NPUST Camp Teaches Robot Programming in All-English Environment

As education lines up with trends in Computational Thinking and Taiwan works towards becoming a bi-lingual country by 2030, National Pingtung University of Science and Technology (NPUST) is helping young learners get ahead of the curve. Working together with Neipu Elementary School, the university put on a five-day all-English winter camp to teach students how to program robots. A total of 25 junior-high to high-school level students signed up for the event, which ran from January 25th to 29th (2021).

The dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Vincent Shi, said: “English Medium Instruction (EMI) is most often used in university classrooms, and only a very small number of primary and secondary schools have implemented such strategies. The activities for the winter camp were organized by the college’s newly established smart media research and innovation center, with an interdisciplinary team that integrates humanities and technology.”

Chao-lin Chiu, Principal of Neipu Elementary School, expressed his appreciation to the NPUST College of Humanities “for assisting the school with the development of a professional and internationalized English-immersive course that gives students from elementary through high-school the opportunity to learn computer programing. During the five-day winter camp, the students actively participated in the activities, and by following the professional leadership of the instructor, they learned how to correctly write programs for robots. After the course, the parents of students expressed sincere affirmation for the activity.”

This winter camp education activity was designed and created by teachers and students from the university’s Graduate Institute of Vocational and Technical Education, Center for Teacher Education Program, and Department of Modern Languages. For three hours each day instruction was provided on MicroBit robots, with central focus given to block-based programming so that students could learn different levels of programming in an all-English teaching environment.