Educational and Therapeutic Robotics

Student working with cubelets

Student working with cubelets

Educational and Therapeutic Robotics

By combining different Cubelets simple reactive robots can be built that respond to objects, light or sound.  LittleBits are discrete electronic components pre-assembled in tiny circuit boards. These simple, intuitive, space-sensitive blocks make prototyping with sophisticated electronics a matter of snapping small magnets together.  When combined with LEGOs, a high interest activity for students with disabilities, they provide opportunities for children to engage in STEM learning activities that included design and construction skills, such as building interactive robots and complex electronic circuits.

  • Cubelets – Magnetic modular robotic smart cubes that can be assembled in multiple ways
  • LittleBits – Discrete electronic components that are pre-assembled into tiny circuit boards
  • LEGOs – Blocks that can be combined with simple machines

The following lesson plans* were developed as part of the Play Lab experience:

* Science lessons were Future Science Teachers, Ashley Ireland and Salena Jason as part of their EDUC 303 class with consultation with Current and Future Special Educators in Dr. Myer’s EDSE 541 class. 



  • Greenspan, S., & Weider, S. (2006). Engaging autism. Using the Floortime approach to help Children Relate, Communicate, and Think. Boston: DeCapo Press.
  • Rodis, P., Garrod, A., & Boscardin, M.L. (2000). Learning Disabilities and Life Stories. New York: Pearson.
  • Smith, M. (2001). Teaching Playskills to Children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder. New York: DRL Books.

Science Resources

  • Aronin, S., & Israel, M. (2013). Overview of the Special Issue. Teaching Exceptional Children, Mar/Apr, 7.
  • Cubelets:
  • Littlebits:
  • National Science Foundation. (2012). Accommodating Students with Disabilities in Science,
  • Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM).  Findings from Research and Practice for Middle Grades through University Education.
  • NSF: National Science Foundation.
  • NSTA: National Science Teachers Association.
  • Mastropieri, M. A. & Scruggs, T. E. (1992). Science for students with disabilities, Review
  • of Educational Research, 62, 377-411.
  • VISTA: Virginia Initiative for Science Teaching and Achievement.