Courses in robotics might be the latest trend for helping high school students implement in physical form the principles they are learning in technology, engineering, and electronics courses.

Designing and building a robot or other mechanized object shows students how scientific and mathematical principles actually work. The fun of making a robot also increases students' interest in these often abstract concepts. As the teacher of a team of students who won a national robotics competition this year explains, "When they actually have to learn gear ratios and the relationship between the power of

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