1. Christopher Whitmer
  3. Parametric Studio Inc.
  1. Mollie Appelgate
  2. Assistant Professor
  4. Iowa State University
  1. Christa Jackson
  2. Assistant Professor of Mathematics Education
  4. Iowa State University

STTR Phase I:Engineering Design Instruction Software for implementing Objecti...

NSF Awards: 1622875

2017 (see original presentation & discussion)

Grades 6-8

This STTR Phase I supported project, Engineering Design Instruction Software for implementing Objectives of Next generation standards (EDISON), combines STEM concepts, engineering design, simulation, and 3-D printing to serve as a gamified work-space for engineering design-test-build (DBT) projects. The goal of this work was to replicate the open design process of real world DBT activities, add the rigor of engineering modeling and design analysis, and then allow these unique designs to be simulated and prototyped. Students who express interest in STEM in by eighth grade are up to three times more likely to ultimately pursue STEM degrees later in life.  Unfortunately, the middle school years are where many adolescents lose interest in STEM. EDISON is designed to address this by offering positive exposure to STEM in the early and middle grades. Leveraging gamification, team collaboration, and 3-D printing, this tool provides an enriching engineering design experience that connects STEM content to real world applications.  Students use EDISON’s realistic design tools to create concepts, build models, simulate and analyze, export files for physical prototyping (3-D printing, cutting, or machining), and integrate with testing. Through these base of operations, our work provides what other engineering curricula cannot – powerful tools for student evaluation, instructional assistance, and performance tracking. EDISON supports many common challenges that appear in engineering curricula (e.g., bridges, and CO2 cars).  In this tool is being developed, tested, and evaluated in middle school classrooms as well as in informal learning environments like camps and afterschool programs.

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