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Afterschool Curriculum Choice: Technology Resources

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Curriculum Details for
OWIKIT

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Resource Description
Staff, Planning,
and Costs
Standards, Research, and Evaluation

OWIKIT

Created by RobotiKits Direct Company, OWIKITs provide accessible materials and instruction for those interested in robotic technology, giving users the tools to put together and operate a wide array of robots. The projects are both whimsical and engaging. Young people can work collaboratively to construct hopping frogs, probing moonwalkers, and remote-control beetles. Written by teachers, the curriculum features modules tailored for learners ages 9 and up that introduce concepts such as electricity, gear mechanics, and propulsion. The kits, which often employ microcomputers, are designed for a range of skill and experience levels, from an easy-to-assemble solar-powered race car in the junior science series to touch-sensitive robots in the advanced series.

Content Focus:
Science, Robotics, Engineering, Math

Linkages to:
Social Studies, Language Arts

Grades/Ages: Grades 4–12

Costs: From $15 to $100 per kit; curriculum resources for educators, if desired, are available for purchase separately
The costs shown were accurate at the time of the review. Please check the publisher's web site for current prices.

Publication Date: 1980 to present

Developer Contact Information
RobotiKits Direct Company
17141 Kingsview Avenue
Carson, CA 90746
310-515-6800
info@owirobot.com
http://robotikitsdirect.com

Design Overview

OWIKITs present opportunities for youth inquiry and experimentation. The focus is on hands-on engagement of how and why things work. Some of the kits are quite simple and require little or no prior knowledge. Other kits are more challenging and require team effort and collaboration. The TEACHKIT and Elementary Technology Curriculum guide educators through the process of introducing materials and concepts associated with, for example, energy, basic mechanics, and circuitry. In addition, some of the curricular resources address social and ethical implications of technology, and outline activities that promote critical thinking about these issues.
  • Activity Types: Hands-on learning, collaboration
  • Materials/technology required: The kits are typically self-contained; only a few call for computers and special software for programming robots. Also, some kits require a manual or soldering iron.
  • Program Length/Duration: Depends on the difficulty level of the kit. The curriculum guides offers sample lessons that are non-sequential.
  • Site Adoption: Science centers, classrooms, afterschool programs and clubs, and at home

Instructional Approach

Supporting project- and inquiry-based learning experiences, OWIKITs incorporate basic science and math concepts but also facilitate early exposure to physics, mechanical engineering, structural engineering, and computing. Youth actively identify and solve problems as they construct robotic models.


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