin-mcfall/7/