Exploring Robotics STEM and Robotics Pathway

A new pathway for K-12 STEM, CS, CTE, and Engineering Programs

Students love robots, and their parents love these career options, so your classes will fill up fast with this program!

"In 2017 we are seeing more evidence of how not just IoT, but especially robots and drones will play a central role in our smart cities and automation economy."  Michael K. Spencer, Medium Author

freescale internet of things overview 1Exploring Robotics uses fun robots to teach the computer languages, power systems, technologies and electronics that provide the foundation for advancing to IoT engineering.  Our comprehensive curriculum also provides lessons in Math and Science and cross-curricula projects, making it easy for teachers to integrate into classrooms.

Robotics and the smart devices that create the Internet of Things (IoT) are revolutionizing our world. The Internet and new IoT smart devices are not only controlling home systems but are also part of self-driving vehicles, industrial control systems, renewable energy, traffic systems, health systems, and many others. It is predicted that almost every industry in the US will soon be affected by these new technologies. The technicians and engineers who understand them are in high demand.

This pathway incrementally provides STEM knowledge from elementary through middle and high school to prepare students to become the technicians and engineers who are creating and supporting new technologies for homes, medicine, and industry. Students experience success and go on to pursue STEM careers by focusing not only on robots, but also the programming languages and coding: Scratch, Blockly, Basic, Python, and C. Students invent things and also learn the fundamentals of electronics using fun kits with Arduino, Raspberry Pi and other computer control systems.

The mobile robots in the pathway mimic the features of those used in warehouses, factories, security, hospitals, and NASA. Students gain necessary knowledge and skills to control and operate them, and build prototypes using 3D printers.   Students also learn aerodynamics and hydrodynamics principles with a drone and hovercraft.   

See Our K-12 STEM and Robotics Pathway of Courses



Students will learn:

  • Smart Home, Smart Cities, and IoT Technologies
  • Engineering Design and Inventing
  • Microcontrollers: Raspberry Pi, Arduino, ATmega, Parallax
  • CS Programming: Scratch, Blockly, Basic, Python, and C
  • Controlling sensors, motors, digital and analog devices
  • Interfacing to tablets, cell-phones, and mobile devices
  • Networks, data transmission and analytics
  • Electronics and cybersecurity fundamentals
  • Motors and motor control systems
  • Robotics and mechanical systems
  • Reading schematic diagrams and building DC Circuits
  • Bread-boarding, troubleshooting, & systems thinking
  • Mobile Robots and Real World Applications

Degree Programs and Certifications

The courses in this pathway will assist the student in preparing for the following degree programs and certification examinations, national assessments, or licensure examinations.

 Degree Programs:

 Electrical Engineering

 Electronic Engineering

 Computer Science

 Computer Engineering

 Software Engineering

 Information Technology

 Mechatronics Engineering


 Student Electronics Technician (SET) Exam (ETA International eta-i.org)

 Associate Certified Electronics Technician (CETa) Examination (ISCET.org)

 Electronics Module-EM1: DC Exam (ETA International eta-i.org)

 Electronics Module-EM4: Digital Exam (ETA International eta-i.org)

 College and Work Readiness Assessment (CWRA+ cae.org)

 AP Computer Science Principles Exam (collegeboard.org)

Career Ready Practices

clip image018In each course students are challenged with real-world scenarios and projects.  To complete the projects they must work in teams, communicate, think critically, act responsibly, apply academics, conduct research, and use technology.  These career-ready practices help to prepare them to enter the workforce or succeed in College.The engineering design cycle is used to design new devices and modify existing ones to serve new purposes.  With robots and coding, students must use critical thinking to make sense of problems and solve them.  Often things don’t go as planned, so they must persevere and iterate new designs and solutions. Students gain confidence by practicing necessary skills and also learn about careers in Computer Science, Engineering, and STEM.

CTE Clusters and Pathways

The Common Career Technical Core (CCTC)

Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics Career Cluster® (ST)

Engineering & Technology Career Pathway (ST-ET)
Information Technology Career Cluster® (IT)
Information Support & Services Career Pathway (IT-SUP)
Programming & Software Development Career Pathway (IT-PRG)
Manufacturing Career Cluster® (MN)
Maintenance, Installation, & Repair Career Pathway (MN-MIR)

Fit into CTE Pathways

IOT is a new subject that combines elements of STEM and IT.  Mobile Robotics can fit within STEM or Manufacturing.The Mobile Robots and Internet of Things courses can fit into these existing CTE Clusters and Pathways: ST-ET, IT-PRG, IT-SUP, or MN-MIR (see table).When districts are free to define their own pathways, we propose that a new pathway be created in one of these 3 Career Clusters (see NEW* items in table).Districts often choose the cluster based on the best fit with the backgrounds of the teachers who are most enthused about the program.Your students can be on the cutting edge of technology and be part of the solution to improving lives for millions, while earning a high wage. Give them the chance to become Smart device programmers, technicians, or mobile robot engineers by implementing the IoT Engineering and Mobile Robotics pathway in your high school, district, or region.

Budget Friendly Features:

  • The kits are rugged and can be used for multiple classes over several years. Some have been used by schools for 5+ years.
  • All curriculum is online, video-based, self-paced lessons for terms or semesters. Lab license permits install on all computers in class and online access to curriculum by students and teachers.
  • Very minimal materials costs. Spare parts are typically less than $100 per class.  
  • Instructor PD is included via video conference – does not require teachers to travel or miss school days.
  • Technical support is included to get set up and started and to answer questions as they arise.
  • CTE and STEM funding can be used by most schools (some states require teachers to have CTE credentials to qualify for funds). Schools have also raised community funds for these programs.
  • Some schools charge students a lab fee to cover cost of robots or kits.

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