Project Profile

Unlocking the Potential of Generative AI for Equity and Access in Robotics Education


In the context of educational robotics, this RAPID project examines the educational equity potential of a task-oriented generative artificial intelligence (AI) tool to assist with creative productivity tasks in engineering design. This time-sensitive project will investigate how to support lower-performing learners through development and testing of an AI robot design assistant in a virtual robot-building game. Research will evaluate the design and implementation of the task-oriented generative AI tool and test the potential of generative AI assistance to close the equity gap in this specific context. This proposal was received in response to the Dear Colleague Letter (DCL): Rapidly Accelerating Research on Artificial Intelligence in K-12 Education in Formal and Informal Settings (NSF 23-097) and funded by the Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers (ITEST) program, which supports projects that build understandings of practices, program elements, contexts and processes contributing to increasing students' knowledge and interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and information and communication technology (ICT) careers.

The prototype system development and design-based research approach will explore the initial technical design space and uncover and define what are the more challenging problems for future research based on the prototype task-assistive AI tool. Outcomes include a platform for future research that could reach over 500,000 K-12 students, educators, and policymakers in its first year. A crossover-design classroom study will assess task performance and motivational effects of the tool, testing for greater impact among learners with lower prior robotics experience, as well as peripheral effects such as poor subsequent performance in the absence of the tool. Results will inform field-wide efforts to develop AI tools for advancing age-appropriate equitable learning, supporting interest in AI, and integrating generative AI in education in an ethical, responsible, and effective way.

This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.


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Principal Investigator(s)


Award Number
Project Duration
2023 - 2024
Carnegie-Mellon University, PA
Project Status