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STEAM Education through Music Technology (Evaluation)

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Conference

2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

Pre-College: Organizing Instruction Around a Theme

Tagged Division

Pre-College Engineering Education Division

Page Count

21

DOI

10.18260/1-2--28841

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/28841

Download Count

1088

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Paper Authors

biography

Brandon G. Morton Drexel University

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Brandon Morton received his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Drexel University with a focus on Music Information Retrieval. His work focused on the prediction and detection of influence between musicians. Additionally, as a post-doctoral researcher, he is currently interested in the relationship between mobile technology and education. His background in education includes a NSF GAANN Fellowship and a NSF GK-12 Fellowship.

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Jeff Gregorio Drexel University

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Jeff Gregorio is currently pursuing a PhD in Electrical and Computer Engineering at Drexel University. He received his BSEE from Temple University in 2011, and MSEE from Drexel in 2013. In 2012, he received the NSF-funded GK-12 Fellowship, for which he designed activities for Philadelphia high school students illustrating the connection between the arts and the sciences, to catalyze interest in STEM/STEAM. Jeff currently studies under Dr. Youngmoo Kim in Drexel’s Music Entertainment Technology lab, pursuing research in novel musical interfaces and machine learning applications in music information retrieval.

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David S. Rosen Drexel University

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David Rosen is a doctoral student in Drexel University's Applied Cognitive and Brain Sciences program. He has an M.S degree in Teaching and Instruction and several years of experience as a public school educator. Working in the Music and Entertainment Technology (MET-Lab) and Creativity Research Lab, his interdisciplinary research explores the underlying cognitive mechanisms and factors of creativity, expression, insight, and flow, specifically within the domain of music performance and improvisation. He has also worked on several research projects which attempt to infuse, design, and evaluate various pedagogical methodologies to enhance creativity and creative problem solving in the classroom.

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Richard Vallett Drexel University

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Richard Vallett received a B.S. degree and M.S. degree in mechanical engineering from Drexel University in 2012. He is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Drexel University.
His research includes robotics, control systems, and functional fabrics.

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biography

Youngmoo Kim Drexel University, ExCITe Center

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Youngmoo Kim is director of the Expressive and Creative Interaction Technologies (ExCITe) Center and an associate professor of electrical and computer engineering at Drexel University. He also serves as Resident Technologist for Opera Philadelphia. He received his Ph.D. in media arts and sciences from MIT in 2003 and also holds master's degrees in electrical engineering and music (vocal performance practice) from Stanford University as well as a B.S. in engineering and a B.A. in music from Swarthmore College. His research group, the Music & Entertainment Technology Laboratory (MET-lab), focuses on the machine understanding of audio, particularly for music information retrieval. Honored as a member of the Apple Distinguished Educator class of 2013 and the recipient of Drexel's 2012 Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching, Youngmoo also has extensive experience in music performance, including eight years as a member of the Boston Symphony Orchestra's Tanglewood Festival Chorus.

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Abstract

There is mounting evidence to suggest that integrating arts into traditional math and science curricula is an effective way to increase students interest in future STEM careers. The Music Entertainment Technology Lab (MET-Lab) at Drexel University has been a proponent of this philosophy and has strived to integrate arts and design into its Summer Music Technology program (SMT). This program invites rising sophomores and juniors to campus for a week to discover the underlying science and math principles for various musical concepts through hands-on activities. For example, students explore electro-magnetism by building their own speakers out of common household materials. Students are also asked to chose one of four individual projects, each further exploring some aspect of the hands-on activities. Through music, a high-interest domain which students interact with regularly, the MET-Lab is able to engage them in exploring complex STEM concepts. In its 10th year, SMT has been updated in an effort to improve its efficacy. Based on data collected over the previous nine years, we have made a few modifications to the program. Some of these changes further integrate art and design into the week-long curricula and others have been implemented to make use of cutting-edge technology. These changes include an increased focus on music performances, an individual project that incorporates Swift Playgrounds for the iPad, and a synthesizer designing activity using LittleBits. In addition, this year’s SMT program included an update to Audioworks, the app designed at Drexel specifically for this program. The app has been upgraded to include a fully-functional musical synthesizer, allowing precise musical note frequencies to be generated using an on-screen keyboard or external MIDI device. MIDI aftertouch and control messages sent to AudioWorks can also be mapped to parameters in effects mode, allowing students to develop novel interfaces of their own design to control synthesizer parameters in a creative way. Furthermore, throughout the week, students documented learning outcomes via presentations of their projects, which were evaluated by a panel of Drexel students and faculty. These rubrics and student surveys indicate that our curriculum has had a measurable impact on students, namely in demonstrating students’ understanding of core STEM concepts and heightened interest in in pursuing STEM careers. By broadening the range of students interested in STEM and the arts, we hope to continue producing a generation of well-rounded and creative students that will be prepared to work in an increasing number of multidisciplinary fields.

Morton, B. G., & Gregorio, J., & Rosen, D. S., & Vallett, R., & Kim, Y. (2017, June), STEAM Education through Music Technology (Evaluation) Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--28841

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