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Description

“STEAM = Science & Technology interpreted through
Engineering & the Arts, all based in Mathematical elements” (STEAM edu, 2015).
“The latest round of international standardized test results showed American students are lagging behind the rest of the developed world not

“STEAM = Science & Technology interpreted through
Engineering & the Arts, all based in Mathematical elements” (STEAM edu, 2015).
“The latest round of international standardized test results showed American students are lagging behind the rest of the developed world not just in math, science and reading, but in problem solving as well. The 2012 Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) test examined 44 countries’ students’ problem-solving abilities — American students landed just above the average, but they still scored below many other developed countries, including Britain, Singapore, Korea, Japan, China and Canada” (Bertram, 2015).
Lack of quality education, busy households, and limited time and money can all be factors of why children are not academically supported. What would it look like if children had access to a tool that helped them catch up if they fall behind? A tool that empowers children to solve academic and real-world world problems will help strengthen different cognitive and behavioral skills as well as create a more personalized educational experience, inside the classroom and out. This tool can be applied to the way we look at our formal academic education to help build new, creative problem solving strategies that are tailored to each student’s preferred ways of learning.

Proposed Research

My research is driven by the following question:

How do we create a tool for students that will help them maneuver busy and over-populated classrooms to help them learn better?

I am interested in studying the ways in which children in the age range of 11-14 play, specifically through video gaming, and using this influence to promote learning. By using children’s gaming interests to inspire education, they will be more inclined to participate in learning activities in the classroom. By exploring and observing how children problem solve in gaming, I will be able to pull techniques and methods from play in order to enhance critical learning. This project will begin in mid-May, and will continue after my thesis defense when I take this project into the workforce and am applying for jobs.
Methods
I will be taking a mixed methods approach to my research by using a combination of:
Qualitative methods: Observational data will be collected in many ways including but not limited to sketches, photography, writing, and film. After gathering base-level observational data I plan to use this, as well as my prototypes from the early phases of my product’s life to create a study to better understand users’ preferences with my product. This will include different colors, ergonomic shapes, part lines, and more to allow for a large range of feedback.
Surveys and interviews: I wish to interview and survey policymakers, educators, students, and other stakeholders invested in education to better understand their needs, in order to ensure that my product is feasible in the eyes of policymakers. It is important that my specific product not only serve as a tool for students, but also for teachers to learn as well. Making this product as something practical and scalable is important in terms of feasibility.
Thematic groups: Observing user groups interacting with my product/project will help me adjust to my general end goals.

Actionable Insights

After gathering data from interviews, surveys, observations, and product feedback, I plan to analyze this data and make sufficient changes to my project in order to better serve the community in which I am trying to benefit. Doing this will help my project be more effective and impactful.

Limitations will depend on rules on photography and interviewing. The timeline of the analysis of the data collected will be similar to the timeline provided for the senior studio class for traditional industrial design students.
Expected Outcomes
The proposed research will strengthen my design skills and expand my knowledge as a design student interested in the user experience, wellbeing, access to arts education, and much more. I will have a final outcome of a physical product that will be used as an initiative to help children studying STEM subjects to find new, creative, and different ways of solving problems.
Timeline
As I will be doing this project in congruency with my senior industrial design studio, my schedule has been roughly predetermined.
April-August
Literature review and preliminary research will be taken care of during this part of my thesis project. I will also be contacting people I would like to see be involved in this project during this time.
August-December
Research
1. Exploration
a. Assign01: Mind map + Visit the world
b. Assign02: Observations + Interviews
2. Making sense of the data + Concepts
a. Assign03: POG + Ideation
b. Assign04: Concept Evaluation + Selection
c. Partner School Determined
3. Concept Direction + Customer Validation + Research Summary
a. Assign05: Hard device and Screen Mock-ups + Customer Feedback
b. Assign06: Mid-term presentation of research + Life-Cycle
Design
1. Form Development + Drivers
a. Assign07: Design Language + Out into the World
b. Assign08: Product Details + Function
c. Wire frames Due
2. Study Models + CAD Model
a. Assign09: Refined 3D Study Model
b. Assign10: CAD Model + Tech Drawings
c. Running Step-Through
3. Design Validation + Refinement
a. Assign11: Persona Check +CMF + Features & Benefits
4. Storyboard Development + Visual Poster
a. Assign12: Storyboard + Life of Product
b. Assign13: Poster + Presentation Outline
c. Assign14: Product Animation
5. Final Presentation
a. Assign15: Process Book
b. Assign16: Public presentation
December-January
This is the time I will use to have my code built out a bit more. I will come back into the next semester with a code that functions in my form that I have decided on.
January-May
This time will be used to run user tests on my product, and make desired changes to it in order to fully iterate and design my concept well and with data-driven desires.
Meetings
I plan to meet with my studio professor, Dosun Shin, once every two weeks to discuss how my project is progressing. My second committee member will be Dean Bacalzo. My committee will be contacted on a monthly basis by way of email with updates on my project’s process. From there I will be able to ask for suggestions and schedule meeting times to further discuss my project.

References
Educational Ecosystems for Societal Transformation

Why STEM? Success Starts With Critical Thinking, Problem-Solving Skills
https://www.wired.com/insights/2014/06/stem-success-starts-critical-thi…
Unlocking Creativity: Teaching across the Curriculum

How the Founder of All Girls Code Is Shaking Up STEM in the Middle East
https://www.jnj.com/personal-stories/the-road-to-devex-aya-mouallem-dis…

Case Study: A game for conflict-affected youth to learn and grow
https://blogs.unity3d.com/2018/06/13/case-study-a-game-for-conflict-aff…

Vice Charter School vs Public School
https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2016/10/the-weak-evidence-b…

Think brain games make you smarter? Think again, FSU researchers sayhttp:/
ews.fsu.edu
ews/health-medicine/2017/04/17/think-brain-games-make-smarter-think-fsu-researchers-say/
About STEAM Edu
https://steamedu.com/about-us/
Brain Games Don’t Work
http://fortune.com/2017/07/10/brain-games-research-lumosity/

Pip is a portable gaming device that teaches children to codehttps://www.dezeen.com/2017/12/05/pip-portable-gaming-device-teaches-ch…
Latest STEM learning kits for kids combine technology and play doughhttps://www.dezeen.com/2017/06/06/stem-learning-kits-kids-combine-techn…
3 Ways To Design Toys That Boost Kids’ Creativityhttps://www.fastcodesign.com/1669691/3-ways-to-design-toys-that-boost-k…
Plobot for STEAM
https://www.behance.net/gallery/45476023/Plobot

Global Education Futures Report
http://futuref.org/educationfutures
Xbox Adaptive Controllerhttps://www.xbox.com/en-US/xbox-one/accessories/controllers/xbox-adapti…
2018 US Video Game Market Predictionshttps://www.npd.com/wps/portal
pd/us/blog/2018/2018-us-video-game-market-predictions/
Kids and Violence in the Media
https://www.parenting.com/article/media-violence-children
YouTubers Talk About Their Favorite Games
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D3wFuqzzwdk

https://www.ideo.com/case-study/giving-ed-tech-entrepreneurs-a-window-i…
https://www.ideo.com/case-study/for-kids-a-new-tactile-way-to-learn-cod…
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uwskPyYEH2I&feature=youtu.be
https://www.kerbalspaceprogram.com/en/?page_id=11

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2019-05

Heterogeneous Catalysis for Organic Reactions

Description

This honors thesis is focused on two separate catalysis projects conducted under the mentorship of Dr. Javier Pérez-Ramírez at ETH Zürich. The first project explored ethylene oxychlorination over supported europium oxychloride catalysts. The second project investigated alkyne semihydrogenation over nickel

This honors thesis is focused on two separate catalysis projects conducted under the mentorship of Dr. Javier Pérez-Ramírez at ETH Zürich. The first project explored ethylene oxychlorination over supported europium oxychloride catalysts. The second project investigated alkyne semihydrogenation over nickel phosphide catalysts. This work is the subject of a publication of which I am a co-author, as cited below.

Project 1 Abstract: Ethylene Oxychlorination
The current two-step process for the industrial process of vinyl chloride production involves CuCl2 catalyzed ethylene oxychlorination to ethylene dichloride followed by thermal cracking of the latter to vinyl chloride. To date, no industrial application of a one-step process is available. To close this gap, this work evaluates a wide range of self-prepared supported CeO2 and EuOCl catalysts for one-step production of vinyl chloride from ethylene in a fixed-bed reactor at 623 773 K and 1 bar using feed ratios of C2H4:HCl:O2:Ar:He = 3:3 6:1.5 6:3:82 89.5. Among all studied systems, CeO2/ZrO2 and CeO2/Zeolite MS show the highest activity but suffer from severe combustion of ethylene, forming COx, while 20 wt.% EuOCl/γ-Al2O3 leads to the best vinyl chloride selectivity of 87% at 15.6% C2H4 conversion with complete suppression of CO2 formation and only 4% selectivity to CO conversion for over 100 h on stream. Characterization by XRD and EDX mapping reveals that much of the Eu is present in non-active phases such as Al2Eu or EuAl4, indicating that alternative synthesis methods could be employed to better utilize the metal. A linear relationship between conversion and metal loading is found for this catalyst, indicating that always part of the used Eu is available as EuOCl, while the rest forms inactive europium aluminate species. Zeolite-supported EuOCl slightly outperforms EuOCl/γ Al2O3 in terms of total yield, but is prone to significant coking and is unstable. Even though a lot of Eu seems locked in inactive species on EuOCl/γ Al2O3, these results indicate possible savings of nearly 16,000 USD per kg of catalyst compared to a bulk EuOCl catalyst. These very promising findings constitute a crucial step for process intensification of polyvinyl chloride production and exploring the potential of supported EuOCl catalysts in industrially-relevant reactions.

Project 2 Abstract: Alkyne Semihydrogenation
Despite strongly suffering from poor noble metal utilization and a highly toxic selectivity modifier (Pb), the archetypal catalyst applied for the three-phase alkyne semihydrogenation, the Pb-doped Pd/CaCO3 (Lindlar catalyst), is still being utilized at industrial level. Inspired by the very recent strategies involving the modification of Pd with p-block elements (i.e., S), this work extrapolates the concept by preparing crystalline metal phosphides with controlled stoichiometry. To develop an affordable and environmentally-friendly alternative to traditional hydrogenation catalysts, nickel, a metal belonging to the same group as Pd and capable of splitting molecular hydrogen has been selected. Herein, a simple two-step synthesis procedure involving nontoxic precursors was used to synthesize bulk nickel phosphides with different stoichiometries (Ni2P, Ni5P4, and Ni12P5) by controlling the P:Ni ratios. To uncover structural and surface features, this catalyst family is characterized with an array of methods including X-ray diffraction (XRD), 31P magic-angle nuclear magnetic resonance (MAS-NMR) spectroscopy, and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). Bulk-sensitive techniques prove the successful preparation of pure phases while XPS analysis unravels the facile passivation occurring at the NixPy surface that persists even after reductive treatment. To assess the characteristic surface fingerprints of these materials, Ar sputtering was carried out at different penetration depths, reveling the presence of Ni+ and P-species. Continuous-flow three-phase hydrogenations of short-chain acetylenic compounds display that the oxidized layer covering the surface is reduced under reaction conditions, as evidenced by the induction period before reaching the steady state performance. To assess the impact of the phosphidation treatment on catalytic performance, the catalysts were benchmarked against a commercial Ni/SiO2-Al2O3 sample. While Ni/SiO2-Al2O3 presents very low selectivity to the alkene (the selectivity is about 10% at full conversion) attributed to the well-known tendency of naked nickel nanoparticles to form hydrides, the performance of nickel phosphides is highly selective and independent of P:Ni ratio. In line with previous findings on PdxS, kinetic tests indicate the occurrence of a dual-site mechanism where the alkyne and hydrogen do not compete for the same site.

This work is the subject of a publication of which I am a co-author, as cited below.

D. Albani; K. Karajovic; B. Tata; Q. Li; S. Mitchell; N. López; J. Pérez-Ramírez. Ensemble Design in Nickel Phosphide Catalysts for Alkyne Semi-Hydrogenation. ChemCatChem 2019. doi.org/10.1002/cctc.201801430

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2019-05

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Airie: Exploration of Digital Therapeutics and Smart Devices for Children with Asthma

Description

Asthma is one of the most common chronic conditions in the United States, being diagnosed in over 20 million Americans. The condition is even more common among young children, and their academic performance and ability to attend school can be

Asthma is one of the most common chronic conditions in the United States, being diagnosed in over 20 million Americans. The condition is even more common among young children, and their academic performance and ability to attend school can be negatively impacted by poorly-managed asthma. Digital therapeutics are therapeutic interventions driven by high quality software programs to prevent, manage, or treat a medical disorder or disease. Technology in the healthcare space is rapidly improving, and smart devices are becoming more common everyday. How can digital therapeutics and evolving technology be implemented to make life easier for those that suffer from asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease? My research seeks to answer the overarching question: How might we improve the day-to-day experience of children with asthma? Airie is a system of devices and products that educate both asthmatic children and their parents about the condition, facilitate self-monitoring and asthma management skills, and improve overall quality of life.

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Date Created
2020-05

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Under the Camper Shell

Description

The objective for Under the Camper Shell was to build a prototype of a full living environment within the confines of a pickup truck bed and camper shell. The total volume available to work with is approximately 85ft3. This full

The objective for Under the Camper Shell was to build a prototype of a full living environment within the confines of a pickup truck bed and camper shell. The total volume available to work with is approximately 85ft3. This full living environment entails functioning systems for essential modern living, providing shelter and spaces for cooking, sleeping, eating, and sanitation. The project proved to be very challenging from the start. First, the livable space is extremely small, being only tall enough for one to sit up straight. The truck and camper shell were both borrowed items, so no modifications were allowed for either, e.g. drilling holes for mounting. The idea was to create a system that could be easily removed, transforming it from a camper to a utility truck. The systems developed for the living environment would be modular and transformative so to accommodate for different necessities when packing. The goal was to create a low-water system with sustainability in mind. Insulating the space was the largest challenge and the most rewarding, using body heat to warm the space and insulate from the elements. Comfort systems were made of high density foam cushions in sections to allow folding and stacking for different functions (sleeping, lounging, and sitting). Sanitation is necessary for healthy living and regular human function. A composting toilet was used for the design, lending to low-water usage and is sustainable over time. Saw dust would be necessary for its function, but upon composting, the unit will generate sufficient amounts of heat to act as a space heater. Showering serves the functions of exfoliation and ridding of bacteria, both of which bath wipes can accomplish, limiting massive volumes of water storage and waste. Storage systems were also designed for modularity. Hooks were installed the length of the bed for hanging or securing items as necessary. Some are available for hanging bags. A cabinetry rail also runs the length of the bed to allow movement of hard storage to accommodate different scenarios. The cooking method is called "sous-vide", a method of cooking food in air-tight bags submerged in hot water. The water is reusable for cooking and no dishes are necessary for serving. Overall, the prototype fulfilled its function as a full living environment with few improvements necessary for future use.

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Date Created
2014-12

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Wearable Technology for First Responders: Search and Rescue

Description

FLARE is a concept developed to aid efficiency and effectiveness of Search and Rescue. It is a wearable technology device that encompasses GPS capabilities, backup offline locating capabilities, 2-way text communication via satellite, and other various features suited for outdoors.

FLARE is a concept developed to aid efficiency and effectiveness of Search and Rescue. It is a wearable technology device that encompasses GPS capabilities, backup offline locating capabilities, 2-way text communication via satellite, and other various features suited for outdoors. It is intended for both Search and Rescue as well as recreational outdoor enthusiasts, with same hardware, but different software.

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Date Created
2014-05

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Salt River Diaries: Repair, Restore, Redevelop

Description

Now dry and broken, the Salt River once supplied a great legacy of Riparian vegetation through the Sonoran desert. This verdant landscape flourished from perennial flows of a river fed by high mountain snowmelt. However, multiple dams within those mountain

Now dry and broken, the Salt River once supplied a great legacy of Riparian vegetation through the Sonoran desert. This verdant landscape flourished from perennial flows of a river fed by high mountain snowmelt. However, multiple dams within those mountain canyons and channelization for the purpose of flood protection have nearly dried up the Salt. Through the process of design I examined the potential to repair, restore, and redevelop the river, choosing a site within the reach of the Salt River that currently includes an artificial retention area called Tempe Town Lake. Since 1999 a two mile portion of the river channel has contained the reservoir for the purpose of recreation and development within the city of Tempe. As I investigated the viability of restoring an urban desert river to a more natural riparian condition, I developed a master plan that merges ecological river restoration with sustainable urban development. Research into the vegetative communities historically occurring along the river's edge guided me to create a project based in ecological principles. Expanding the concrete channel to a wider river presence followed examples set by case studies and the historic character of the Salt River. A new braided low flow channel, allowed to meander with the natural currents of the river, is terraced upwards in a gentle slope that maintains current 500-year flow plains. The vegetation communities I propose to establish along the new terraced elevations are adapted from Charles H. Lowe's profile of a foothill canyon and archival research specific to this portion of the Salt River. As a way to support the reintroduction of Arizona's lost riparian plant communities, the master plan incorporates the use of greywater and A/C condensate collection from proposed developments along the river's edge. These new water systems would be substantial enough to sustain riparian vegetation creation and in addition, provide for ground water recharge. Additional developments continue the City of Tempe's goal to expand development along the river and adjacent to the downtown core. Providing for increased recreational opportunity in a river setting improves the quality of life in Tempe and sets the community apart from surrounding desert cities. By applying ecological and sustainable design and planning principles, the Salt River Diaries master plan repairs the river's flow, restores the riparian vegetation, and redevelops the edge between the city and river.

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2014-05

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A Comparative Study of Marketing Designs Opted for Milk and Coffee between Two Brands; New Designs Proposals for both Commodities.

Description

In this study, the packaging and labeling of milk and coffee was compared between Walmart and Sprouts. The pricing, the sourcing, the certifications and the overall shelf presence of the items was taken under consideration. After studying the packaging of

In this study, the packaging and labeling of milk and coffee was compared between Walmart and Sprouts. The pricing, the sourcing, the certifications and the overall shelf presence of the items was taken under consideration. After studying the packaging of both, a new design incorporating the applicable labels, customer appeal and appropriate green marketing was created for both the commodities.

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Date Created
2016-05