Improving recruitment and training for 4-H STEM youth robotics program volunteers
Watson Pottebaum, Cindy
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In this study, 4-H Volunteer Robotics Training workshops were evaluated for effectiveness. Using surveys, interviews and communication logs, this study examined the usefulness of the Robotics Volunteer Training workshops using LEGO Mindstorms kits and software. The findings from this study showed that a positive, supportive environment can help volunteers overcome past fears and negative feelings toward science and technology and to become successful leaders of youth robotics activities. The research also revealed that takes ongoing support and communication from 4-H staff after the training workshop, in order for the robotics volunteers to gain enough knowledge to lead a youth robotics activity. How can we create a positive robotics training experience for 4-H volunteers? Will an experiential learning experience help volunteers to gain confidence, competence and expertise that they need to be leaders for youth robotics activities? Will these trained volunteers be motivated to carry out a youth robotics activity beyond the training?