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WaterBotics Teaching Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Concepts Using LEGO TM Underwater Robots Jason Sayres The Center for Innovation in Engineering.

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Presentation on theme: "WaterBotics Teaching Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Concepts Using LEGO TM Underwater Robots Jason Sayres The Center for Innovation in Engineering."— Presentation transcript:

1 WaterBotics Teaching Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Concepts Using LEGO TM Underwater Robots Jason Sayres The Center for Innovation in Engineering and Science Eduction Stevens Institute of Technologyz

2 What is WaterBotics? LEGO TM MINDSTORMS robotics in underwater environment Approximately 20-hour curriculum aimed at middle and high school classes as well as summer camps and after-school activities Primarily funded by NSF Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers (ITEST) Program –Award #0929674: Build IT Underwater Robotics Scale-Up for STEM Learning and Workforce Development (BISU)

3 Partners Stevens Institute of Technology –Center for Innovation in Engineering and Science Education (CIESE) –Development of curriculum –Primary training and support League for Innovation in the Community College –Selection and support of community college partners to target formal educational environments (i.e. schools) –Year one selection: Sinclair Community College National Girls Collaborative Project (NGCP) –Selection and support of informal education programs, especially those aiming to engage girls –Year one selection: Texas Girls Collaborative Project International Technology and Engineering Education Association (ITEEA) –Development and dissemination of a hybrid professional development program built around WaterBotics curriculum

4 Why Underwater Robotics? Presents unique, complex design challenges (e.g., buoyancy, control in 3-D) Exposure to concepts like propulsion, drag, buoyancy and stability, gearing, torque, speed, and thrust Awareness of careers that involve the types of skills developed in the project

5 Why LEGOs? Familiarity (in some cases) Ease of use and durability Variety of pieces Rapid prototyping, testing, redesign –“Tweak friendly” Fewer components required to create start- up kit

6 Project Challenge Using LEGO and related components, create an underwater ROV (remotely operated vehicle) that will be able to pick up weighted wiffle balls and deposit them in a bin.

7 Task 1 – Straight Line Challenge Use a single motor to build a vehicle that can travel the diameter of the pool on the surface as quickly as possible. Optimize gearing to achieve best propeller speed.

8 Task 2 – Figure Eight Challenge Use a second motor to enable steering. Maneuver on surface to complete a slalom course around two buoys in shortest time.

9 Task 3 – Vertical Challenge Use a third motor and other materials to control the vehicle's buoyancy in order to descend and rise vertically in water. Maneuver through the same slalom course as in the previous challenge, except this time underwater.

10 Task 4 – Final Challenge Produce a vehicle which can retrieve the greatest number of objects from the bottom of the pool within a specified period. Objects must be deposited in bins at various depths in the water to score points. A fourth motor may be used to come up with some way to grab and release the balls.

11 The NXT and Programming

12 Key Concepts, Skills BuoyancyDensity Newton’s LawsMomentum Gear RatiosEnergy TorqueForces VolumeMass-Weight Distribution Simple MachinesProgramming Iterative DesignTeaming

13 Training Model

14 Educator Support Hub site staff –Visits to schools –Email and phone availability –Optional follow-up professional development Website –Course management –Interactive FAQs –Curriculum updates Optional Webcasts

15 Research Questions – Study 1 Professional Development Fidelity Is the program delivered with equal fidelity in different environments? If not, what are the differences between trainers and also between formal and informal teachers/staff and what accounts for them? If the curriculum is altered, what is altered and why? Are there critical components of either the PD or the curriculum without which the intended outcomes cannot be achieved?

16 Research Questions – Study 2 Student Impact Is the curriculum as effective in a wider range of settings as in the setting in which it was originally tested? Are student outcomes similar regardless of the teaching environment (formal vs. informal)? If they differ, what are the differences and what accounts for them?

17 Research Questions – Study 3 Scale-Up and Sustainability To what extent does/did each hub partner implement the Build IT model? What is the correlation between the levels of success of hub partners in meeting the project’s overarching goal and their fidelity to the BISU model? What adaptations, adoptions, partnerships, and/or collaborations resulted from implementation of the project?

18 Research Questions – Study 3 Scale-Up and Sustainability (cont.) To what extent did hub sites become self-sustaining by their fourth year in the project? How and to what extent did hubs develop a local funding base? What capacity-building activities occurred to enable project sustainability? To what extent did hub sites scale up or expand the Build IT program?


20 Project Leader: Antigone Sharris Engineering Technology Faculty Fellow Trainer: Cullen Nicholson Astronomy & Physics Faculty Assistant: Zack, Student Aide, Engineering Technology Volunteer Assistants: Brittani, Engineering Technology Student Maurice, Engineering Technology Student Petia, Engineering Technology Student

21 Coverage of Schools

22 Work to Date Summer 2011 Teacher Training Session (Week of July 11) at Triton College, River Grove, IL: 15 teachers attended representing (10) Chicagoland area schools High School Age Youth Camp (Week of July 18), Triton College, River Grove, IL: (10) females & (9) males

23 Fall 2011 Completed: Karen Amador, Physics Class Queen of Peace High School for Girls Running a program now: Ann Kuenster, Physics Class Trinity High School for Girls Steve Titmas, After School Program St. Patrick’s High School for Boys - Karen Amador

24 Management & Staffing Assets (the kits): Managed by a system involving inventory checklist made “simple”. Tested out in the summer camp and now in the classrooms and… so far… it works. Staff (the people): Currently (2) full-time faculty from different departments are funded under the grant to work with this project. The student aide for Engineering Technology is being pulled for this project and volunteers, mostly those in the Engineering Technology program, are assisting with the logistics of the program.

25 Successes: (1) school done with students, parents, teacher, and school happy. (2) schools in process, balance in the works Contacted by (3) schools contacted us to be involved, because they heard about work to date! Challenges: Off campus concerns (ex.: 7 motors failed at one school) Scheduling kits out to schools on their preferred schedule On campus concerns (ex.: asset management, scheduling) Upcoming & Long Term

26 Upcoming include: Kit distribution to remaining (8) schools Summer 2012 Summer Teacher Training Institute (focused on middle school faculty) Summer 2012 Summer WaterBotics Camp (for youth in 7 th and 8 th grade) Have fun working with the teachers and youth! Long term (already in WIP) include: Work with area businesses on support for long term sustainability of program Promoting the use of kits by current teachers for summer programs to increase interest in STEM and possibly use as a funding vehicle to help supplement the purchase of their own kit, keeping the program going after this first year Planning out how the current round of teachers can mentor the next round of teachers, thereby seeding best practices

27 Waterbotics Sinclair Community College

28 Main campus in downtown Dayton, Ohio 5 satellite Learning centers –Mason – Englewood – Huber Heights –Preble County –Wright-Patterson Air Force Base

29 Sinclair Community College 26,000 Students The lowest tuition rate in the state Credits easily transfer

30 WaterBotics 1 st year Summer 2010 –Summer camp for 20 students –Teacher Institute for 20 teachers School year 2010 – 2011 –6 school programs completed for a total of 220 students participating

31 WaterBotics 2 nd year Summer 2011 –Summer camp for 24 students –Teacher Institute for 9 teachers School year 2011 – 2012 –2 schools programs completed –3 schools programs are in progress –6 schools programs are scheduled

32 Waterbotics 2 nd year Revisit the Teacher Institute class of 2010 to set them up for 2011-2012 school year Stay in contact with all the teachers to provide support

33 Summer Camp in W.V.

34 Convenience for teachers Material provided Curriculum ready to go Loads of support material Technical support from Hub site

35 Challenges facing teachers Slotting time in a busy school year 50 min. sessions are difficult Space to keep a 12 ft. diameter pool

36 What’s next Summer Camp 2012 –20 students Teachers Institute 2012 –Recruit 20 teachers

37 What’s next Continue to solicit sponsors until the program is fully funded Recruit another person at Sinclair into WaterBotics Investigate Home School sector of education

38 Successes Vectren has agreed to be one of our sponsors

39 Successes FUN

40 Successes

41 Challenges for Sinclair Recruiting teachers is getting more difficult –Like other States, Ohio is cutting back on school funding –Ohio is changing it states teachers retirement plan A large number of senior teachers are leaving now before the plan changes.

42 Challenges for Sinclair Finding new schools –Recruit from schools farther away Finding and maintaining sponsorship to fund the project into the future

43 Thank you

44 For More Information Jason Sayres

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