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Four-Way Collaboration Between a Non-Profit, University, Honor Society, and Charter School to Engineer Tropism Machines for Sustainable Space Nutrition Classroom Instruction (work In progress)

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Conference

2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

K-12 and Pre-College Engineering Division Poster Session

Tagged Division

K-12 & Pre-College Engineering

Page Count

10

Page Numbers

24.626.1 - 24.626.10

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/20517

Download Count

44

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Paper Authors

biography

Turner Ralph Swanson Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society

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Turner R. Swanson is an undergraduate mechanical engineering student at the Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE). He is the Vice President of MSOE's chapter of Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society. He is also a member of the Association of Energy Engineers (AEE), as well as Sigma Sigma Pi, the Energy Engineering Honor Society. Turner serves as a tutor for MSOE's TRIO Student Support Services program. He is developing a liquid-nitrogen-fueled vehicle with a group of fellow undergraduates for his capstone senior design project, and he is co-founder of Milwaukee Cryonetic Motors, Inc. a sustainable transportation start-up company working to commercialize this novel vehicle technology.

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Justin Matthew Collins Milwaukee School of Engineering

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Justin Collins is a junior in the mechanical engineering program at the Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE). He has distinguished himself both as a scholar and as a member of the student community through his classroom performance and involvement in extracurricular activities. Justin has been on the Dean's List with High Honors consecutively for every term of his collegiate career and was awarded the Rath Distinguished Scholarship by the Wisconsin Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (WAICU). In addition, Justin is actively involved in multiple on-campus organizations. He has been elected to serve as Vice President of the Wisconsin-Delta chapter of the Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society for the 2014-2015 academic year, and is working closely with the current Vice President on a unique collaborative project to educate high school students on extraterrestrial plant growth. Justin is also engaged in his second Rocket Design Competition, sponsored by the Wisconsin Space Grant Consortium, as well as an active member of the MSOE Swing Dance Club. Justin plans to pursue a graduate-level education in astrophysics.

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Jill Frey Sweet Water Foundation

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Jill Frey has worked in several areas of scientific research and education since earning degrees from the University of Wisconsin and Concordia University with Bachelors of Science in Zoology and Education, and a Masters of Science in Progam Development and Evaulation. She has always been a strong believer in the power of authentic learning and has helped to develop a variety of experiential learning programs including: an urban environmental center, a marine and freshwater focused charter school, a youth run urban organic greenhouse business, incorporating aquaponics into classroom curriculum.

In addition to developing in-place educational programs, Jill has collaborated on an web based learning platform AQUAPONS. for youth, families, teacher training and university students. Recently, Jill became Chair for the Milwaukee Branch of the Aquaponics Association. She also works as a teacher mentor and coach and provides educational professional development workshops.

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Joey Zocher Escuela Verde

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With over a decade of urban science teaching experience, Joey worked with a team to open a new Milwaukee public charter school, Escuela Verde. Grounded in research and collective voice, Escuela Verde utilizes project-based learning to integrate sustainability and restorative justice into a school-wide curriculum. As an advisor at Escuela Verde, Joey shares both teaching and administrative duties with a team. Her experience also includes four years of leadership and community organizing at the Urban Ecology Center as the Washington Park program director. She has also taught graduate and undergraduate courses on curriculum ideologies and science pedagogy at UW-Milwaukee. Joey’s scholarly interests examine the impacts of Youth Participatory Action Research and ecopedagogical praxis on scientific literacy with urban youth. As a teacher researcher, this line of research offers theory to practice as well as a needed voice of urban students and teachers from an insider perspective.

Joey received her B.S. in biology, psychology, womens studies and secondary education and M.S. in environmental education at UW-Stevens Point. She is a Ph.D. candidate in Urban Education with a specialization in curriculum and instruction at UW-Milwaukee. She has also been an active board member for numerous local, state and national boards including Milwaukee Urban Gardens, Brewcity Bruisers, Wisconsin Association for Environmental Education and the North American Association for Environmental Education’s Environmental Justice SIG.

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Matthew J. Traum Milwaukee School of Engineering Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-1105-0439

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Dr. Matthew J. Traum is an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at the Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE). He received a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology [2007] where he held a research assistantship at MIT’s Institute for Soldier Nanotechnologies (ISN). At MIT he invented a new nano-enabled garment to provide simultaneous ballistic and thermal protection to infantry soldiers. Dr. Traum also holds a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from MIT [2003] with a focus on cryogenics and two bachelor’s degrees from the University of California, Irvine [2001]: one in mechanical engineering and the second in aerospace engineering. In addition, he attended the University of Bristol, UK as a non-matriculating visiting scholar where he completed an M.Eng thesis in the Department of Aerospace Engineering [2000] on low-speed rotorcraft control. Prior to his appointment at MSOE, Dr. Traum was a founding faculty member of the Mechanical and Energy Engineering Department at the University of North Texas where he established an externally-funded researcher incubator that trained undergraduates how to perform experimental research and encouraged their matriculation to graduate school. Dr. Traum also serves as the founding Chief Technology Officer at EASENET, a start-up renewable energy company he co-founded with his former students to commercialize residential scale waste-to-energy biomass processor systems.

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Abstract

Four-Way Collaboration Between a Non-Profit, University, Honor Society, and Charter School to Engineer Tropism Machines for Sustainable Space Nutrition Classroom InstructionAbstractWe have forged a unique collaboration – between, a non-profit organization, a university, astudent engineering honor society, and a charter high school – to create and deliver sustainablespace nutrition modules for secondary school classroom instruction. We describe how thiscomplex partnership was forged and is sustained: the collaborative project binding theorganizations together was designed to meet goals central to the missions of all four partners.The non-profit educates the community about sustainable agriculture and nutrition. Theuniversity builds community partnerships that facilitate rich hands-on learning experiences forstudents. Members of the honor society hail from a variety of engineering disciplines:architectural, bio-medial, bio-molecular, civil, computer, electrical, and mechanical. To maintaingood standing, members participate in documented community service. To create cohesionwithin the society, they seek unifying philanthropic projects with elements relevant to allmembers. The charter school accesses resources and support to build the STEM knowledge,skills, and competencies of its teachers and students. The collaboration is tied together throughfabrication and classroom demonstration of “tropism machines”.Growing plants in space is the first essential step to providing adequate and sustainable spacenutrition. Major factors impacting plant growth in space include geotropism and phototropism,plant growth directional preference in response to gravity and light, respectively. To demonstratein a terrestrial classroom how plant growth responds to non-terrestrial gravity and illumination,honor society students will follow the formal engineering design process to create a “geotropismmachine” and a “phototropism machine”. The geotropism machine will centrifuge plants toproduce artificially high gravity. The phototropism machine will expose plants to artificial lightprojected from abnormal directions. On each apparatus, beds of edible sprouts at three differentdevelopment stages will be mounted: 1) newly sprouted, 2) maturing, and 3) harvest ready.When closely inspected by secondary school students in the classroom, these machines willreveal a snapshot of the plants’ growth progression under non-terrestrial gravity and illuminationrespectively. As a control, sprouts planted at the same time as spouts exposed to the tropismmachines and showing similar development stages under normal Earth gravity and illuminationwill be available for comparison.The tropism machines illustrate key aspects of the scientific method used for new knowledgediscovery in STEM fields. Students will learn about variable independence and dependence. Forexample on the geotropism machine, the magnitude of centripetal acceleration can be controlled(the independent variable) to influence the growth of the plants (the dependent variable).Students will also be taught the importance of experimental controls. Plants growing undernormal illumination, for example, are needed to provide a baseline for comparison against plantgrowth in the phototropism machine under abnormal illumination. Students will also be taughtthe importance of verifying experimental results with observations made by other researchers –our results will be compared against similar experiments conducted by NASA reported in theliterature to validate observed outcomes.Our project raises exposure and interest of secondary school teachers, students, and the generalpublic toward space sciences and engineering, human health and wellbeing in space, andtechnology realized through engineering design. By teaching secondary school students space-related STEM skills that are tied into nutrition (a familiar topic they can relate to) this projectwill increase interest, recruitment, and training of pre-college students in the pursuit of space-related science, design, and technology careers.Once developed, deployed, and vetted at the partner charter school, the team plans to deploy thismodule to other schools in the City, State area. Approximately 29.4% of City residents live inpoverty and the rate increases to 43.0% for children under the age of 18. For City County as awhole, the poverty rate is 21.6% and 31.6% for children under 18 years old. This cohort is thegroup ultimately served by the activities described in this paper through this ongoing partnership.The following program assessment data will be compiled and reported. The charter schoolteachers will report by indirect assessment on ease of implementation and thoroughness oflessons, logical progression, and implementation timing. The secondary school students will alsobe polled through indirect assessment to probe (1) their self-perceived development of technicalskills and knowledge and (2) their self-perceived change in interest to pursue careers in STEM.

Swanson, T. R., & Collins, J. M., & Frey, J., & Zocher, J., & Traum, M. J. (2014, June), Four-Way Collaboration Between a Non-Profit, University, Honor Society, and Charter School to Engineer Tropism Machines for Sustainable Space Nutrition Classroom Instruction (work In progress) Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. https://peer.asee.org/20517

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