Introducing underrepresented high school students to software engineering: Using the micro:bit microcontroller to program connected autonomous cars

Dylan G. Kelly, Patrick Seeling

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Outreach that considers underrepresented groups has become one particular push to increase participation in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math-related disciplines, with Computer Science and Software Engineering representing one particular domain. We describe our outreach programming employing the micro:bit microcontroller environment for hands-on software development and how students change their high-level domain knowledge and attitudes. We find that overall, students were gaining general knowledge and slight increases in their positive attitudes towards a computer science-related post-secondary education. We also find differences between incoming knowledge level groups and self-perception as well as performance differences. We also note a slight majority of students indicated that they liked our approach and that the utilization of the micro:bit microcontroller overall was worthwhile. Future iterations of our programming will utilize these findings and add additional data gathering efforts supplanting the current pre- and posttest instruments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)737-747
Number of pages11
JournalComputer Applications in Engineering Education
Volume28
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2020

Keywords

  • TRIO
  • autonomous remote control cars
  • high school students
  • introduction to computer science
  • micro:bit microcontroller

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