Informal stEAM education case study: Child-robot musical theater

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



Department of Cognitive and Learning Sciences


STEAM education fuses arts with traditional STEM fields so that the diverse disciplines can broaden and inform each other. Our eight-week STEAM afterschool program exposed elementary school children to social robotics and musical theater. Approximately 25 children grades K-5 participated over the course of the program with an average of 12 children attending each week. The program covered acting, dancing, music, and drawing with the robots in two-week modules based around the fairy tale, “Beauty and the Beast”. The modular design enabled children who could come to only a few sessions to participate actively. The children demonstrated enthusiasm for both the robots and the musical theater activities and were engaged in the program. Efforts such as this can provide meaningful opportunities for children to explore a variety of arts and STEM fields in an enjoyable manner. The program components and lessons learned are discussed with recommendations for future research.

Publication Title

Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Proceedings