Connecting the science classroom and tangible interfaces: the Bifocal Modeling framework

Author: Blikstein, P.
Year: 2010
Project: Bifocal Modeling
Type: Refereed Conference Paper/Poster/Demo (with Proceedings)
Conference/Journal: ICLS 2010

Paulo Blikstein. 2010. Connecting the science classroom and tangible interfaces: the bifocal modeling framework. In Proceedings of the 9th International Conference of the Learning Sciences – Volume 2 (ICLS ’10), Kimberly Gomez, Leilah Lyons, and Joshua Radinsky (Eds.), Vol. 2. International Society of the Learning Sciences 128-130.


Fifteen years ago, few would have predicted that children would be doing advanced robotics in middle-school. Indeed, since the seminal work by Papert, Martin, and Resnick (Martin, 1993; Resnick, et al., 1998; Resnick, Ocko, and Papert, 1991), the launch of the Lego Mindstorms platform, and the appearance of robotics competitions across the country, robotics has become a common activity in public and private schools. However, the learning revolution predicted by its proponents is still far away – such activities are oftentimes attended by males, too focused on competitions and prescribed, standardized “challenges,” and disconnected from the school curriculum. In most schools, robotics teachers conduct activities regardless of what happens in the science or math classroom.