Kathleen Morgan, Bradley Barker, Gwen Nugent and Neal Grandgenett


When you hear about robotics in education today, you often hear about it in the context of two different purposes: (1) the development of future scientists and engineers capable of leading the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) industries, and (2) using robotics as a multi-disciplinary education tool to attract and retain students into the STEM disciplines and the related educational pathways. To support the first purpose, there are a number of youth leadership models that explore ways to develop young capable leaders. To address the second, robotics has been shown to be effective with youth for increasing STEM learning, including youth knowledge, attitudes, and motivation. This chapter examines the intersection of youth leadership development and STEM engagement through educational robotics competitions. The study examines youth perceptions of the importance of leadership and their leadership capacity using a series of leadership survey questions completed by participants in an educational robotics competition. The findings support the use of educational robotics programs toward developing future leaders who promote innovation in STEM.