- design projects
- engineering design
- engineering education
- engineering education research
- modeling and simulation
- Modeling and Simulations
- Modeling & Simulation
- open-ended learning
- simulation and modeling
- simulation based education
- simulation-based learning
- undergraduate education
Go to the Nano Education Research Page
This group discusses nanotechnology-based design projects that have been developed for and implemented in Purdue’s First-Year Engineering (FYE) Program. The categories of this overview discuss the various versions of the design projects implemented for various years along with the pertinent research findings that led to changes in the proceeding year. The draft version of the papers cited in this group can be found on the resources tab. We welcome and encourage contributions and discussions. (You can contribute substantial resources to nanoHUB.org through the resource contribution process, and then send a message to the group manager so that links to those resources can be added to this group.)
The initial materials of this group page have been developed by the Network for Computational Nanotechnology (NCN) Education Research team. The NCN Education Research team is constantly working to increase students’ awareness and understanding of nanotechnology, while contributing to the literature about nanotechnology education.
The NCN Education Research team has developed some materials for a course in Purdue’s First-Year Engineering Program. Course content can be seen at the following group: https://nanohub.org/groups/engr132
Summary of Categories:
Impact on nanoHUB users
nanoHUB.org is a collaborative community for researchers, educators, and learners. This group is interested in increasing the pedagogical content to increase the quantity of educators in this community, increase the quality of their experiences by disseminating relevant research, and help increase the effectiveness of learning experiences that they develop for their classrooms.
Projects Implemented in SPRING 2013 and 2014:
This project required students to develop a Graphical User Interface (GUI) using MATLAB to teach their peers about nanotechnology for nanoHUB.org. The student teams received a memo from the project partner that described the details of the assignment. The project was driven by five criteria:
- Clearly helps peers understand the Size & Scale of nanotechnology (big idea #1),
- Clearly assists peers in connecting Size & Scale to at least one other nanoscience big idea (i.e. forces and interactions, size-dependent properties, structure of matter, or self-assembly)
- Clearly engages peers in how criteria 1 and 2 apply to one or more engineering disciplines via model(s) or simulation(s)
- Is highly stimulating and interactive for the targeted grade level
- Is easy to use and operate
Process: develop solutions through the course of 9 milestones (submissions) and utilize feedback received after each submission
- Problem-scoping: Focus is on understanding the big picture of the project and the specific task at hand. It consists of a few questions about problem formulation, problem identification, and the deliverable.
- Information Gathering: This milestone challenges teams to better understand their target audience and evaluate the success of similar deliverables.
- Idea Generation and Reduction: Students must brainstorm potential solutions. Based on their established requirements and given criteria they evaluate their potential solutions (using a decision matrix) to select the top two ideas.
- Prototype Draft 1: Students develop a storyboard for one of their top ideas. Presentation slides and notes are used to convey potential content for each GUI to be included in the solution.
- Prototype Final: This is an updated storyboard.
- GUI Layout: Teams create MATLAB layouts of all their GUIs and accompanying flowcharts that explain the needed coding. This is the last submission before the coding of their actual GUIs begins.
- GUI Beta 1.0: Teams begin coding all of the content they have planned in previous milestones.
- GUI Beta 2.0: Teams update their GUIs.
- GUI Final: Teams finalize their GUIs and executive summary.
Sample Projects from SPRING 2013:
Projects Implemented in SPRING 2012:
Context: Create an interactive tool (using MATLAB) to teach upper-division high school students about nanotechnology concepts in connection to 11th & 12th grade science and mathematics concepts
Process: 6 milestones (submissions)
- Prototype proposal
- Flowcharts for coding
- GUI Beta Version 1
- GUI Beta Version 2
- Final Demo & Executive Summary
Research Conducted on Spring 2012 data that led to project changes
ASEE 2013: First-Year Engineering Students’ Learning of Nanotechnology through an Open-Ended Project This study investigated first-year engineering student teams’ ways of defining nanotechnology, applications presented, and methods of relating to mathematics and science concepts in their nanotechnology-based design project solutions. Twenty-eight teams’ executive summaries were qualitatively analyzed. The table shows the types of scales that the students discussed in their executive summaries; only half of the teams discussed the nanoscale. This finding shined light on the need for size and scale content to be integrated into the nanotechnology curriculum presented prior to the development of the design projects. The image shows the types of nanotechnology applications the teams incorporated into their projects. It also highlights that half of the teams did not include any application and over half of these teams explicitly stated that they did not effectively teach users about nanotechnology in their projects. This finding identified an opportunity to use applications as a way to better engage students in nanotechnology education. This project presents implications for nanotechnology curriculum development. It also presents opportunities for nanoHUB to fill content gaps in nanotechnology education to engage more learners.
FIE 2013: Case Studies: First-Year Engineering Nanotechnology-based Design Projects These case studies were conducted as a follow-up to the ASEE 2013 study. The purpose of this study was to investigate the changes of teams’ projects through their project development. Four projects were selected that incorporated a nanotechnology application and each had a different science and/or mathematics concepts. The three different tables show the four teams’ projects and how they changed across the course of five milestones. The only concept that remained consistent for all four teams across the milestones was the nanotechnology applications. This study showed that the connection to nanotechnology applications presents a content idea to guide students through project development. This finding further identifies an opportunity to use applications as a way to better engage students in nanotechnology education. Establishing clearer connections between nanotechnology applications and nanoHUB simulations may present an opportunity to engage more users in nanoHUB simulations.
Rodgers, K. J., Diefes-Dux, H.A., & Madhavan, K. (2013). Case studies: First-year engineering nanotechnology-based design projects. Proceedings of the 43rd ASEE/IEEE Annual Frontiers in Education Conference, Oklahoma City, OK.
Rodgers, K. J., Diefes-Dux, H.A., Madhavan, K., & Oakes, B. (2013). First-year engineering students’ learning of nanotechnology through an open-ended project. Proceedings of the 120th ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition. Atlanta, GA.
Sample Projects from SPRING 2012:
Sample Team’s Home Page GUI:
Sample Teams’ GUIs: