Date of Award
Doctor of Education (EdD)
Lisbeth Johnson, Ed.D.
Douglas DeVore, Ed.D.
Tim McCarty, Ed.D
Purpose. The purpose of this study was to examine the difference in academic performance in mathematics as measured by class grades between high school Latino/a students in Southern California who participated two consecutive years in robotics competitions and high school Latino/a students who did not participate. A secondary purpose was to examine the difference in mathematics academic performance between Latino and Latina students who participated in robotics competitions. A third and final purpose was to describe the experiences of Latino/a college students who participated in robotics competitions and how those experiences influenced their interest in pursuing a STEM college degree.
Methodology. This study used a mixed-methods ex post facto research design. The quantitative portion of the study involved retrieving archival student data that involved eight high schools from a Southern California secondary school district. The qualitative portion of the study included face-to-face interviews with seven Latino/a college students who participated in robotics competitions. These students were also part of the quantitative dataset.
Findings. The quantitative findings resulted in no significant statistical differences in mathematics performance between Latino/a students who participated and Latino/a students who did not participate in robotics competitions. There were also no significant statistical differences between male and female students who participated. The qualitative findings indicated that mathematics achievement of Latino/a students who participated in robotics competitions was high. Students credited their robotics experiences for achieving at a high level in mathematics. Students described that these experiences had a significant influence on their interests in pursuing STEM college degrees. Students responded that equal opportunity should be offered to all students to participate in robotics regardless of their academic levels.
Conclusions. Participation in robotics competitions can influence Latino/a students to achieve at a high level in mathematics and to pursue STEM college degrees. Latino students did not have a significant higher mathematics performance than Latina students who participated in robotics competitions.
Recommendations. Future research on the influence of robotics on grades should be conducted considering a larger student population across several high school districts to include an analysis of ethnicities, gender, grade levels, and specific academic courses including science.
Ulloa-Higuera, Jesus, "Academic Achievement and Participation in Out-of-School Educational Robotics Competitions for High School Latino/a Students in Southern California" (2019). Dissertations. 241.