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Board 70: Impact of "Algae Grows the Future" Project on Promoting Engineering

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Conference

2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

June 19, 2019

Conference Session

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Tagged Topic

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count

13

DOI

10.18260/1-2--32412

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/32412

Download Count

106

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Paper Authors

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Erin Elizabeth Pepe Rowan University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-4391-5927

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A Civil and Environmental Engineering student at Rowan University. A member of the Rowan University Algae Grows the Future team.

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Stephanie Farrell Rowan University

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Dr. Stephanie Farrell is Professor and Founding Chair of Experiential Engineering Education at Rowan University (USA). Prior to 2016 she was a faculty member in Chemical Engineering at Rowan for eighteen years. Dr. Farrell has contributed to engineering education through her work in inductive pedagogy, spatial skills, and inclusion and diversity. She has been honored by the American Society of Engineering Education with several teaching awards such as the 2004 National Outstanding Teaching Medal and the 2005 Quinn Award for experiential learning, and she was 2014-15 Fulbright Scholar in Engineering Education at Dublin Institute of Technology (Ireland)tephanie Farrell is Professor and Founding Chair of Experiential Engineering Education at Rowan University (USA) and was 2014-15 Fulbright Scholar in Engineering Education at Dublin Institute of Technology (Ireland).

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Kauser Jahan P.E. Rowan University

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Kauser Jahan, is a Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Rowan University. She received her B.S.C.E. from the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology, an MSCE from the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville and a Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. Her passion as an educator and mentor has been recognized by many professional organizations over the years. She is the recipient of the Gloucester County Women of Achievement Award, Lindback Foundation Teaching Award, the NJ ASCE Educator of the Year award, the Gary J. Hunter Excellence in Mentoring Award, the ASEE Environmental Engineering Division Meritorious Service Award, the ASEE Women in Engineering Division Sharon A. Keillor Award and the WEPAN Women in Engineering Initiative Award. She has been instrumental in establishing the Attracting Women into Engineering, the Engineers on Wheels and Engineering Clinics for Teachers programs at Rowan University. She has served as the Institutional Representative and Advisory Board Chair for the Women's Professional Network at Rowan University for six years and currently is an advisory board member of the New Jersey Chapter of the American Council on Education (ACE) Office of Women in Higher Education (OWHE). She received a Fulbright award in 2015.

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Cheryl A. Bodnar Rowan University

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Cheryl A. Bodnar, Ph.D., CTDP is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Experiential Engineering Education at Rowan University. Dr. Bodnar’s research interests relate to the incorporation of active learning techniques in undergraduate classes as well as integration of innovation and entrepreneurship into the engineering curriculum. In particular, she is interested in the impact that these tools can have on student perception of the classroom environment, motivation and learning outcomes. She obtained her certification as a Training and Development Professional (CTDP) from the Canadian Society for Training and Development (CSTD) in 2010, providing her with a solid background in instructional design, facilitation and evaluation. She was selected to participate in the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) Frontiers of Engineering Education Symposium in 2013 and awarded the American Society for Engineering Education Educational Research Methods Faculty Apprentice Award in 2014.

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Ashley Ferrante Rowan University

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I am junior Civil and Environmental Engineering major.

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Adam Anthony Cavallaro

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Samantha K. Price

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Jeffrey E. Dobkowski Rowan University

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Zachery Dean Miller Rowan University

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Abstract

The Algae Grows the Future project uses algae-based experiments to promote careers in engineering to K-12 students/educators and engineering freshmen students. These experiments present engineering fundamentals and scientific principles using algae, and provide students hands-on experience and problem-solving skills. The experiments also include concepts from both the humanities and social sciences, such as ethics, gender, global challenges and other related topics. The experiments conducted in this project include calorimetry for the viability of algae-based foods, gas transfer projects to measure the effects algae has on dissolved oxygen levels in water, and algae applications such as biofuels, cosmetics, aquatic feed, materials and much more.

Both before and after completing the experiments, students were given surveys to determine how the experiments affected their learning experience as well as their views on engineering as a whole. Students also participated in focus groups to discuss the impact of the project. From the conducted surveys, it was determined that the students had a better understanding of engineering fundamentals after completion of the experiments. These conclusions support the idea that algae-based learning promotes engineering education with students.

More specifically, it was found that the students in the focus group were able to increase their learning goal understanding, task values, and perceived confidence with their learning abilities, with significant improvements also noted in self-efficacy and self-regulated learning. The focus group also found that the students were able to make better connections to their selected career path, and students were found to have a greater ability to persevere when presented with difficult engineering problems. While the study was only completed on a relatively small group size, the successful results from this group show that algae-based learning is a valuable project worth pursuing further. K-12 educators participated in a day long workshop and also participated in a survey. Survey results indicated that the algae project could easily be implemented in elementary and middle schools and correlated with the NJ Next Generation Science standards. The project results are highly encouraging and rewarding.

Pepe, E. E., & Farrell, S., & Jahan, K., & Bodnar, C. A., & Ferrante, A., & Cavallaro, A. A., & Price, S. K., & Dobkowski, J. E., & Miller, Z. D. (2019, June), Board 70: Impact of "Algae Grows the Future" Project on Promoting Engineering Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--32412

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