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Educate Utilizing CubeSat Experience: Unified K-20 Vision of Comprehensive STEAM-Powered Space Systems Education Program

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2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session

Systems Engineering Division Technical Session 3

Tagged Division

Systems Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

26.567.1 - 26.567.13



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Paper Authors


Bungo Shiotani University of Florida

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Bungo Shiotani is a Ph.D. student at the University of Florida (UF) working on systems engineering aspects for small satellites. Specifically to develop metrics to quantify mission assurance throughout the project life-cycle. Bungo received two Bachelor of Science degrees, one in Aerospace Engineering from UF and the other in Engineering Physics from Jacksonville University. He also received his Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering from UF where his thesis, Reliability Analysis of SwampSat, focused on performing reliability analyses on SwampSat, UF’s first CubeSat. His experiences and as the project manager with SwampSat lead to an internship at NESTRA (Japan) where he worked on developing system diagrams and test procedures as well as assembly integration and testing of their three microsatellites that were in development. In addition to his Ph.D. work, Bungo is the project coordinator for Partnerships for International Research and Education (PIRE) program on multiphase fluid science and technologies at the UF’s Chemical Engineering Department funded by the National Science Foundation. As the PIRE project coordinator, he works as a liaison with members from France, Japan, and the United States.

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Dante Augustus Buckley University of Florida

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Dante received his Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Florida (UF) in Gainesville in 2006. He is credited for co-founding the Small Satellite Design Club (SSDC) in his undergraduate years after being selected to compete in the Frank J. Redd student competition at the 19th Annual USU/AIAA Small Satellite Conference in Logan, Utah. SSDC is a UF affiliated student organization whose primary goal was to establish a permanent small satellite program on campus while creating awareness of space systems engineering in order to prepare students for their professional careers. Dante is a consultant (former research assistant) for the Space Systems Group (SSG), a graduate research team advised by Professor Norman Fitz-Coy in the Department of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering. SSG designed and developed a cube satellite mission known as SwampSat, which launched in 2013.

SwampSat is a CubeSat for on-orbit demonstration of a compact three-axis attitude control system developed at UF geared to affect rapid retargeting and precision pointing (R2P2) of pico-class (1 kg) and nano-class (<10 kg) spacecraft. Through Dante’s leadership, SSDC won the Annual Florida University Nano-SATellite (FUNSAT) design competition sponsored by the Florida Space Grant Consortium and Space Florida in both 2008 and 2009. Dante is also credited for establishing and coordinating outreach efforts. He is the Lead Architect on the Educate Utilizing CubeSat Experience (EdUCE) project, a Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) and CubeSat themed K-20 outreach initiative, which in return just may inspire and cultivate the next generation of scientists and engineers to carry this and other work forward.

Dante earned a Dean’s Certificate in Engineering Entrepreneurship in Spring 2011 through the Engineering Leadership Institute. Dante is the former Curriculum Technologist / Computer Applications instructor at St. Francis Catholic High School (SFCHS) in Gainesville, FL. where he also hosted a TEDxYouth event and coached a FIRST robotics rookie all-star team.

Dante is currently a Manufacturing Engineer II at RTI Surgical where he supports the manufacturing process for surgical implants.

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Amy Elizabeth Bumbaco University of Florida

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Amy Bumbaco is a PhD candidate in the Materials Science and Engineering Department at University of Florida, USA. She is working on engineering education research as her focus. Her current research interests include first year engineering education, critical thinking, qualitative methodologies, and peer review. She received her BS in Materials Science and Engineering at Virginia Tech. She founded an ASEE student chapter at University of Florida continues sharing engineering education research with fellow members.

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Norman G. Fitz-Coy University of Florida

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Educate Utilizing CubeSat Experience: Unified K-20 Vision of Comprehensive STEAM-Powered Space Systems Education ProgramEducate Utilizing CubeSat Experience (EdUCE) debuted in 2010 as a K-20 Science,Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education program using space-derivedactivities with an emphasis on design and development of CubeSats. CubeSats originallywere introduced to train and expose university students and faculty to holistic spacecraftresearch and development. Recently, the inclusion of the Arts (resulting in STEAM) hasbecome a complementary effort to engage students/educators in activities and to motivateinnovation in Systems Engineering curriculum. This paper discusses a new systematicapproach which (i) utilizes a Backward Design approach to develop coherent end-to-endsystem engineering content and (ii) delivers this content through state-of-the-art digitalplatforms. Specifically, the following hypothesis-driven questions are investigated: • How does the design of the EdUCE program meet STEAM standards and expectations? • How is Systems Engineering (in particular design and development of CubeSats) correlated to the Backward Design approach that is adopted in educational curriculum? • How to use the arts to complement the understanding of STEM concepts with a focus on Systems Engineering? • How are digital platforms (i.e., interactive books, Web 2.0 and mobile apps) paired with hands-on activities an effective mechanism to enable learning? • What best practices have been targeted and implemented for dissemination of EdUCE?Backward Design approach is a tool used in elementary and secondary education to developcurricula and teaching lessons which involves the following phases: (1) determination of thelearning outcomes, (2) development of the assessments, and (3) design of the learningexperience; essentially, the process has the end in mind by first, identify the learning goals,next identify the metrics required to measure success, then finally design/implement thelearning activities to meet these goals, thus creating a systematic path. The SystemsEngineering process shares lots of parallelisms with Backward Design; it begins with a need(i.e., objective), assesses alternatives and designs and develops products and activities (i.e.,verification and validation, operations, sustainment, and retirement) to satisfy the need in asystematic way.Via this approach, educators and techinical subject matter experts collaborate in thedevelopment process and manage age appropriate curriculum, thus unifying and broadeningboth the number and quality of K-20 participants worldwide. To demonstrate, an example ofengaging curriculum is presented. The end-to-end design and development process and thelife experiences from a CubeSat program are the major contributing factors in engaging theparticipants, however, complementary space activities, such as microgravity experiments,high altitude balloon experiments, and CanSats are included. Additionally, this is integratedwith the use of digital platforms to increase the awareness and the emphasis on STEAM.

Shiotani, B., & Buckley, D. A., & Bumbaco, A. E., & Fitz-Coy, N. G. (2015, June), Educate Utilizing CubeSat Experience: Unified K-20 Vision of Comprehensive STEAM-Powered Space Systems Education Program Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.23905

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