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Mobile Aerospace Education Lab (m-AEL): A NASA Supported K-12 "Roadshow-In-A-Box" Initiative to Advance Aviation/Aerospace Education in Underserved Counties

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2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

Efficient Authenticity: Modeling, Labs, Real-World Applications in Aerospace

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Paper Authors


Kuldeep S. Rawat Elizabeth City State University

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KULDEEP S. RAWAT is currently the Chair of Department of Technology and Director of Aviation Science program at Elizabeth City State University (ECSU). He has earned an M.S. in Computer Science, 2001, an M.S. in Computer Engineering, 2003; and, a Ph.D. in Computer Engineering, 2005, from the Center for Advanced Computer Studies (CACS) at University of Louisiana-Lafayette. He serves as the Site Director for NASA MUREP Aerospace Academy program at ECSU. His areas of interests include embedded systems design, cloud instrumentation, remote computing applications, UAS applications research, mobile robotics, and innovative uses of educational technologies. Dr. Rawat may be reached at

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Ellis Eugene Lawrence Elizabeth City State University

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Dr. Ellis E. Lawrence is a Professor in the Department Of Technology at ECSU. He holds an Ed.D. in Vocational and Technical Education with a cognate in Industrial Engineering from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (popularly known as Virginia Tech) in Blacksburg, Virginia. He worked as Graduate Research Assistant in the Vocational Technical Education Department at Virginia Tech. Dr. Lawrence has taught automotive technology, computer aided design, electronics and computer networking. He has spent several summers at NASA Langley Research Center as an American Society of Engineering Education fellow. As a fellow, his research included computer aided design, programmable logic controller, stereolithography, electronics and printed circuit board design. During his tenure at ECSU, Dr. Lawrence’s research and summer institutes have been funded by numerous agencies including NASA Langley Research Center, NASA Kennedy Research Center, NASA Goddard Space Center, Federal Highway Administration, and the North Carolina Department of Transportation. He is currently conducting unmanned aerial vehicle research.

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Orestes Devino Gooden Elizabeth City State University

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CDR. Orestes D. Gooden, retired US Navy Officer (Aviator) is an Assistant Professor at Elizabeth City State University. He has earned a B.S. in Geology from Virginia State University and M.A.S. in Aviation Operations from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. His areas of interests include: Human Factors in Aviation, Accident Investigation & Safety, Corporate Aviation Operations, and Unmanned Aerial System (UAS). His passion for aviation education is noted as he is continually serving, educating and mentoring the next generation of aviators and aerospace industry students. He is certified by the FAA and qualified in both fixed wing, rotary wing and UAS aircraft.

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The Work in Progress (WIP) paper discusses an aerospace-themed STEM learning lab initiative to expand science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) literacy in underserved counties in the region surrounding Elizabeth City State University (ECSU). The rural counties served by ECSU has long suffered the effects of poverty and has lacked the opportunities for most students to encounter the 21st century workplace that is readily accessible in more urban areas of the state. However, with recent growth in the aviation and aerospace industry in the region, there now exists the potential to link K-12 education to the aerospace industry. This initiative adopts Roadshow-in-a-Box model, extends laboratory resources and is an important step towards expanding STEM literacy and career exposure for students from the most economically distressed region in the State. The initiative is expected to serve over 200 schools, located within the twenty-one (21) counties surrounding ECSU, over a period of three years. This highly interactive learning lab on wheels provides students with hands-on activities, laboratory equipment, simulations, information, and rich digital media content to develop awareness and increase interest in STEM, especially aviation and aerospace. Visitor traffic, demographic statistics and attitudinal survey data will be collected to assess the impact of this initiative.

Rawat, K. S., & Lawrence, E. E., & Gooden, O. D. (2017, June), Mobile Aerospace Education Lab (m-AEL): A NASA Supported K-12 "Roadshow-In-A-Box" Initiative to Advance Aviation/Aerospace Education in Underserved Counties Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--28675

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