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Using Real Time Sensors In High School Living Environment Labs: A Gk 12 Project

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2006 Annual Conference & Exposition


Chicago, Illinois

Publication Date

June 18, 2006

Start Date

June 18, 2006

End Date

June 21, 2006



Conference Session

Engineering in High School

Tagged Division

K-12 & Pre-College Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

11.1403.1 - 11.1403.14



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Paper Authors


Meetu Walia Polytechnic University

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MEETU WALIA received a B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering from Polytechnic University, Brooklyn, NY in 2005. She is currently pursuing a M.S degree in Chemical Engineering at Polytechnic University. She has been serving as a GK—12 Fellow since 2004. Her current research interests are in biosensors and control systems.

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EDWIN YU Polytechnic University

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EDWIN SIU KEI YU received a B.S. degree in Civil Engineering from Polytechnic University, Brooklyn, NY in 2005. He is currently pursuing a M.S. degree in Civil Engineering at Polytechnic University. During his undergraduate studies, he served as a tutor in several departments at Polytechnic. He has served as a GK12 Fellow at the George Westinghouse High School as a science and technology resource to teachers and students since 2004. His current research interests are in geotechnical properties of transparent Aqua Beads that can be used to model soils and in non-destructive structural condition assessment of civil infrastructure. He has published 2 journal articles and 2 conference papers.

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Vikram Kapila Polytechnic University


Magued Iskander Polytechnic University

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MAGUED ISKANDER is Associate Professor and Graduate Adviser of the Civil Engineering Department at Polytechnic University, Brooklyn, NY. Dr. Iskander is a recipient of NSF CAREER award, Chi Epsilon (Civil Engineering Honor Society) Metropolitan District James M. Robbins Excellence in Teaching Award, and Polytechnic University Distinguished Teacher Award. Dr. Iskander’s research interests include Geotechnical modeling with transparent soils, foundation engineering, and urban geotechnology. He makes extenive uses of sensors and measurement systems in his research studies. Dr. Iskander has published 50 papers and supervised 6 doctoral students, 14 masters students, 6 undergraduate students, and 7 high school students.

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Noel Kriftcher Polytechnic University

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Using Real-Time Sensors in High School Living Environment Labs: A GK-12 Project

1. Introduction

In a series of recent op-ed pieces in The New York Times and in his latest book The World Is Flat,1 Thomas Friedman points to an urgent need to develop a strong and technologically trained workforce to ensure the American leadership in scientific discovery and technological innovation. This call to action has been joined by business and government advisory groups such as the American Electronics Association,2 the National Innovation Initiative,3 and the National Academy of Engineering;4 and reflected in the remarks delivered by industry captains such as Bill Gates at the 2005 National Education Summit on High Schools.5 In a recent letter6 to the editor of The New York Times, titled “Scientific Competition,” Debra W. Stewart, the President of the American Council of Graduate Schools, noted that “the last time the United States carried out a national strategy to improve our scientific competitiveness was in response to another nation surpassing us technologically.” She referred of course to the launch of Sputnik by the U.S.S.R., which led the United States government to pass a series of immediate measures that enabled students to pursue doctoral study in scientific and technical fields, thus propelling the nation to accelerate its technological advancement and regain its leadership.

In a similar vein, today’s global economy and our growing trade deficits demand bold new programs to produce the highly trained work force needed to maintain the U.S. leadership in science and technology. The foundation of scientific and technological leadership of a nation is built upon a deep understanding and appreciation of the basic sciences and math7 by its young scholars. Unfortunately, today’s youth exhibit a lack of interest in pursuing careers in scientific and technical fields. A shortage of well-trained science and math teachers, uninspiring and antiquated science labs, and the failure of school systems to provide competitive salaries to those who teach in these shortage areas lead students to perform poorly in science disciplines. This ultimately contributes to young people losing interest in studying science. This state of affairs persists despite the fact that today’s youth are increasingly drawn to modern technological wonders such as video games, mp3 players, and instant messaging. Students’ interest in state-of- the-art technologies can be used to deliver innovative educational curricula in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) disciplines.8 At the very least, high school science labs can be revitalized by a systematic integration of sensing and computing technologies to support hands-on experiments.

Under a GK—12 Fellows project titled, “Revitalizing Achievement by using Instrumentation in Science Education9 (RAISE),” Polytechnic University and four inner city

Walia, M., & YU, E., & Kapila, V., & Iskander, M., & Kriftcher, N. (2006, June), Using Real Time Sensors In High School Living Environment Labs: A Gk 12 Project Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--927

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