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UC Davis Center for Integrated Computing and STEM Education (C-STEM) --- Research and Outreach
Home > Teachers & Administrators > Professional Development > 2011-2012 > Winter Academy

Winter Academy

2012 Winter Robotics Academy
— Robotics for STEM Education in the 21st Century

8:00am – 4:30pm, Saturday & Sunday, January 21-22, 2012
1062 Bainer Hall, UC Davis Campus

Robotics can easily get students engaged and excited in learning science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) concepts with fun. The UC Davis C-STEM Center and its industrial partners have developed an innovative modular robotics technology called iMobot for integrating computing, robotics, and engineering into K-12 math and science education. Like LEGO, iMobot is designed as a building block. However, a single iMobot module is a fully functional four-degrees-of-freedom modular robot. This full mobility allows an iMobot to perform a multitude of novel robot locomotion, including inch-worming, rolling, arched rolling, turning, and standing up. Multiple iMobot modules can be interconnected into various geometries for different applications, such as a snake, four-legged walker, and humanoid. Extending the existing C-STEM computing and Algebra curriculum, this Robotics Academy provides professional development for math/science/technology teachers with the cutting-edge robotics and teaching technology to engage students on critical thinking and collaborative learning of math, science, and engineering with the 21st century career skills. The academy will train teachers on computer-aided problem solving using a user-friendly C/C++ interpreter Ch and iMobot to integrate computing and robotics into SETM courses. Like previous C-STEM academies aiming at improving the Algebra curriculum, this Robotics Academy will also explore teaching Pre-Algebra and Algebra I with algebraic thinking by solving real-world problems and close the achievement gap in math and science education.

Intended Audience
This Academy is geared toward grades 5-12 teachers and afterschool program paraeducators, who teach Algebra Readiness, Pre-Algebra, Algebra I, Engineering, Technology, Robotics, Applied Physics, and other STEM courses. More specifically:

  • Teachers who are interested in learning new ways to engage students in analytical thinking and problem solving skills where traditional methods have failed.
  • Teachers who want to teach “at risk” and credit deficient students using hands-on activities and project-based methods in STEM subjects to close the achievement gap.
  • Teachers who want to teach “gifted” students to excel in math with hands-on activities and project-based methods.
  • Teachers who are looking to increase their use of computers and robotics as a teaching and learning tool.
  • Teachers who are interested in providing their students with 21st Century career skills.
  • Afterschool teachers and paraeducators who are interested in providing their students with hands-on STEM related activities.

Outcome for Trainees’ Students

  1. Through a set of interactive computing and applied problem solving activities in a C/C++ interpreter Ch, students will gain a better understanding of abstract math concepts and their applications
  2. Students will learn the fundamentals of computing and robotics, underlying working principles of computing, robotics, engineering, and computer programming for problem solving.
  3. Students will be able to participate in the UC Davis Secondary School Math Robotics Competition, Robotics Dance Competition, and Math Programming Competition on the UC Davis C-STEM Day on May 5,2012.

Cost: $480 (including $249.95 for a robot kit)/teacher register before January 13, 2012; $530/teacher register after January 13, 2012.

  • Teachers should have prior experience in C, Ch, or C++ programming in order to attend this training.
  • We must have received your payment before instruction has begun on January 21st in order for you to be able to participate. Checks can be brought in person on the morning of January 21st, thirty minutes before the instruction.
  • Registration covers instruction, supplementary textbooks, teaching materials, software licenses for teaching, morning beverage, lunch, UC Davis C-STEM Center support for implementation of the program, and one modular robot iMobot.
  • A laptop running Windows is necessary during the training. Mac OS X support is coming soon.
  • Parking is free.


  1. An optional $115 for 1.6 Continuing Education Unit quarter credits from UC Davis Extension. Credits request forms available on the first day of the class.
  2. 16 Professional Development Credit hours upon training completion for teachers in Yolo County (Sacramento and other counties pending).

Harry Cheng, Professor and Director, UC Davis C-STEM Center
Kevin Gucwa, Director Assistant, UC Davis C-STEM Center

The deadline for early registration is January 13, 2012 to secure a spot at $480.
Space is limited; please sign up early to reserve your spot. More information is available about the Winter Robotics Academy in pdf form here.

The UC Davis K-14 Outreach Center for Computing and STEM Education (C-STEM)

UC Davis C-STEM Center, Yolo County Office of Education, Sacramento County Offices of Education, and California AfterSchool Network

Financial Supporter
National Science Foundation under the Grant CNS-1132709

For general information, please contact:
Kevin Gucwa, Director Assistant
UC Davis C-STEM Center
Email: kgucwa(AT)ucdavis(DOT)edu