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Icon for: Elizabeth Radday

ELIZABETH RADDAY

EdAdvance

ARX21: Augmented Reality Experiences in 21st Century STEM Careers

NSF Awards: 1849773

2020 (see original presentation & discussion)

Grades 9-12

Increasing interest and motivation in the STEM classroom is a challenge many high school teachers face.  In our new program, students are learning STEM content through the use of Augmented Reality apps and programs and then are demonstrating their mastery of new content by creating their own AR experiences.  Teachers are enhancing instruction by creating AR enhanced activities and using AR apps in Skills21 designed Learning Labs. As a culminating project students use AR to enhance their team challenge projects for the annual Student Innovation Exhibition held each spring.  

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Original Discussion from the 2020 STEM For All Video Showcase
  • Icon for: Elizabeth Radday

    Elizabeth Radday

    Lead Presenter
    Research Specialist
    May 4, 2020 | 02:27 p.m.

    Skills21 is very excited to share this work through the video showcase.  As we prepare for the unknown future we are looking for more ways to make our Augmented Reality work accessible for distance learning.  In fact, we are hoping that perhaps our AR learning labs will be more compelling and engaging for students learning remotely and are considering the limitations and opportunities that remote learning brings to this project.  We'd be happy to answer any questions!

     

  • Icon for: Karl Kosko

    Karl Kosko

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 4, 2020 | 04:40 p.m.

    I can definitely see this being useful for remote learning. I've been using a Merge Cube with my 4-year-old periodically these past several weeks and it is useful, but I felt there was a need for more content (I realize you aren't focusing on preschool, but appreciate the focus you do have!). Thank you for this worthwhile work!

  • Icon for: Elizabeth Radday

    Elizabeth Radday

    Lead Presenter
    Research Specialist
    May 6, 2020 | 09:59 a.m.

    The Merge Cube is a lot of fun!  We've played with that as well.  There is definitely a need for more content with AR.  We assumed that there would be more AR content available but are finding it is quite limited.  The available AR content is often not very deep, so we are developing content as we create learning labs.  

  • Icon for: Jamie Mikeska

    Jamie Mikeska

    Researcher
    May 5, 2020 | 12:02 p.m.

    Thank you for this very important work. What are the next steps after they create the AR apps? Have any of the ideas and products been scaled up afterwards?

  • Icon for: Elizabeth Radday

    Elizabeth Radday

    Lead Presenter
    Research Specialist
    May 6, 2020 | 09:55 a.m.

    Students create their AR apps to go along with their challenge project prototypes.  They will use the apps to deepen their explanations of their projects at our annual Expo Fest.  Historically a few projects from Expo Fest have applied for patents and we are working on ways to expand this opportunity for students to take their projects further.  

  • Icon for: Ed Robeck

    Ed Robeck

    Facilitator
    May 5, 2020 | 06:54 p.m.

    Is Earth and Space Science part of this?

  • Icon for: Elizabeth Radday

    Elizabeth Radday

    Lead Presenter
    Research Specialist
    May 6, 2020 | 09:53 a.m.

    We do plan to create learning labs for Earth Science in year 2 or 3 of this project.   

  • Icon for: John Moore

    John Moore

    Executive Director
    May 6, 2020 | 02:52 p.m.

    Nice work. It is great to see the students so involved. We too work with VR/AR and have created an app called HoloGLOBE which uses the Merge Cube. It focuses on displaying various satellite data that you may wish to look at as you expand into the Earth and Space sciences. It does add substance for much of the imagery/data is real time.

  • Icon for: Ed Robeck

    Ed Robeck

    Facilitator
    May 5, 2020 | 06:56 p.m.

    You're really demonstrating the potential that a technology can have when put in the hands of motivated and creative students. It seems really powerful. Is there any attention given to user interface issues? I'm not sure I know the language to use here, but I wonder if there is a difference between AR that adds sizzle, and AR that adds substance? Is there a way to shape the AR toward one or the other? (And I wonder if both don't have their place in what you're doing, so it is not that is should be all one or the other...right?) In fact, I wonder if that is a false dichotomy, but perhaps you get the idea.

  • Icon for: Elizabeth Radday

    Elizabeth Radday

    Lead Presenter
    Research Specialist
    May 6, 2020 | 09:48 a.m.

    Great question.  We are using AR to do a little bit of both.  For examples, we have created some AR powered worksheets where the kids can hold their phone at the trigger on the worksheet and then a video related to the content appears.  Of course they could just as easily go to the computer and watch the same video, but we hypothesize that having the AR trigger right on the worksheet will be fun and engaging.  We also have AR that is intended to deepen their understanding of content.  For example, when students are learning about DNA transcription and translation we will have an AR app that allows students to start by looking at the human body then zooming into the body into a cell, into the nucleus, into the DNA and then watch the transcription take place.  As kids create their own AR apps that go along with their project prototypes we are challenging them to think of ways to use AR to illustrate something that could not be done in another way.  We want to encourage them to make it not AR just for fun, but AR to further explain their prototype.  We will see what we get!

     

  • Icon for: Michael Daley

    Michael Daley

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 6, 2020 | 07:06 a.m.

    I appreciate the project and the effort you are making to guide students in "looking under the hood" at AR technology. The reports I have been reading suggest AR will be widespread in many industries very soon. Your video mentions the use of the Skills21 app. Is this something you plan to publicly share? I can see many of the Noyce Fellows I work with being interested in this app.

  • Icon for: Elizabeth Radday

    Elizabeth Radday

    Lead Presenter
    Research Specialist
    May 6, 2020 | 09:59 a.m.

    We are using Zapworks for the students to make their own AR.  The AR experiences we make will be available as we create.  Our Learning Labs will also be open resource once we write, implement, and revise.  We are watching AR grow in so many industries so we are eager to get it into kids' hands and expose them to both using AND creating AR.  

  • Icon for: Elizabeth Radday

    Elizabeth Radday

    Lead Presenter
    Research Specialist
    May 6, 2020 | 09:41 a.m.

    We are using Zapworks for the students to make their own AR.  The AR experiences we make will be available as we create.  Our Learning Labs will also be open resource once we write, implement, and revise.  We are watching AR grow in so many industries so we are eager to get it into kids' hands and expose them to both using AND creating AR.  

     

  • May 6, 2020 | 11:25 a.m.

    Great project and video! Can you tell me more about your work with the teachers? How easy or difficult for them to use AR in their classroom? What type of challenges do they face? What type of professional development do you do for the teachers?

  • Icon for: Elizabeth Radday

    Elizabeth Radday

    Lead Presenter
    Research Specialist
    May 7, 2020 | 07:33 p.m.

    Each summer we’ve conducted PD for teachers but have not yet done much PD with teachers around using AR as we are only a few months into the grant.  We anticipate one of the obstacles will be the teachers’ unfamiliarity with the technology.  Ironically, I think teachers have had to become really familiar with tech really fast due to the transition to remote learning.  We are hoping the more universal use of technology and trying out new tools will open teachers up to trying to use AR in the classroom.  We find one of our best tools is to make brief video tutorials that show how different tools work.  We make these tutorials in-house and can cater the tutorial to exactly how they will need to use the tool.  We also provide classroom coaching and our coach goes into classrooms and works directly with students and the teacher throughout the year to help overcome any major obstacles.  We find in-the-moment classroom coaching to be the most helpful in our other projects and plan to continue to do that in this project.  

  • Icon for: Steven Greenstein

    Steven Greenstein

    Facilitator
    May 6, 2020 | 12:54 p.m.

    Your video and description foreground the technology and background the content. I assume this isn't your intention. What have you learned about why AR seems so conducive to learning science? What have the students taught you about why this approach works? What uses of AR in your project provide an image of how students are doing science (i.e., engaging in its practices)? Thank you, this is very exciting.

  • Icon for: Elizabeth Radday

    Elizabeth Radday

    Lead Presenter
    Research Specialist
    May 7, 2020 | 07:35 p.m.

    We certainly don’t want to lose the content and only promote technology!  We see AR as a tool for STEM subjects because of the way the technology is created as well as what it can afford as a teaching tool.  For example, VR can let a student see an exploded view of an eyeball in a different way than a 2D picture on a page.  Adding multidimensional views, the ability to see around and inside objects, and the ability to morph objects ideally will all deepen science content understanding.  In addition, because the students create VR to go along with innovative projects they hit on all of the NGSS practices throughout the year.  

     
    1
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    Steven Greenstein
  • Icon for: David Campbelll

    David Campbelll

    Facilitator
    May 6, 2020 | 02:28 p.m.

    I like the potential for workforce preparation.  Do you have an advisory board that includes experts from the technology industry?  It would be good to ensure that the skills the students are learning todayare aligned with anticipated workforce skills of the future 

  • Icon for: Elizabeth Radday

    Elizabeth Radday

    Lead Presenter
    Research Specialist
    May 8, 2020 | 01:13 p.m.

    Our core Advisory Board has representation from several fields and members are part of the team’s Augmented Reality NSF planning and implementation work. These include but are not limited to higher ed (UCONN Stamford Digital Media), government (CT Office of Film and Television) and industry (IBM). UCONN Stamford is a formal partner on the project and we also have ex-officio advisors from the AR/VR sector in Connecticut. Each of these formal and informal advisors help us shape the knowledge and skill focus areas in alignment with emerging workforce and economic development needs. 

     

  • Icon for: Michael Rosenfeld

    Michael Rosenfeld

    VP of National Productions
    May 6, 2020 | 03:23 p.m.

    Thanks for sharing this. I'd be interested in hearing whether you encountered any  limitations in using AR in the STEM classroom. What were the challenges, and how were you able to work around them? 

  • Icon for: Elizabeth Radday

    Elizabeth Radday

    Lead Presenter
    Research Specialist
    May 7, 2020 | 07:36 p.m.

    We are still early in the project but already have anticipated some of the challenges.  One challenge is that there is not as much high quality AR content readily available.  As the technology is still quite new for use in the classroom we are not able to find as much already made AR content connected to high school science that truly deepens student understanding and isn’t just AR for fun.  We are tackling that by designing some of our own AR apps with our grant partner at a University and university students learning AR are making apps based on the science content.   

  • Icon for: Dave Miller

    Dave Miller

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 7, 2020 | 09:15 a.m.

    Fascinating project, and thanks for sharing, here in the SFA.  As I was listening to the various subject areas that connect with this project, and the real-world problems that students work on, I was curious to know if students, teachers, and researchers are connecting this teaching & learning and the project with real-world companies that are in these spaces (bio-sciences, adv mfg, etc.). Thanks!

  • Small default profile

    Susan Domanico

    May 7, 2020 | 12:03 p.m.

    Awesome energy and student engagement as this type of work prepares students with the tools for workplace success

  • Icon for: Ashley Pereira

    Ashley Pereira

    STEM Curriculum Developer
    May 8, 2020 | 09:53 a.m.

    I think augmented reality is on the brink of widespread adoption, especially in light of social distancing. To me it is one of the best ways to be 'together, apart'! I am excited to see how this project continues to develop, and how its findings can b applied and expanded in STEM career readiness initiatives. Great work!

     
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    CarlaDean Caldera
  • Icon for: Kyle Boyer

    Kyle Boyer

    Graduate Student
    May 11, 2020 | 03:16 p.m.

    It's great to see students applying new technologies in their own creative ways. The sense of ownership of knowledge that this creates is wonderful to watch, and can do wonders for encouraging students to pursue their passions and apply their knowledge outside of a classroom.

     
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    CarlaDean Caldera
  • May 11, 2020 | 06:43 p.m.

    So cool.  Thank you for sharing and creating community development in an expo, getting so many minds collaborating in progress.  So cool.  Our work leverages motion capture and we are merging into AR with hopes exploring both.  Will email to inquire further.

    Meantime, can you expound on how the AR is shared?  Is there a common authoring platform for development (HTML5, UNITY, GODOT, etc.)?  Can advents in be shared across projects? Is there a wiki-type resource?

    It is wonderful to see that the apps seem to range from computer-based to phone apps.  Being in high-school classrooms, can stress how much bigger the classroom could be if the students, who all have phones, could use them in conjunction with an interactive AR classroom instead of being distracted by them during classtime! Excited to learn more!

  • Icon for: Elizabeth Radday

    Elizabeth Radday

    Lead Presenter
    Research Specialist
    May 12, 2020 | 12:37 p.m.

    Thanks for watching!  We'd be happy to connect.

    For the first phase of the project we’re using a “drag-and-drop” platform called Zapworks. We expect as the project scales we will look to UNITY to take AR to the next level. Zapworks also has a more complex authoring environment that we expect could be a bridge to something like UNITY for more advanced teams and projects.  Hope that helps!

  • Icon for: CarlaDean Caldera

    CarlaDean Caldera

    Informal Educator
    May 11, 2020 | 09:54 p.m.

    This is an Awesome project! AR merging with iSTEAM?! Oh the possibilities... Thank you for this inspiring presentation. CarlaDean

  • Icon for: Elizabeth Radday

    Elizabeth Radday

    Lead Presenter
    Research Specialist
    May 12, 2020 | 12:37 p.m.

    We agree.  The possibilities seem endless right now and we can't wait to see what the next two years holds as technology continues to develop.  

     
    1
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    CarlaDean Caldera
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