We describe a computer science lab course that teaches a scientific research methodology. Our course is based on a recent research project and augments it with a motivating goal: We program a robot based on the Lego EV3 brick with plain English. Our students developed a multi-module solution; all modules were planned, implemented, and benchmarked following a research life cycle.
The results of our case study indicate that a lab course can familiarize students with academic research methodologies. Interviews with the participants, conducted half a year after the lab course, confirm our positive impressions: Our participants indeed internalized the research life cycle and all told us that they wanted to pursue research in their upcoming curriculum. Three of four stated that the possibility to monitor progress by running solutions on the robot was highly motivating.