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Using Wireless Sensor Network As An Educational Tool For Learning Science Concepts

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Conference

2008 Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Publication Date

June 22, 2008

Start Date

June 22, 2008

End Date

June 25, 2008

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Technology in the Physics or Engineering Physics C

Tagged Division

Engineering Physics & Physics

Page Count

11

Page Numbers

13.1369.1 - 13.1369.11

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/4203

Download Count

35

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Paper Authors

biography

Nataliia Perova Tufts University

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Natasha is currently a graduate students at Tufts University majoring in Mathematics, Science, Technology and Engineering education. She previously earned her M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Tufts University in 2005 and B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Suffolk University. Natasha is currently a research assistant at the Center for Engineering Outreach where she is involved in using engineering approaches to teach high school students science and mathematics.

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Patricia Hogan Suffolk University

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Patricia Hogan, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Physics and Director of the Environmental Engineering Program at Suffolk University in Boston, MA. She holds degrees in chemical and environmental engineering (BS, MS) from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and chemistry degrees from Bridgewater State College (MA) and Brown University (Ph.D.). Her technical interests include green engineering/chemistry and sustainable design.

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Walter H. Johnson Suffolk University

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Walter Johnson got his PhD and M.S. from Harvard University and B.S. from Rice University. He is a Chairman of Physics Department at Suffolk University. His research interests include neural networks, wireless motes, and ellipsometry. He has a strong commitment to teaching and integrating innovative technology to better reach his students, from streaming video and electronic writing tables for distance learning to using wireless mesh-networking devices in undergraduate research projects. His academic awards include C.W. Heaps Prize in Physics and Phi Beta Kappa from Rice University, Woodrow Wilson Fellow at Harvard University, and Carnegie Foundation Massachusetts Professor of the Year in 2005.

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

Using Wireless Sensor Network as an Educational Tool for Learning Science Concepts Abstract

Wireless communication devices can be successfully used as an educational tool for teaching physics concepts to science major students through an engineering design approach. A group of science and engineering undergraduate students at Suffolk University was actively involved in joint work between academia and industry on the Portable Multi-Channel Gas analyzer with Wireless Data Transmission project using Tmote sky devices. In this project students worked on interfacing different physical and chemical sensors in the gas analyzer to Tmote sky modules, on programming Tmote devices for collecting data from the sensors and on wireless transmission of the data between gas analyzer and the main base station. To assess the effectiveness of this instructional approach we developed survey instruments. The results of quantitative and qualitative analysis of the data will be presented.

Introduction

Theoretical and experimental educational research indicates that traditional teaching methods are not very effective in helping students to understand science concepts and transfer the principles learned in the classroom to real life situations.5, 32 Innovative interventions are needed to supplement science curricula and to improve students’ understanding of the concepts through active engagement in the learning process. Using novel instructional technologies and involving students in project that is interesting to them helps to create an environment where they gain a better understanding of the physics concepts.

Wireless communication devices can be successfully used as an educational tool for teaching physics concepts to science major students through an engineering design approach. A group of science and engineering undergraduate students at Suffolk University was actively involved in the joint work between academia and industry on the Portable Multi-Channel Gas analyzer with Wireless Data Transmission project using Tmote sky devices. In this project students worked on interfacing different physical and chemical sensors in the gas analyzer to the Tmote sky modules, on programming Tmote devices for collecting the data from the sensors and on wireless transmission of the data between gas analyzer and the main base station. Since that time the student team’s work on the project using a wireless data collection has been expanded to include wireless MICA2 motes (by Crossbow Inc.) with several different sensor boards, which allow inclusion of GPS coordinates to the data on gas concentrations, pressure, and temperature collected in different locations.

To assess the effectiveness of this instructional approach we developed survey instruments. The results of quantitative and qualitative analysis of the impact of students work on the project on their understanding of the relevant science concepts will be presented. Our previous research results on the effect of using wireless sensor communication project on student’s engagement in the learning process will be correlated with the results of the analysis of the conceptual knowledge development.

Perova, N., & Hogan, P., & Johnson, W. H. (2008, June), Using Wireless Sensor Network As An Educational Tool For Learning Science Concepts Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. https://peer.asee.org/4203

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