Works in Progress

Session WIP-01

Track 1 — Works-In-Progress I

11:30 AM — 12:30 PM EST
Mar 13 Sat, 11:30 AM — 12:30 PM EST

Understanding Object-Oriented Programming with a Game Engine Platform Transforming from 3D to Text-based coding

Sean Yang, Hyesung Park and Hongsik Choi (Georgia Gwinnett College, USA)

It is critical to balance fundamental programming concepts and coding skills to develop a skilled IT workforce who can solve a complicated real-life problem using technology. Students in an intermediate programming course faced challenges because programming is more than knowing programming language syntax and applying their thoughts into logical processes with appropriate data structures. Students who struggled often expressed that it is hard to visualize how a computer follows the program statements and loses interest.
We research active learning methods to determine what teaching methods worked best for our students and keep them in the classes through this project. We conveyed multiple learning methods, including learning by collaboration, flipped class, creating a video game, and combining those teaching methods. We also traced long term effects on students' learning.

Open Research Laboratory for Non-Research Focused Institutions

Michael Brown (University of Maryland Global Campus, USA)

Over the last few decades financial pressures on educational institutions have forced faculty to teach more classes taking time away from other activities including research. But research is important to institutions, faculty and students. This paper proposes for the creation of a non-profit entity that through donations could pool institution, faculty and student resources across multiply intuitions to conduct joint research. This would allow institutions, faculty and students to be active in research within the time constraints that they currently have. Research shows that this increase in research would have numerous benefits to students, faculty and institutions and promote interuniversity and international cooperation.

Teaching and Learning about Pendulums in RoboPhysics

Ofer Danino (Technion, Israel); Gideon Kaplan (Ministry of Education & Israel, Israel); Itamar Feldman (Ministry of Education, Israel)

RoboPhysics is an interdisciplinary educational program for teaching and learning Physics, combined with Engineering and Mathematics. It is based on Constructivist principles (using Project Based Learning), coupling of our senses & sensors to Physics theorems, and team work. Its main goals are the development of students inner motivation and systemic high level thinking. It is targeted both for middle High School students, as well as High School students studying for matriculation in Physics in the Israeli education framework. This short article depicts the teaching and learning process that we adhere to, by focusing on one important learning subject: the Pendulum.

Revolutionizing Engineering for P-12 Schools (REPS)

Tanner J Huffman (The College of New Jersey & Advancing Excellence in P-12 Engineering Education, USA); Greg Strimel (Purdue University, USA); Elizabeth Parry (STEM Education Insights, USA); Malinda Zarske (University of Colorado, Boulder, USA); Rebecca Turner (The College of New Jersey, USA)

Leveraging the investment in previous work, The College of New Jersey, Purdue University, and the American Society for Engineering Education has launched the three-year collaborative research Revolutionizing Engineering for P-12 Schools project. The REPS project investigates how to best implement engineering learning as defined by the Framework for P-12 Engineering Learning. As put forth in the framework, "associated grade-band specific implementation guides will leverage the content of this report to describe and propose appropriate engineering learning across the grades for all children to engage in rigorous and authentic learning experiences to think, act, and learn like an engineer". The Framework set the conceptual organization for P-12 engineering learning and provided preliminary Engineering Literacy Expectations and Engineering Performance Matrices for high school learners. Leveraging this roadmap provided in the Framework, REPS completes the vision by adding the Preschool (P)-Grade 8 components. The REPS project engages the broader P-12 engineering education community in articulating expectations for engineering learning for early learning, elementary, and middle school students to serve as the connecting elements necessary for authentic engineering learning efforts across the grades. The REPS project brings to bear the combined expertise of educators, professional engineers, and researchers in the field of engineering education to refine and complete a consensus on the nature of engineering literacy development for all students from preschool through high school.

A Case Study: Individual Design Enhancement for a Saucepan. Providing Practical Experience Within a Community College Engineering Program

Pamela Bogdan (College Dr & Ocean County College, USA); Derek Alton (Ocean County College, USA)

In this paper, the authors present the evolution of the Ocean County College (OCC) Engineering & Technology Program as it expands to include more career focused experiential learning opportunities. The goal is to provide students at our institution with opportunities to gain career-style experience that they can leverage to gain future employment. Observations and key findings about the use of experiential learning are provided based on a case study that is given from the perspective of the educator/mentor and the student. All of this is done in the context of an engineering project to create a prototype of the student's design for a single multi-configuration cooking pan.

Session Chair

To Be Determined

Session WIP-02

Track 9 — Works-In-Progress II

1:30 PM — 3:00 PM EST
Mar 13 Sat, 1:30 PM — 3:00 PM EST

StartlearnING- an example for cross-domain learning arrangements combining engineering and biology

Markus Reiser, Martin Binder and Holger Weitzel (Weingarten University of Education, Germany)

The shortage of skilled workers in the so-called STEM professions demonstrates the urgency of introducing children and young people to technical and scientific topics at an early age. Following this approach, the project startlearnING offers learning arrangements that combine technical and scientific contents and promote the problem-solving competence of the students. StartlearnING uses design tasks as an interdisciplinary "bracket" and embeds the acquisition of scientific knowledge in a design process. To make the promotion of STEM teaching as effective as possible, the project acts on three levels: the students, the student teachers and the teachers.
The starting and finishing points are problems for which engineering solutions are developed. Biological phenomena are used as a source of ideas or concretize the requirements for the technical solution. In the learning arrangements, the learners specify the problem, develop solution ideas and evaluation criteria, select promising approaches based on criteria, implement, test and optimize them. To do this, they must combine biological and technical expertise.
In order to familiarize teachers with the approach of designing according to the startlearnING principle, the project offers in-service training for teachers. In addition, the teachers are supported in their teaching by trained tutors.
The startlearnING project is also active in preparing prospective teachers in science teacher education and offers cooperative seminars in which student teachers and engineering students come together to contribute their skills and perspectives to problem-solving processes. They are trained and qualified in a problem-oriented design approach based on the startlearnING principle.
StartlearnING is scientifically accompanied by the Weingarten University of Education. Among other things, the impact of the learning arrangements on the motivation and biological expertise of the students is being investigated.

Which Definition Shall I Use? A Systematic Review of Computational Thinking Definitions

Fan Xu (The Ohio State University, USA); Shuhan Zhang (The University of Hong Kong, China)

Computational Thinking (CT) is considered a necessary 21st-century competence that should be introduced to school education as a vital ingredient. However, the lack of a consensus on the definition of this concept is still a big challenge for researchers and practitioners. In this study, we conducted a systematic review on the definitions of CT from the source of academic articles and classified the definitions based on 1) the approach for contextualizing the concept, 2) the purpose for defining the concept, and 3) the educational context where the concept was developed. Forty-five unique and original definitions were extracted from the search. Results indicate that 1) the existing definitions of CT were mostly formulated with a prototype approach, focusing on the essence of the notion; 2) The purpose for defining the term mostly stands on developing CT in the classroom and other educational settings; 3) K-12 education is the most common context for defining the term and computer science is the main background to enrich the CT concept. These results imply that there is a low necessity of putting forward new definitions, yet there is a need to build connections among current definitions and illustrate how to use them in appropriate situations. Also, the emergence of the definitions "Political Computational Thinking" indicates a broader application of CT, which implies a trend in future research of the use of CT in public, social and political fields.

Interdisciplinary STEM Undergraduate Programs and the Effectiveness of Computing Competencies within the Curriculum

Katherine Herbert (1 Normal Ave & Montclair State University, USA); Thomas J Marlowe (Seton Hall University, USA); Kees Leune and Robert M Siegfried (Adelphi University, USA); Jeanette Wilmanski (Saint Peter's University, USA)

Undergraduate interdisciplinary, multidisciplinary and transdisciplinary computing-related STEM programs are proliferating extensively. Each of these programs requires a robust computing component to be integrated into the curriculum. However, including an introductory, programming-oriented sequence designed for CS majors is not always the best fit for these multifaceted programs. In this work in progress paper, we set out to investigate possibilities and issues for the computing component, focusing on three fields: bioinformatics, data science, and cybersecurity. We explore commonalities and differences, and discuss initial plans to test our hypotheses. In doing so, we consider data organization, data acquisition, and a preliminary survey design.

Instill Autonomous Driving Technology into Undergraduates via Project-Based Learning

Weitian Wang and Laura Paulino (Montclair State University, USA)

Autonomous driving is seeing fast-growing development in recent years. In order to broaden the current generation's career pathways to this cutting-edge field, it is necessary to instill autonomous driving technology to our STEM students, who are not majoring in automotive engineering. This work-in-progress paper presents an underway new exploration to nurture undergraduate students with autonomous driving knowledge through a comprehensive hands-on program using the project-based learning pedagogy. Students in different groups will collaborate and exploit their problem-solving skills by developing a 1/10-scale autonomous vehicle on a scaled-down driving platform. The vehicle is configured with three main functions: pre-collision detection, lane tracking, and road sign recognition. Hardware and software systems of this autonomous vehicle are described in this paper. In the preliminary results, we present a developed vehicle that will be used to testify the functions of the hardware system and verify the feasibility of the proposed on-road applications. Future work of this project is also discussed.

Wide band gap using periodic combined electromagnetic band gap cells

Mohammad El Ghabzouri (Mohammed First University, Faculty of Sciences, Oujda, Morocco)

This work investigates the electromagnetic (EM) response toward two combinations of electromagnetic band gap (EBG) cells outlining our EBG structures under test. It has been talked about before that EBG structure identified as high impedance surface (HIS), act as background reflector as well as dropping EM wave surface, while the potential income of artificial magnetic conductor (AMC) is low profile devices. In this ongoing research paper, we used periodic combined cells, arranged in three manners (chessboard-like, intervallic-like, and mirror-like), in order to study the EM features of these original EBG structures. The motivation behind this work is to improve the band gap width (BGW) of our previous EBG circular slots meandered lines (EBG-CSML). The result shows a very interesting behavior of the mirror EBG-CSML structure, which manifests in ultra-wide BGW equal to 1.63 GHz, the realized fractional BGW is 66.5%. The presented EBG structures are designed for our project in progress that would integrate these EBG structures with antennas, in order to make a new competitive compact and low profile multiband antenna, with the lowest specific absorption rate possible, especially around mobile's lower bands working frequencies (700, 800, 900, and 1800 MHz).

Adaptive Tests using machine Learning for Math Tutorials: A Work in Progress

Julio Morales and Erick Petersen (Universidad Galileo, Guatemala); Oscar Rodas (Universidad Galileo & Tesla Lab, Guatemala)

The covid-19 contingency changed daily life as we knew it. These changes in education made to students and teachers engage in online classes that never do before. But that does not mean that every student could learn the contents or all the educators was able to teach properly. That is why some students could need personal tutors and these tutorials must have a validation of effectiveness and progress in student learning. In this work it is propose an adaptive model with machine learning, which will be in charge of proposing tests to adapt student's knowledge and reinforce the areas in which they need the most, using a question bank that is divided into 4 areas and levels of difficulty. Those test will help to demonstrate that the student is improving with the personal math tutorials, this could help them to be better prepared in STEM area and could make them choose a career in this subject at the university.

Session Chair

To Be Determined

Session WIP-03

Track 10 — Works-In-Progress III

3:00 PM — 4:45 PM EST
Mar 13 Sat, 3:00 PM — 4:45 PM EST

Entrepreneurship Education in Engineering Using Key Performance Indicators

Frank Washko (Saint Martin's University, USA); William Edwards (Kettering University, USA); Leslie Washko (Saint Martin's University, USA)

Engineering entrepreneurship education tends to focus on management and subjective skills rather than unique business models. A business idea itself does not dictate how a company will be managed or if a business will survive beyond the startup stage. And, ideas and management can never be separated from one another when it comes to entrepreneurship. However, the objective qualities of a proposed business model can be a predictor of the success of a startup. A critical concept to teach engineers is Key Performance Indicators (KPI's) that are present in successful business models that entrepreneurs can leverage at the early stages to give their startups an edge. This research identifies at least seven such KPI's.

Virtual Computer Engineering Summer Camp Experience in the Era of COVID-19 Pandemic

Girma Tewolde (Kettering University, USA)

This paper presents the experience of the author from a virtual computer engineering summer camp in the era of the COVID-19 Pandemic. The target audience for this pre-college summer camp was high school students. Even though the university had a long history of offering on-campus day and residential summer camp programs in several areas, the camp that was offered in the summer of 2020 was the first of its kind for being offered completely in virtual mode. To keep the participants engaged in the program, the camp material was designed to include a great deal of hands on activities involving electronics, microcontrollers, sensors, and robotic kits, as well as programming. This paper presents the structure of the program, description of the content delivered, and reports on results of the survey completed by the participants to assess the effectiveness of the program. Based on the survey results we conclude that the program turned out to be successful with 92.3% of the survey respondents reporting that the virtual camp has satisfied their initial expectations and 100% of them reporting that they would recommend the camp to others.

Supporting Inclusive Engineering Education using Global Virtual Teams

Anuli Ndubuisi and James Slotta (University of Toronto, Canada)

Future engineers require global competencies to help them transition to the labor market in an increasingly complex, digitized, and evolving world economy. In response, an International Virtual Engineering Student Teams' (InVEST) program was developed, in which multidisciplinary students were engaged in collaborative technical projects within a global virtual team learning environment. This study examines engineering students' intercultural competencies and supports their development of those competencies within the context of a global engineering project where they work in culturally diverse teams. We report on two successive iterations of the engineering global virtual team (GVT) learning program. Each included a pre-survey to understand student's initial knowledge and cultural orientation and a post-survey to assess students' perceptions of their intercultural learning and experiences. We found that blending global virtual team learning with collaborative international projects was an effective strategy for helping engineering students gain international exposure in an inclusive manner while developing intercultural competencies, virtual team collaboration skills, and technical engineering knowledge.

Fine-grained Analysis of Gender Bias in Student Evaluations

Eric Dillon, Haroon Malik and David Dampier (Marshall University, USA); Fatma Outay (Zayed University, United Arab Emirates)

The most widely applied tool to evaluate the teacher/instructor performance in a course is by collecting numerical responses against a set of questionnaires, about the instructor and the course, along with comments in free-form text. Published research results depict biases in student evaluations of instructors in ratings, as well as in comments. However, the research so far has not been directed at the fine-grained analysis of gender bias -- opinion (sentiments) of students towards qualitative metrics of their interaction with the instructors. The work-in-progress (WIP) proposes (a) a methodology to mine teaching evaluation and (b) an open-source tool to facilitate educational establishments execute empirical studies and students perform exploratory analytics on the teaching evaluations.

Expanding Access to Microscopy

Aaban A Syed (Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory ASPIRE Intern & North County High School, USA); Imaad Syed and Lafe Spietz (JHU APL, USA); Aric Sanders (NIST, USA)

State-of-the-art microscopes cost thousands of dollars, posing challenges to third world hospitals and secondary schools. Additionally, there is a growing problem of "e-Waste", where consumers throw away old pieces of technology to buy newer models. The rare, valuable, and hazardous materials used in those technological devices pollute the environment when thrown in landfills, and could cause harmful effects on human, plant, and animal health. The overall goal of this project was to up-cycle old computer parts to make a cheap, open source microscope to address these issues. Optical drives are designed to be very precise, in order to "read" data from very small spaces on CDs/DVDs. There is an objective lens to change the angle of the laser, and a very precise stepper motor to slowly change the position of the laser assembly to read different parts of the CD/DVD. These principles were applied to modern microscopy in order to construct a microscope for a couple hundred dollars, as opposed to thousands. Such a prototype is being constructed, and samples will be placed to view magnified images to test the viability of the microscope. After completion, all instructions and software will be uploaded to GitHub for cloning and open use. This will allow for greater access to microscopy for students and for those in developing countries.

Session Chair

To Be Determined

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