June 14, 2009
June 14, 2009
June 17, 2009
K-12 & Pre-College Engineering
14.539.1 - 14.539.19
Engaging High School Students in Engineering, Science and Technology using Virtual Laboratories
The Virtual Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) Laboratory was originally developed for capstone projects in experimental design to be used by seniors and graduate students in engineering at the university level. The objective of this study is to explore the use of the Virtual CVD Laboratory as a learning platform at the high school level. While the simulation can be transferred intact, level-appropriate curriculum and assignments were developed for 9th and 10th grade high school students. In 2007-08, the Virtual CVD Laboratory was used by 263 students in Introduction to Engineering and in seven sections of Chemistry at Crescent Valley High School (CVHS). The most prevalent theme in examining student work was the wide variety of responses elicited by this ill-structured project and the clever ways in which statistical methods were synthesized and integrated into student understanding. Based on this successful experience, two workshops have been delivered, a two day workshop for high school teachers, community college instructors, and university professors in Summer 2008 and a one day workshop exclusively for high school teachers in Fall 2008. This interaction between CVHS and Oregon State University can be considered as a model to promote engineering and systems thinking at the high school level.
With funding from the NSF CCLI and the Intel Faculty Fellows Programs, we have developed two virtual process laboratories, the Virtual Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) Laboratory and the Virtual BioReactor (BioR) Laboratory.1,2 In a virtual laboratory, simulations based on mathematical models implemented on a computer can replace the physical laboratory. Since real systems do not deterministically adhere to fundamental models, random and systematic process and measurement variation can be added to the output. There are reports of successful integration of this modality to improve content specific domain knowledge at the high school level, such as in biology,3 chemistry,4 and physics.5,6 Rather than being content specific, the virtual laboratories we have developed use the cognitive apprenticeship model of an engineering problem. They employ computer-aided technology to simulate complex industrial processes that are not accessible to students in a conventional university laboratory and allow future engineers to practice the skills they will need in industry, in much the same way a flight simulator is used for training pilots. The objective of the study presented in this paper is to develop and promote the use of one of these types of virtual laboratories, the Virtual CVD Laboratory, as a learning platform at the high school level. In order to construct and convey a meaningful project that high school teachers could reasonably implement, two major activities were used. First, a level- appropriate curriculum was developed and beta-tested in the introductory engineering and chemistry classes at Crescent Valley High School (CVHS). Second, that experience was used to develop and present workshops to high school teachers on how this tool can enhance student learning and, specifically, how they can implement the Virtual CVD laboratory into their curriculum.
Koretsky, M., & Gilbuena, D., & Kirsch, A. (2009, June), Engaging High School Students In Engineering, Science, And Technology Using Virtual Laboratories Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. https://peer.asee.org/5019
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: © 2009 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