Virtual On line
June 22, 2020
June 22, 2020
June 26, 2021
Pre-College Engineering Education
In a developed country, for every 2,000 inhabitants there is at least one graduate engineer per year. However, in Paraguay for every 30,000 inhabitants, just only one engineer graduates. For a country so lagging behind in the development of infrastructure this relationship is catastrophic. Additionally, the interest on STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics) careers has decreased because of the lack of knowledge and the poor performance in subjects related on these areas. According to a PISA (Program for International Student Assessment) test report, only 10% of the Paraguayan student participants have passed the tests on reading, mathematics and science. Space-related educational programs have become a very inspiring way to implement STEM education. CanSat (Can-Satellite) training programs are clear examples of this approach. During the program, students must get over several challenges in order to build a “very small and simple satellite” (pico-satellite) that has similar function with larger ones. They learn how to plan, design and solve problems as if they were on a real space mission. That makes developed countries organize their own CanSat competitions around the world to encourage undergraduate and high school students to get interested in space science. This work makes a redesign of the CanSat subsystems taking into consideration the most popular available models nowadays, so that it can be adapted to Paraguayan educational needs and future programs. The methodology is carried out by performing the following steps: (1) Analyze the current designs by comparing mission requirements; (2) Idealize a new design taking into account the technical knowledge limitation that the students may have; (3) Implement the new design; (4) Organize a training course; (5) Launch the CanSats, collect the data; (6) Analyze the measured parameters such as temperature, pressure or acceleration; (7) Evaluate the experience. Besides, the comparison allows us to identify the features and restrictions in different CanSats projects. The students programming skills and electronics knowledge must be taken into account in order to select the most convenient platform to perform the new design, e.g. Arduino, PIC, Raspberry, etc. The implementation requires the integration of all the pico-satellite subsystems. Setting up the first CanSat training course for high school students in Paraguay will inspire them by providing new skills to solve real space engineering problems. During the flight, the CanSat should collect physics measurements and deploy successfully a parachute in order accomplish the planned mission. The students must analyze the collected data to perform a critical review of the design performance. Finally, the instructors, students and teachers will discuss and report the issues. Our design will be available for Paraguay Space Agency future training courses to a larger group of leaders from universities and high schools around the country. Impact on learning effectiveness will be assessed through rubrics tool where, indicators will be scored as low, medium and high. Criteria such as: a) experimentation and iteration, b) trial and debugging, c) reutilization and reinvention, d) abstraction and modularization (from Harvard Graduate School in Education) will be applied. In addition, problem solving competencies based on Polya method will be considered. It will have four steps, a) problem comprehension; b) plan set up, c) plan execution and, d) obtained solution analysis. All of this evaluation process is based on curricula by competency.
Kurita, J. H., & Ortiz Coronel, D., & Moreira Bogado, L. D., & Vega, B. F. (2020, June), CanSat Pico-satellite Building Workshop as an Effective Tool for STEAM Education, A Case Study Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--34257
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