A qualitative analysis of second grade students’ responses to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Challenge demonstrated that young learners use metacognitive skills throughout challenges (beginning, middle, and end). Students work through Engineer by Design (EbD) loop: (1) define and research a problem (2) brainstorm and explore possible solutions (3) develop a prototype (4) test (5) reflect (6) redesign (7) re-test. Social robots can be used throughout STEM challenges to model think alouds. Educators prepare the environment for young learners. Specially, educators find meaningful ways for students to connect concrete and abstract ideas. Five themes emerged from students’ responses to two STEM challenges. The theme with the highest frequency demonstrated that students were making real-world connections. The additional themes included metalinguistic awareness, problem solving strategies, social metacognitive thinking, and concrete to abstract thinking. The five themes were connected to metacognitive thinking, EbD loop, and 6 E’s of Science Inquiry. The themes were arranged in a new model called Redcay’s STEM-oscope Model used to describe the connection between STEM education, social robots, and metacognition. The research study adds to the existing body of research about STEM education by directly linking metacognitive skills, STEM education, social robots.
Part of the book: Metacognition in Learning