August 23, 2022
June 26, 2022
June 29, 2022
An NSF Research Experiences for Teachers (RET) Site has been established at Purdue University Northwest to involved high school teachers and community college instructors in industrial research involving numeric simulation, such as computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and Finite Element Analysis (FEA), as well as interactive simulator development using the Unity 3D game engine. A cohort of 11 teachers participated during the summer of 2021 and included teachers and instructors from Indiana and Illinois high school teachers and community colleges. Research projects involved industrial collaborations with local steel industry partners. The project kicked off with a 6-week in-person research experience hosted at the Center for Innovation through Visualization and Simulation (CIVS) at Purdue University Northwest. The teachers worked with faculty and research staff mentors and graduate students on research projects in the areas of blast furnace/environmental using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulation, reheat furnace efficiency using CFD, overhead crane stress using finite element analysis (FEA), and safety training using interactive visualization. Each research project included research mentor staff, graduate and undergraduate students, as well as collaboration with steel industry partners. In addition to the research outcomes, each teacher also developed a lesson plan and education module which will be hosted online for use by other educators. Lesson plans involved a variety of topics programming activities for computer science and related classes, chemistry and environmental activities, math and statistics analysis, and engineering. Each lesson plan also involved some form of activity involving computer simulation and/or interactive visualization. Surveys measured teacher’s self-efficacy in a number of areas including research literature review, design, data collection and analysis, communication of research results, ability to relate real world research problems to teaching, and use of simulation and visualization tools for research and teaching. There was a measured improvement between pre-summer experience and post-summer experience in all categories, with the largest improvements involving ability to discuss research ideas and ability to use simulation/visualization tools for research and teaching. Follow-up activities are ongoing during the teacher’s academic school year, including assistance from the RET to carry out implementation of the lesson plans in the classroom, field trips, networking activities, presenting research career information to students, and surveying students on their interest in pursuing STEM activities and related careers.
Moreland, J., & Okosun, T., & Silaen, A., & Toth, K., & Zhou, C. (2022, August), Research Experiences for Teachers in Simulation and Visualization for Innovative Industrial Solutions Paper presented at 2022 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Minneapolis, MN. https://peer.asee.org/42111
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