The “School’ Robotics” Training Course for schoolteachers and lifelong learners is promoted by the Hands-on Science Network (www.hsci.info) that was established from the homonymous Socrates/Comenius 3 project supported by the European Commission.
Since 2005 several successful editions of the course toke place in diferent cities of Portugal, Spain, France, Greece, Romania, Turkey and Slovakia, involving teachers from different school levels and backgrounds and educators from all over Europe. The quality of the course ( ) was mentioned in an European Commission publication: The School'Robotics course at EC' report on good practices (page 21).
Science and Technology are fundamental to the sound development of our knowledge-based society. In one hand a fast development of science and technology is required to maintain world’s sustainable development. On the other hand there is a major lack of human resources in this field and the number of students willing to take science and or technology studies at EU schools is decreasing every day.
Pedagogical approaches that motivate and bring the students to an active role in the learning of science and technology subjects, should be studied, implemented and disseminated. Hands-on experimentation in the classroom have proved success in raising Science&Technology learning but also in improving essential skills as autonomy and responsibility, critical reasoning, self-organisation self-commitment self-motivation and reward, method and social interaction. If this IBSE hands-on practice is complemented or involves building, constructing or developing a final product to perform a specific task, its success can be highly potentiated. Especially if the subject dealt with is of innovating striking actuality as robotics is to all of us but especially to our youngsters. The experience of the organiser and lecturers of this course in many different projects in different countries and different types of schools and student’s age levels, have demonstrated clearly how successful these activities can be.
The goal of this course is to provide schoolteachers, from primary secondary and vocational schools, both theoretical but specially practical information and tools, pedagogical and technical, that may enable them to begin teaching robotics to their students. Teaching robotics itself, as a topic of utmost actuality and importance, but also as a vehicle to convey the learning of important knowledge and competencies in a variety of disciplines. We also expect that those teachers will become promoters of further activities in this field.
Our methodological training approach is focused in providing teachers the basic theoretical and practical hands-on information and competencies allowing the immediate learning of robotics and in-school teaching strategies in a practical hands-on way.
The participants will receive ahead written material on hands-on and constructivism pedagogical theories. Description of the robots to be used as well as the FLL and Robocup competitions will be provided in advance. Different robots from Lego mindstorm to humanoid like or basic or advanced electronic assemblable kits will be available. Detailed bibliographic list will be provided. The course will begin with a presentation of the theme robotics followed by an in-depth presentation and discussion of the hands-on experiments and constructivism teaching/learning approaches. Theories will be presented as well as practical examples. Particular issues of great importance as the use of ICT and gender problems will be discussed and examples of good practice presented. Two target groups will be identified and differentiated approaches presented: primary and secondary education. From a certain level of development of the course parallel practical sessions will be delivered for teachers of those different school levels. The organisation of festivals and robot’s contests has proved to be very important in the success of these kinds of activities. In this subject practical questions will be presented and discuss. Support material will be provided. Whenever possible the course will end with a robotics festival where students will present their robots and compete in a variety of robots’ competitions. Close interaction between our trainees and the students will happen. We will try to induce the establishment of cooperation projects between the schools of the teachers participating in the training course. In the end we hope that several school cooperation projects could be prepared or delineated. Open and friendly two folded contacts between trainers and trainees will be maintained after the end of the school. The evaluation of this first training course will be of utmost important for next courses in this topic to be organised in the following months and years.
Manuel Filipe Costa
Information about the Erasmus+ Programme Guide and application procedure can be found at
The steps to follow to apply for an Erasmus+ (School Education Staff Mobility) grant are:
1. Register your school/organisation on the European Commission Authentication Service (ECAS), if not already registered.
2. Log in to the Participant Portal with your ECAS account details and register your organisation on the Unique Registration Facility (URF) to obtain your unique Participant Identification Code (PIC), if not already registered. The European Commission has produced a Participant Portal User Manual to help guide you through the process of registering on the portal. You may seek further assistance on this by contacting your National Agency.
3. Download the application form for School education staff mobility of the Erasmus+ Programme from the website of your National Agency. Consult the application assistance form, giving useful guidelines on how to fill it in according to the Erasmus+ Programme Guide.
4. Please check the description of our course (objectives, preparation, methodology, follow-up,…) , to make sure that the training activity fits well with your school’s project has described in the form of the project you plan to submit.
5. Fill in and submit the application form on behalf of your school to your National Agency. .
6. Please inform us as soon as you get notified from your National Agency whether your grant application has been accepted.
From mid 2014 our courses fit ERASMUS+.
In 2016 we expect to have courses on:
Courses in 2016: May 7 to 14 in Funchal, Madeira, September 3 to 10 in Braga
In 2017 we expect to have courses on:
Courses in 2017: April 8 to 15 in Braga, Portugal; May 6 to 14 in Funchal, Madeira, September 2 to 10 in Braga, Portugal
If needed we can adjust the date, location and or structure of the course to your needs. Just let us know.
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