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FUTURE WORLDS: Development of Assessment Methods for an Interactive Cyberlearning Platform for Informal Explorations in Sustainability for Students Ages 9 – 12 (Research to Practice)

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2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 23, 2013

Start Date

June 23, 2013

End Date

June 26, 2013



Conference Session

K-12 and Pre-College Engineering Poster Session

Tagged Division

K-12 & Pre-College Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

23.629.1 - 23.629.5



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Paper Authors


Rebecca Arielle Citrin Lafayette College

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Rebecca Citrin is a junior Civil and Environmental Engineering student at Lafayette College with a strong interest in K-12 Engineering Education. She is currently working with Lafayette College and North Carolina State University faculty members on an NSF-funded education project. Citrin has conducted research on various informal K-12 engineering education projects and has worked on developing assessment methods for these projects. Citrin has organized various student events such as the Lafayette College Engineering Brain Bowl and the Lafayette College STEM Camp, to both promote engineering and science education for K-12 students, as well as assess the learning outcomes of these programs.

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Arthur D. Kney Lafayette College

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Dr. Arthur D. Kney received his Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering from Lehigh University in 1999 and his professional engineering license in 2007. He is currently serving as an associate professor and department head in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Lafayette College. He currently serves on several national, state and local committees. Dr. Kney’s areas of interests involve water and waste water treatment (including industrial waste water treatment) and urban sprawl and its environmental effects on watersheds. He is also interested in combining undergraduate and K-12 academics in innovative ways. He has been awarded a number of NSF grants for both research and teaching. With the help of EXCEL scholars and other faculty members, he has written several peer reviewed journal articles and many conference papers. Dr. Kney has also co-authored a book chapter and a technical guidance manual.

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FUTURE WORLDS: Development of Assessment Methods for an Interactive Cyberlearning Platform for Informal Explorations in Sustainability for Students Ages 9 – 12 (Research to Practice)FUTURE WORLDS is an interactive, museum based cyberlearning system which aims to exposestudents from grades K – 12, specifically targeting students ages 9 – 12, to the concept ofsustainability in an informal setting. Through the FUTURE WORLDS interface, which is currentlyunder development, students will have the opportunity to explore various sustainability conceptsand environmental engineering practices, which can both help improve present day society aswell as provide practical solutions for our future. Students will investigate concepts related toenergy, food and water, and will examine how these ideas can be engineered to help improve thehealth of our planet. Using an interactive tabletop, students will work collaboratively in amuseum based setting to solve sustainability puzzles of varying difficulty with the goal ofgenerating a cleaner, greener planet.In order to develop the most effective and efficient game, several assessment methods are beingemployed to ensure students attain optimal learning outcomes from FUTURE WORLDS. Variousfocus groups have been conducted, where students’ knowledge was assessed both before andafter interactions with a paper prototype model. The data collected from these interactions isundergoing analysis to examine student learning and engagement with the FUTURE WORLDSframework. Video and audio recordings were collected at the focus groups as well to evaluatethe effectiveness of collaborative learning among the student participants. Ongoinginvestigations will take place throughout the development of the FUTURE WORLDS cyberlearningsystem to iteratively assess its effectiveness in translating sustainability and environmentalengineering concepts to K – 12 students in a museum setting. Assessment methods developed toevaluate the effectiveness of FUTURE WORLDS will be broadened in order to establish a standardfor assessing informal engineering education practices for K – 12 students. The results areexpected to motivate a rise in informal engineering education practices for K – 12 students bydemonstrating the importance of early exposure to these disciplines.

Citrin, R. A., & Kney, A. D. (2013, June), FUTURE WORLDS: Development of Assessment Methods for an Interactive Cyberlearning Platform for Informal Explorations in Sustainability for Students Ages 9 – 12 (Research to Practice) Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. 10.18260/1-2--19643

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