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Olympics on the Moon: A Challenge for Engineering Design

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2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

Pre-College Engineering Education Division Resource Exchange

Tagged Division

Pre-College Engineering Education

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Paper Authors


Cristián Eduardo Vargas Ordóñez P.E. Purdue University at West Lafayette (COE)

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Cristián Vargas-Ordóñez is a Colombian graduate student and research assistant in Engineering Education at Purdue University. He is a Master in Education from the University of Los Andes in Colombia, a Master in Science, Technology, and Society from the National University of Quilmes in Argentina, and a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of America in Colombia. As part of his research, he has explored Colombian chemical engineers’ social representations about science and technology and the conceptions and attitudes about chemical engineering and their identity as chemical engineers. He belonged to Colombian educational formal and informal ambits like a pedagogic consultant at the Planetarium of Bogotá for the project “Centers of Interest in Astronomy”; innovation, science, and technology instructor and consultant at the science and technology museum Maloka; and school teacher in Chemistry. As part of his research interests, he looks for the integration between the arts and engineering to foster social justice and critical thinking, and the problematization of technology as the core of the engineering identity. He has also worked in primary, secondary, and tertiary sectors in private and public companies across his professional life. He is currently one of the English as Second Language (ESL) and Multiculturality chairs in the Engineering Education Graduate Students Association (ENEGSA) at Purdue University.

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Andrew James Gray Purdue University at West Lafayette (COE)

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Andrew Gray is an undergraduate student and research assistant at Purdue University. He graduated from Purdue Industrial Engineering last year, and plans to study Engineering Education in a graduate program in the United States next year. Andrew's research history has included work with perceptions in engineering and pre-college engineering studies with elementary school-aged children.

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Morgan M. Hynes Purdue University at West Lafayette (COE)

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Dr. Morgan Hynes is an Assistant Professor in the School of Engineering Education at Purdue University and Director of the FACE Lab research group at Purdue. In his research, Hynes explores the use of engineering to integrate academic subjects in K-12 classrooms. Specific research interests include design metacognition among learners of all ages; the knowledge base for teaching K-12 STEM through engineering; the relationships among the attitudes, beliefs, motivation, cognitive skills, and engineering skills of K-16 engineering learners; and teaching engineering.

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These activities were developed to be implemented fully online as part of an online engineering design summer camp due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Middle school students will discover how sports arenas, rules, and equipment would change if the Olympic Games were conducted on the Moon. During the sessions, students learn about framing an engineering design problem (a step of the engineering design process) in the Lunar Olympics context and are introduced to basic physics concepts. Students also use free online design and coding tools to help improve their engineering conceptions and design skills. The activities can easily be transformed for in-class or hybrid classroom use.

Vargas Ordóñez, C. E., & Gray, A. J., & Hynes, M. M. (2021, July), Olympics on the Moon: A Challenge for Engineering Design Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference.

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