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INSTRUCT: Integrating NASA Science, Technology, and Research in Undergraduate Curriculum and Training

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2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

Innovative Methods to Teach Engineering to URMs

Tagged Division

Minorities in Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

22.889.1 - 22.889.14



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Paper Authors


Ram V. Mohan North Carolina A&T State University

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Dr. Ram Mohan is currently an Associate Professor with the interdisciplinary graduate program in computational science and engineering (CSE). He serves as the module content director for the INSTRUCT project. Dr. Mohan currently has more than 90 peer reviewed journal articles, book chapters and conference proceedings to his credit. He plays an active role in American Society for Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and serves as the chair of the ASME materials processing technical committee and a member of the ASME Nanoengineering Council Steering Committee for nanoengineering in energy and medicine. He is a member of American Society of Aeronautics (AIAA), American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE), Society for Advancement of Materials and Process Engineering (SAMPE), and regularly presents, organizes and conducts seminars and conferences for these professional and engineering organizations.

Dr. Mohan’s research activities, contributions and interests include the areas of polymer composite material processing, structural hybrid nanocomposites; multi-scale, multi-physics modeling, computational macro/nano mechanics; processing, characterization and modeling of nano-engineered material systems; physics based process modeling and simulations for composites manufacturing, material processing and performance evaluation, computational material science and mechanics for multi-scale and interdisciplinary problems, high end scalable computing; and computational science and engineering; enabling computational technologies for high performance (CPU/GPU) computing, CAD modeling and CAD based visualization systems, mesh/grid generation and visualization. His research and educational activities have been funded by several federal U.S. agencies including ONR, U.S. Army, U.S. Air Force, NSF, NASA, and several industries.

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Ajit D. Kelkar North Carolina A&T State University

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Dr. Ajit D. Kelkar is a Professor and Chairman of Nanoengineering department at Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering at North Carolina A&T State University. He also serves as an Associate Director for the Center for Advanced Materials and Smart Structures and is a Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at North Carolina A&T State University, Greensboro. For the past twenty five years he has been working in the area of performance evaluation and modeling of polymeric composites and ceramic matrix composites. He has worked with several federal laboratories in the area of fatigue, impact and finite element modeling of woven composites including U.S. Army, U.S. Air force, NASA-Langley Research Center, National science Foundation, Office of Naval Research, and Oak Ridge National Laboratory. In addition he has collaborated with Rice University, Texas A&M University, Tuskegee University, Air Force Institute of Technology, University of Dayton, Florida State University, Prairie View A&M University, University of Delaware, Texas State University, University of Minnesota, University of California, and San Diego. His expertise are in the area of low cost fabrication and processing of woven composites using VARTM process, fatigue and impact testing of composites, analytical modeling of woven composites. Presently he is involved in the development of nano engineered multifunctional materials using XD CNTs and electro spun fiber materials. He is also involved in reengineering of several H-46 and H-47 helicopter components for NAVAIR using out of autoclave processing. In the past, he has worked on the one step processing of Composite Armored Vehicle using low cost VARTM method in consortium with University of Delaware-CCM and UC San Diego. In the modeling area he is working on blast simulations for the Humvee vehicles subjected to various TNT blasts loadings. He has published over one hundred and fifty papers in these areas. In addition he has edited a book in the area of Nano Engineered materials. He is member of several professional societies including ASME, SAMPE, AIAA, ASM, and ASEE.

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Keith A. Schimmel North Carolina A&T State University Orcid 16x16

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Keith Schimmel is Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering, Chair of the Energy and Environmental Systems Department, and Director of Education and Outreach for the NOAA Interdisciplinary Scientific Environmental Technology Cooperative Science Center at North Carolina A&T State University. He received a B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering from Purdue University. He also holds M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Chemical Engineering from Northwestern

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Vinaya Kelkar

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INSTRUCT – Integrating NASA Science, Technology, and Research in Undergraduate Curriculum and TrainingA key factor in increasing the number of underrepresented minorities in science, technology,engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines is through the stimulation of the student’sinterests in these disciplines. Several underrepresented minorities at our university are firstgeneration college students in their family, and could fail to understand the applicability ofSTEM disciplines. In addition, many students find the basic STEM discipline courses to be hard,boring, and do not realize the practical applications of the concepts and techniques that they arelearning in their STEM classes. Agencies such as National Aerospace and Space Administration(NASA) require and apply several of the basic STEM content and require an educated workforcetrained in the STEM disciplines. In addition, these and other agencies have a mission to increasethe number of underrepresented minorities and women in STEM areas. The INSTRUCT projectat our university focuses on integrating NASA science, technology and research content into theundergraduate curriculum. Our INSTRUCT project strives to significantly enhance andstimulate undergraduate learning in the areas of science, technology, engineering andmathematics by utilizing the relevant STEM content from NASA, sponsored research andeducation programs from NASA, in conjunction with our university faculty expertise.The mission of NASA and its four directorates (Aeronautics, Exploration Systems, Science, andSpace Operations) requires STEM content that includes the bio-chemical sciences, physicalsciences (earth and atmospheric sciences), engineering and mathematics. The INSTRUCTprogram is developing, implementing, evaluating and disseminating innovative pedagogicalconcepts for integrating the associated NASA STEM content into the STEM undergraduatecourses at our university. The courses that have been chosen for inclusion are large enrollmentcore courses that are critical to undergraduate student success. This provides excellentopportunities to incorporate NASA content towards motivating the student engagement andsuccess. Specific undergraduate courses in astronomy, mathematics, biology, chemistry andmechanical engineering are currently targeted. This paper will discuss the INSTRUCT program,development and integration of the NASA STEM content into the existing course curriculum;teaching and delivery of the enhanced course content, evaluation, and its impact on the studentstimulation of the learning, understanding, engagement and success. The success and impact ofthe project includes formative and summative evaluation of the project goals, as well as longterm tracking of selected students on the influence of the INSTRUCT program in motivatingthem to pursue STEM based higher education and careers. This potentially could lead to a longterm societal impact by increasing the number of underrepresented minorities in STEMworkforce areas.

Mohan, R. V., & Kelkar, A. D., & Schimmel, K. A., & Kelkar, V. (2011, June), INSTRUCT: Integrating NASA Science, Technology, and Research in Undergraduate Curriculum and Training Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--18891

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