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Creating Sustainability at ASU: Closing the Gap Between Concept and Application

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This thesis is exploring the potential disconnect between the operational and cultural parts in the making of sustainability at Arizona State University (ASU) to find the disconnect in operational goals, student engagement, and thus student behavior in building sustainability at

This thesis is exploring the potential disconnect between the operational and cultural parts in the making of sustainability at Arizona State University (ASU) to find the disconnect in operational goals, student engagement, and thus student behavior in building sustainability at the university. To do so, I compare and contrast how ASU, Northern Arizona University (NAU), and the University of Arizona (UA) define, create, and demonstrate sustainability in their university’s culture and campus engagement programs. I first define what “culture” is in this study to provide context on how the word is being applied. Next, I assess how culture is reflected in the mission, vision, and/or goals of each university to set the tone for how the university intends to shape the culture of student experience through its services, as well as provide context where sustainability concepts may fit within. Then I assess what sustainability is demonstrated and defined as at each university. To thread each of these components together, I compare and contrast campus sustainability engagement programs at ASU, NAU, and UA based on the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System (STARS) reports produced by The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education’s (AASHE), as engagement programs are a reflection of the university’s vision, goals, and values brought from theory to practice. My findings are demonstrated in the form of a policy analysis, followed by recommendations on closing the gap where engagement programs and opportunities are potentially missing. These recommendations are intended to advance a stronger culture of sustainability on campus at ASU.

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2020-05

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Self-Efficacy and Learning of Engineering Concepts Through Gamification

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The relationship between video games and education is something that has been studied extensively in academia. Based upon these studies a new concept was created, gamification. Gamification is the next step in video game research to analyze why video games

The relationship between video games and education is something that has been studied extensively in academia. Based upon these studies a new concept was created, gamification. Gamification is the next step in video game research to analyze why video games enhance learning. The interest and research into this concept have developed so much so that it has become its own topic area for research. This study is looking to analyze the effect that gamification has on not only learning, but also self-efficacy. Through a choose your own adventure game, the knowledge and self-efficacy of participants will be examined to observe the differences when learning difficult engineering concepts with and without gamification. It is expected that participants that experienced training through gamification will demonstrate deeper learning and higher self-efficacy than trained through a video. Furthermore, it is anticipated that some video trained participants’ self-efficacy will increase; however, their comprehension will be less than participants trained through gamification. The results of this study can help promote the interest in researching gamification and education, while influencing educators to corporate gamification elements when designing their courses. Moreover, this study continued through adaptation and integration into a statics forces class, investigated if the same results can be found within a classroom setting.

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2020-05

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Surface Mechanical Attrition Treatment (SMAT) of 7075 Aluminum Alloy to Induce a Protective Corrosion Resistant Layer

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This paper investigates Surface Mechanical Attrition Treatment (SMAT) and the influence of treatment temperature and initial sample surface finish on the corrosion resistance of 7075-T651 aluminum alloy. Ambient SMAT was performed on AA7075 samples polished to 80-grit initial surface roughness.

This paper investigates Surface Mechanical Attrition Treatment (SMAT) and the influence of treatment temperature and initial sample surface finish on the corrosion resistance of 7075-T651 aluminum alloy. Ambient SMAT was performed on AA7075 samples polished to 80-grit initial surface roughness. Potentiodynamic polarization and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) tests were used to characterize the corrosion behavior of samples before and after SMAT. Electrochemical tests indicated an improved corrosion resistance after application of SMAT process. The observed improvements in corrosion properties are potentially due to microstructural changes in the material surface induced by SMAT which encouraged the formation of a passive oxide layer. Further testing and research are required to understand the corrosion related effects of cryogenic SMAT and initial-surface finish as the COVID-19 pandemic inhibited experimentation plans.

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2020-05

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Developing Inventory Control and Build Management Software for Spacecraft Engineering

Description

Engineering an object means engineering the process that creates the object. Today, software can make the task of tracking these processes robust and straightforward. When engineering requirements are strict and strenuous, software custom-built for such processes can prove essential. The

Engineering an object means engineering the process that creates the object. Today, software can make the task of tracking these processes robust and straightforward. When engineering requirements are strict and strenuous, software custom-built for such processes can prove essential. The work for this project was developing ICDB, an inventory control and build management system created for spacecraft engineers at ASU to record each step of their engineering processes. In-house development means ICDB is more precisely designed around its users' functionality and cost requirements than most off-the-shelf commercial offerings. By placing a complex relational database behind an intuitive web application, ICDB enables organizations and their users to create and store parts libraries, assembly designs, purchasing and location records for inventory items, and more.

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2018-05

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Understanding and Predicting Persistence in First Year Engineering Students

Description

Based on James Marcia's theory, identity development in youth is the degree to which one has explored and committed to a vocation [1], [2]. During the path to an engineering identity, students will experience a crisis, when one's values and

Based on James Marcia's theory, identity development in youth is the degree to which one has explored and committed to a vocation [1], [2]. During the path to an engineering identity, students will experience a crisis, when one's values and choices are examined and reevaluated, and a commitment, when the outcome of the crisis leads the student to commit to becoming an engineer. During the crisis phase, students are offered a multitude of experiences to shape their values and choices to influence commitment to becoming an engineering student. Student's identities in engineering are fostered through mentoring from industry, alumni, and peer coaching [3], [4]; experiences that emphasize awareness of the importance of professional interactions [5]; and experiences that show creativity, collaboration, and communication as crucial components to engineering. Further strategies to increase students' persistence include support in their transition to becoming an engineering student, education about professional engineers and the workplace [6], and engagement in engineering activities beyond the classroom. Though these strategies are applied to all students, there are challenges students face in confronting their current identity and beliefs before they can understand their value to society and achieve personal satisfaction. To understand student's progression in developing their engineering identity, first year engineering students were surveyed at the beginning and end of their first semester. Students were asked to rate their level of agreement with 22 statements about their engineering experience. Data included 840 cases. Items with factor loading less than 0.6 suggesting no sufficient explanation were removed in successive factor analysis to identify the four factors. Factor analysis indicated that 60.69% of the total variance was explained by the successive factors. Survey questions were categorized into three factors: engineering identity as defined by sense of belonging and self-efficacy, doubts about becoming an engineer, and exploring engineering. Statements in exploring engineering indicated student awareness, interest and enjoyment within engineering. Students were asked to think about whether they spent time learning what engineers do and participating in engineering activities. Statements about doubts about engineering to engineering indicated whether students had formed opinions about their engineering experience and had understanding about their environment. Engineering identity required thought in belonging and self-efficacy. Belonging statements called for thought about one's opinion in the importance of being an engineer, the meaning of engineering, an attachment to engineering, and self-identification as an engineer. Statements about self-efficacy required students to contemplate their personal judgement of whether they would be able to succeed and their ability to become an engineer. Effort in engineering indicated student willingness to invest time and effort and their choices and effort in their engineering discipline.

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2018-05

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Affordable and Environmentally Conscious Living: Residential Rooftop Solar Solutions for Low-Income and Middle-Income Families

Description

As climate change and air pollution continue to plague the world today, committed citizens are doing their part to minimize their environmental impact. However, financial limitations have hindered a majority of individuals from adopting clean, renewable energy such as roofto

As climate change and air pollution continue to plague the world today, committed citizens are doing their part to minimize their environmental impact. However, financial limitations have hindered a majority of individuals from adopting clean, renewable energy such as rooftop photovoltaic solar systems. England Sustainability Consulting plans to reverse this limitation and increase affordability for residents across Northern California to install solar panel systems for their energy needs. The purpose of this proposal is to showcase a new approach to procuring solar panel system components while offering the same products needed by each customer. We will examine market data to further prove the feasibility of this business approach while remaining profitable and spread our company's vision across all of Northern California.

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2018-05

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Robot Head Kit for High School Robotics Education

Description

The field of robotics is rapidly expanding, and with it, the methods of teaching and introducing students must also advance alongside new technologies. There is a challenge in robotics education, especially at high school levels, to expose them to more

The field of robotics is rapidly expanding, and with it, the methods of teaching and introducing students must also advance alongside new technologies. There is a challenge in robotics education, especially at high school levels, to expose them to more modern and practical robots. One way to bridge this gap is human-robot interaction for a more hands-on and impactful experience that will leave students more interested in pursuing the field. Our project is a Robotic Head Kit that can be used in an educational setting to teach about its electrical, mechanical, programming, and psychological concepts. We took an existing robot head prototype and further advanced it so it can be easily assembled while still maintaining human complexity. Our research for this project dove into the electronics, mechanics, software, and even psychological barriers present in order to advance the already existing head design. The kit we have developed combines the field of robotics with psychology to create and add more life-like features and functionality to the robot, nicknamed "James Junior." The goal of our Honors Thesis was to initially fix electrical, mechanical, and software problems present. We were then tasked to run tests with high school students to validate our assembly instructions while gathering their observations and feedback about the robot's programmed reactions and emotions. The electrical problems were solved with custom PCBs designed to power and program the existing servo motors on the head. A new set of assembly instructions were written and modifications to the 3D printed parts were made for the kit. In software, existing code was improved to implement a user interface via keypad and joystick to give students control of the robot head they construct themselves. The results of our tests showed that we were not only successful in creating an intuitive robot head kit that could be easily assembled by high school students, but we were also successful in programming human-like expressions that could be emotionally perceived by the students.

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2018-05

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Promoting Gender Inclusion in Engineering Through Children's Literature

Description

Engineering is a heavily male-dominated field and females are significantly less likely to choose an engineering-related major or career path. At the age of six years old, females start believing that their male peers are smarter than them, leading them

Engineering is a heavily male-dominated field and females are significantly less likely to choose an engineering-related major or career path. At the age of six years old, females start believing that their male peers are smarter than them, leading them to pursue less ambitious careers. The children's book Lyla B. An Engineering Legacy was created to encourage more young girls to discover their own potential and pursue engineering as a career. To explore the efficacy of the book on its target consumers, a pilot study was performed with first and second grade children. The participants' engineering knowledge; fixed and failure mindset beliefs; STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) interest, competency, and career aspirations; and stereotype beliefs were evaluated before and after being read the book to determine if the story has a positive impact on children. Additionally, the satisfaction of the participants towards both the book and main character were analyzed quantitatively and qualitatively. Overall, the results of the study suggest that the book has a positive impact on the interest and competency of STEM fields and the stereotype beliefs that the children had towards engineers. The study also suggests that the book decreases fixed and failure mindsets and that the participants were satisfied with the overall concept of the book and main character, Lyla.

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2018-05

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Process Improvement and Sustainability: Restructuring the Leadership Scholarship Program Cohort Selection

Description

Although the Leadership Scholarship Program has seen successful recruiting processes throughout changes in leadership of the program; the organization expressed a need for major overhaul to reevaluate the decisions of the process and to establish backing for those decisions. By

Although the Leadership Scholarship Program has seen successful recruiting processes throughout changes in leadership of the program; the organization expressed a need for major overhaul to reevaluate the decisions of the process and to establish backing for those decisions. By asking current and alumni members of the program about what they would like to see in a future member of the program as well as which parts of the process they found most important, the qualities of a future member of the program could be established and weighted. The goals of the reevaluation were to help eliminate bias, discrepancies between applications with extremely different uncontrollable factors, define points of discrepancies, and establish organizational sustainability while achieving a 100% acceptance rate from offered students. Each of these goals was achieved through methods outlined in the LSP Selection Process Manual that was written as a result of this reevaluation. The manual also outlines ways to improve the process going forward.

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2018-05

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Theorizing the 21st Century City: Urban Design through the SETS Framework

Description

As the move towards sustainable urbanism grows, understanding how the city has previously been envisioned and designed will be useful to moving forward. This work examines the legacy of urban design theories, what these theories have implied about what the

As the move towards sustainable urbanism grows, understanding how the city has previously been envisioned and designed will be useful to moving forward. This work examines the legacy of urban design theories, what these theories have implied about what the city should be, and their sustainability consequences. Noticing three prominent urban design visions of the city, the technological city (as proposed in 1922 by Le Corbusier's Ville contemporaine and later in 1933 by his Ville Radieuse (The Radiant City), and in 1935 by Frank Lloyd Wright's' Broadacre City), the social city (as explored in 1961 by Jane Jacobs and in 1976 by Edward Relph of the University of Chicago), and the ecological city (as expounded upon in 1924 by both Lewis Mumford and in 1969 by Ian McHarg), I have newly applied the social-ecological-technical systems framework (SETS) to help classify and analyze these urban design theories and how they have mixed to create hybrid perspectives in more recent urban design theory. Lastly, I have proposed an urban design theory that envisions the sustainable city as an ongoing process. Hopefully, this vision that will hopefully be useful to the future of sustainable development in cities, as will a more organized understanding of urban design theories and their sustainability outcomes.

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2018-05