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Rev Up Robotics

Real-World Computational Thinking in the K–8 Classroom
Product code: ROBTCS
ISBN: 9781564848178
Published: 2020
Topics: Standards, Computational thinking, STEM & STEAM, Tools, Project-based learning, Coding & robotics, Robotics
Length: 184 pages

$37.99 Non-member price
$28.50 Member price
By Jorge Valenzuela

Listen to the author describe the book on the STEM Everyday Podcast with Chris Woods.

Unlike other robotics books and curriculum, Rev Up Robotics takes a cross-curricular approach, showing educators how to begin incorporating robotics in tandem with computational thinking into content area lessons or adapting for electives. 

The book meets readers where they are and is arranged in three major parts. Part 1 covers the basics, defining robotics and sharing real-world applications along with how to teach foundational skills for computational thinking and computer science.  Part 2 shows robotics in practice within the context of content areas and features lesson plans mapped to academic and technology standards, including the ISTE Standards and the Computer Science Teachers Association Standards. Part 3 offers advice on pedagogy and teaching strategies backed by research from the learning sciences, and shares approaches to teaching robotics using project-based learning or as part of after-school clubs or robotics competitions.

The book includes:

  • Programming considerations, including a pathway from working with visual blocks to programming in C++.
  • K-8 applicable resources from leading organizations, including Carnegie Mellon, LEGO Education, littleBits, Ozobot, VEX Robotics, and NASA.
  • Actionable steps, pro tips and resources for getting started, improving practice and preparing students for computational thinking, programming, core coding concepts and computer science fundamentals.
  • And much more!


The goal of Rev Up Robotics is to provide an evergreen professional development resource that both teachers and schools can use to discover how to incorporate computational thinking, robotics and computer science into lessons that engage students and activate learning.  

About the Author

Jorge Valenzuela is the lead educational coach at Lifelong Learning Defined and a teacher at Old Dominion University. Additionally, he is a national faculty of PBLWorks and a lead educator for littleBits. Jorge is the 2018 and 2019 awardee of ISTE’s Computer Science Excellence Award and ISTE’s STEM Excellence Award. He is also the recipient of the 2018 Lynn Barrier Engineering Leadership Award for his contributions to STEM education in the Commonwealth of Virginia and a 2017 Emerging Leader honoree for the International Technology and Engineering Educators Association. In the 2019-2020 school year, Jorge has joined the Empowered Learner magazine advisory panel for ISTE and was recently appointed by the Governor of Virginia to the Virginia STEM Education Commission.