This study used robot-based practices to develop an activity that incorporated the 6E model. The sixth-grade students learned interdisciplinary knowledge about how to use Arduino electronic components, microcontrollers, and hands-on tools to make a “Crab Robot.” In addition, the students learned how to use Scratch programming language to control the robot and complete the “Crab Robot Crossing the Road” task. The study implemented a quasi-experimental design to examine whether the students who learned the robot-based activity using the 6E model acquired better learning motivation, learning performance, computational thinking ability, and hands-on ability than those who learned the activity through lectures. This study adopted purposive sampling to select 70 sixth-grade students from four classes, which were divided into the experimental group (6E model) and the control group (lectures). The experiment was conducted over a period of 18 weeks (for a total duration of 1,440 minutes). The results from the pretests-posttests showed that both groups of students improved their learning motivation, learning performance, computational thinking ability, and hands-on ability; however, the experimental group’s scores were significantly better. More importantly, this study provides a pedagogy manuscript for instructors who want to teach mechatronics programs and programming design education.
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