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Board 119: Innovative Mars Exploration Education and Technology Program: Development of an Informal Learning Curriculum (Work in Progress)

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2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

Pre-College Engineering Education Division Poster Session

Tagged Division

Pre-College Engineering Education

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Paper Authors


Srujal Patel Georgia Institute of Technology

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Mr. Srujal Patel serves as the research faculty at Guggenheim School of Aerospace Engineering (AE) at Georgia Institute of Technology. Mr. Patel earned his dual M.S. degrees in Aerospace Engineering and Applied Mathematics at Georgia Tech with specialization in Applied Numerical Analysis and Computational Fluid Dynamics/Aerodynamics. After joining as the research faculty, Mr. Patel worked as project manager for the Manufacturing Experimentation and Outreach (MENTOR) program - an initiative aimed at introducing new design tools and collaborative practices of making to high school students across the United States - sponsored by Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). Mr. Patel has also served as Project Manager for DARPA's MENTOR2 program which involved developing project kits and curricula to train the U.S. armed forces to understand, troubleshoot, repair and adapt electromechanical systems. Mr. Patel also teaches courses in Systems Engineering, Aerodynamics and Digital Design & Manufacturing at School of AE at Georgia Tech. Currently, Mr. Patel is working as the Co-Investigator for Innovative Mars Exploration Education and Technology (IMEET) program - funded under NASA's CP4SMPVC+ grant – in which Georgia Tech is developing curriculum and project kits that will be used during the summer camps to be run at partnering Informal Education Institutes.

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Maria-Isabel Carnasciali University of New Haven Orcid 16x16

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Maria-Isabel Carnasciali is an Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the Tagliatela College of Engineering, University of New Haven, CT. She obtained her Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Georgia Tech in 2008. She received her Bachelors of Engineering from MIT in 2000. Her research focuses on the nontraditional engineering student – understanding their motivations, identity development, and impact of prior engineering-related experiences. Her work dwells into learning in informal settings such as summer camps, military experiences, and extra-curricular activities. Other research interests involve validation of CFD models for aerospace applications as well as optimizing efficiency of thermal-fluid systems.

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Melissa L. Whitson University of New Haven

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Associate Professor of Psychology

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Daniel Patrick Schrage Georgia Institute of Technology

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Dr. Schrage is a professor in the School of AE at Georgia Tech and the Director of the Vertical Lift Research Center of Excellence (VLRCOE). Over the past 30 years he has established the graduate program in Aerospace Systems Design and helped focus it for student lifelong learning which has included summer camps for middle school and high school applying a simple product development process of Co-Create, Design, Build and Operate (CDBO). In addition, working with Boeing he helped initial the multi-university undergraduate capstone design AeroPace Program.

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The Innovative Mars Exploration Education & Technology (IMEET) program is being developed with the goal of inspiring students, specifically students of underrepresented populations, to learn science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) content. IMEET is a 3-year project funded by NASA to develop and implement real-world informal STEM education content for high school students and teachers. The content is taught in science museums, planetariums or similar Informal Education Institutes (IEI) where participants collaborate on hands-on projects that engages them in engineering design and manufacturing processes. The curriculum teaches key principles of systems engineering, robotics, digital design and manufacturing, and social product-development using cloud-based infrastructure using Mars exploration as the central theme.

This paper briefly describes the IMEET Program including the first-year deployment of the curriculum in summer camps at four participating IEIs. The paper concludes with the preliminary results of the Year 1 evaluation and outlines the work to be done in Years 2 and 3.

Patel, S., & Carnasciali, M., & Whitson, M. L., & Schrage, D. P. (2018, June), Board 119: Innovative Mars Exploration Education and Technology Program: Development of an Informal Learning Curriculum (Work in Progress) Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--29894

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2018 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015