Asee peer logo

Integrating NASA Science and Engineering: Using an Innovative Software Curriculum Delivery Tool to Create a NASA-Based Curriculum

Download Paper |

Conference

2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Descriptions of Curricular and Model Development

Tagged Division

K-12 & Pre-College Engineering

Page Count

7

Page Numbers

22.911.1 - 22.911.7

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/18236

Download Count

23

Request a correction

Paper Authors

author page

Morgan M. Hynes Tufts University

author page

Elsa Head Tufts University

biography

Ethan E. Danahy Tufts University

visit author page

Ethan Danahy received the B.S. and M.S. degrees in Computer Science in 2000 and 2002 respectively, and a Ph.D. degree in Electrical Engineering in 2007, all at Tufts University, Medford, MA. Within the School of Engineering at Tufts University, he is currently a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science. Additionally, he acts as the Engineering Research Program Director at the Center for Engineering Education and Outreach (CEEO), where he manages educational technology development projects while researching innovative and interactive techniques for assisting teachers with performing engineering education and communicating robotics concepts to students spanning the K-12 through university age range.

visit author page

Download Paper |

Abstract

Integrating  NASA  Science  and  Engineering:  Using  an   Innovative  Software  Curriculum  Delivery  Tool  to  Create  a   NASA-­Based  CurriculumDuring  the  spring  of  2010,  A  team  at  Whatchamacallit  University  collaborated  with  a  team  from  Another  University  to  create,  test  and  train  teachers  on  a  NASA-­‐based  curriculum,  “Living  in  Space”.  The  curriculum  was  designed  to  integrate  NASA  science  and  engineering  through  the  use  of  LEGO  Robotics  and  a  new,  interactive  curriculum  delivery  tool  developed  at  Whatchamacallit  University.  In  this  curriculum  unit,  students  work  in  groups  on  an  iterative,  design-­‐based  challenge  of  creating  a  device  to  explore  an  unfamiliar  planet  for  its  potential  to  support  life.  The  curriculum  tool  helps  scaffold  lessons  in  which  students  engage  in  designing  and  programming  a  LEGO  rover  to  traverse  unfamiliar  terrain,  collect  physical  samples  and  collect  sensor  data.  Students  progress  through  the  unit  using  the  curriculum  tool,  which  provides  students  with  programming  support,  technical  support  and  instruction  empowering  them  to  work  at  their  own  pace.  This  support  alleviates  some  of  the  load  on  the  teacher  to  address  technical  or  troubleshooting  issues  freeing  him/her  up  to  focus  on  teaching  and  learning.  The  interactive  environment  of  the  curriculum  tool  integrates  text,  graphs,  tables,  pictures,  movies,  and  LEGO  MINDSTORMS  programming  that  can  be  used  to  design  lessons  that  scaffold  engineering  design  challenges  and  investigations.  Students  link  the  virtual  (computer)  world  with  the  physical  world  (robotics  creations)  in  the  curriculum  environment  allowing  them  to  collect  all  their  data,  ideas,  reflections,  and  artifacts  (through  pictures  and  video)  into  one  place.    In  this  curriculum  environment,  students  interact  with  and  use  multiple  forms  of  representations  to  accomplish  the  design  task.    This  paper  will  discuss  the  teams’  experience  in  the  process  of  developing  a  curriculum  unit  that  integrates  NASA  science  and  engineering  through  the  scaffolding  that  curriculum  tool  affords.  We  will  share  insights  and  feedback  from  our  testing  with  over  forty  teachers  and  more  than  120  students.  We  will  close  with  a  discussion  on  the  potential  benefits  of  integrating  NASA  science  and  engineering  through  this  innovative  and  interactive  software  curriculum  delivery  tool  and  future  directions.          

Hynes, M. M., & Head, E., & Danahy, E. E. (2011, June), Integrating NASA Science and Engineering: Using an Innovative Software Curriculum Delivery Tool to Create a NASA-Based Curriculum Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. https://peer.asee.org/18236

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: © 2011 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