June 26, 2011
June 26, 2011
June 29, 2011
22.495.1 - 22.495.19
Development of Haptic Virtual Reality Gaming Environments for Teaching NanotechnologyAbstractNanotechnology is a key high technology field that is becoming increasingly important to theUnited States’ economy. There is, therefore, a strong interest in attracting K-12 andundergraduate students to pursue future careers in this area. However, how things interact at thesmall scale of a nano-environment can be difficult for students to conceptualize. One aspect thatis fundamental to this conceptualization is how the forces between elements interact at this level.We are developing a teaching module for K-12 students about the forces that exist at thenanoscale and how they’re involved in nanofabrication. There are four important components ofthe module’s design for engaging students: the use of a virtual environment, the use of hapticfeedback, creating a macro-world comparison to the nano-environment, and making the moduleinto a game. A virtual environment enables us to rapidly and easily create new environments atlow cost. Also, it allows for creating environments that cannot occur in the real world (e.g.,“turning off” gravity). The use of haptic feedback allows students to feel real, tangible forces inthe ‘nano’ virtual environment, thereby allowing them to experience the “invisible”. Also, somestudents learn most effectively through physical manipulation than by visual or auditory means.Thus the module engages multiple learning styles. Another expected key component is thedevelopment of a macro-world for comparison so that students can relate their experience towhat they will observe to be “normal” in the real world. Finally, the module was turned into agame to further engage and excite students. Learning is more effective when it engages students’attention and they are attracted to what is occurring for intrinsic rewards. All four of thesecomponents contribute to the active learning process.The module is being developed for the NOVINT Falcon Force Feedback Device ($189). Thisallows for 3 DOF (x,y and z) for both motion and force. Currently the module consists of twovisual-haptic environments that can interact with the user. One environment works at the macro-scale in terms of allowing the user to create a house with bricks. The forces that can be felt (orturned-off) in this environment are gravity and inertia. When a brick is placed on the structurebeing built a new brick is placed in their hands. They are able to feel the weight of the brick andto feel inertia when they move it. In addition, the brick can fall or be thrown, and the structurecan collapse if the brick is not placed correctly. For the nanoscale, the user is given a set ofatoms which they can use to build a “house” at the nanoscale. In this environment, they are ableto feel the predominance of van der Waals forces, the “snap to contact” phenomenon andadhesion forces. Currently the program consists of an initial “starting” atom for the structure andanother atom placed in the user’s hand. The user is able to feel the pull of the “fixed” atom onthe atom being held, including the snap to contact and adhesion, then release, when it is beingmoved away. Future plans are to complete and more formally test the effectiveness of themodule, and to add sonification (the use of non-speech sounds) in substitution of the visualcomponent for individuals who are blind or visually impaired.
Jackson, D., & Pawluk, D. T., & Taylor, C. R. (2011, June), Development of Haptic Virtual Reality Gaming Environments for Teaching Nanotechnology Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--17776
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: © 2011 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