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This creative project created and implemented a seven-day STEM curriculum that ultimately encouraged engagement in STEM subjects in students ages 5 through 11. The activities were incorporated into Arizona State University's Kids' Camp over the summer of 2017, every Tuesday afternoon from 4 to 6 p.m. with each activity running for roughly 40 minutes. The lesson plans were created to cover a myriad of scientific topics to account for varied student interest. The topics covered were plant biology, aerodynamics, zoology, geology, chemistry, physics, and astronomy. Each lesson was scaffolded to match the learning needs of the three age groups (5-6 year olds, 7-8 year olds, 9-11 year olds) and to encourage engagement. "Engagement" was measured by pre- and post-activity surveys approved by IRB. The surveys were in the form of statements where the children would totally agree, agree, be undecided, disagree, or totally disagree with it. To more accurately test engagement, the smiley face Likert scale was incorporated with the answer choices. After implementation of the intervention, two-tailed paired t-tests showed that student engagement significantly increased for the two lesson plans of Aerodynamics and Chemistry.
Parkinson's disease is a neurodegenerative disorder in the central nervous system that affects a host of daily activities and involves a variety of symptoms; these include tremors, slurred speech, and rigid muscles. It is the second most common movement disorder globally. In Stage 3 of Parkinson's, afflicted individuals begin to develop an abnormal gait pattern known as freezing of gait (FoG), which is characterized by decreased step length, shuffling, and eventually complete loss of movement; they are unable to move, and often results in a fall. Surface electromyography (sEMG) is a diagnostic tool to measure electrical activity in the muscles to assess overall muscle function. Most conventional EMG systems, however, are bulky, tethered to a single location, expensive, and primarily used in a lab or clinical setting. This project explores an affordable, open-source, and portable platform called Open Brain-Computer Interface (OpenBCI). The purpose of the proposed device is to detect gait patterns by leveraging the surface electromyography (EMG) signals from the OpenBCI and to help a patient overcome an episode using haptic feedback mechanisms. Previously designed devices with similar intended purposes utilize accelerometry as a method of detection as well as audio and visual feedback mechanisms in their design.
Volume depletion can lead to migraines, dizziness, and significant decreases in a subject's ability to physically perform. A major cause of volume depletion is dehydration, or loss in fluids due to an imbalance in fluid intake to fluid excretion. Because proper levels of hydration are necessary in order to maintain both short and long term health, the ability to monitor hydration levels is growing in clinical demand. Although devices capable of monitoring hydration level exist, these devices are expensive, invasive, or inaccurate and do not offer a continuous mode of measurement. The ideal hydration monitor for consumer use needs to be characterized by its portability, affordability, and accuracy. Also, this device would need to be noninvasive and offer continuous hydration monitoring in order to accurately assess fluctuations in hydration data throughout a specified time period. One particular method for hydration monitoring that fits the majority of these criteria is known as bioelectric impedance analysis (BIA). Although current devices using BIA do not provide acceptable levels of accuracy, portability, or continuity in data collection, BIA could potentially be modified to fit many, if not all, desired customer specifications. The analysis presented here assesses the viability of using BIA as a new standard in hydration level measurement. The analysis uses data collected from 22 subjects using an existing device that employs BIA. A regression derived for estimating TBW based on the parameters of age, weight, height, sex, and impedance is presented. Using impedance data collected for each subject, a regression was also derived for estimating impedance based on the factors of age, weight, height, and sex. The derived regression was then used to calculate a new impedance value for each subject, and these new impedance values were used to estimate TBW. Through a paired-t test between the TBW values derived by using the direct measurements versus the calculated measurements of impedance, the two samples were found to be comparable. Considerations for BIA as a noninvasive measurement of hydration are discussed.
The action/adventure game Grad School: HGH is the final, extended version of a BME Prototyping class project in which the goal was to produce a zombie-themed game that teaches biomedical engineering concepts. The gameplay provides fast paced, exciting, and mildly addicting rooms that the player must battle and survive through, followed by an engineering puzzle that must be solved in order to advance to the next room. The objective of this project was to introduce the core concepts of BME to prospective students, rather than attempt to teach an entire BME curriculum. Based on user testing at various phases in the project, we concluded that the gameplay was engaging enough to keep most users' interest through the educational puzzles, and the potential for expanding this project to reach an even greater audience is vast.
To supplement lectures, various resources are available to students; however, little research has been done to look systematically at which resources studies find most useful and the frequency at which they are used. We have conducted a preliminary study looking at various resources available in an introductory material science course over four semesters using a custom survey called the Student Resource Value Survey (SRVS). More specifically, the SRVS was administered before each test to determine which resources students use to do well on exams. Additionally, over the course of the semester, which resources students used changed. For instance, study resources for exams including the use of homework problems decreased from 81% to 50%, the utilization of teaching assistant for exam studying increased from 25% to 80%, the use of in class Muddiest Points for exam study increased form 28% to 70%, old exams and quizzes only slightly increased for exam study ranging from 78% to 87%, and the use of drop-in tutoring services provided to students at no charge decreased from 25% to 17%. The data suggest that students thought highly of peer interactions by using those resources more than tutoring centers. To date, no research has been completed looking at courses at the department level or a different discipline. To this end, we adapted the SRVS administered in material science to investigate resource use in thirteen biomedical engineering (BME) courses. Here, we assess the following research question: "From a variety of resources, which do biomedical engineering students feel addresses difficult concept areas, prepares them for examinations, and helps in computer-aided design (CAD) and programming the most and with what frequency?" The resources considered include teaching assistants, classroom notes, prior exams, homework problems, Muddiest Points, office hours, tutoring centers, group study, and the course textbook. Results varied across the four topical areas: exam study, difficult concept areas, CAD software, and math-based programming. When preparing for exams and struggling with a learning concept, the most used and useful resources were: 1) homework problems, 2) class notes and 3) group studying. When working on math-based programming (Matlab and Mathcad) as well as computer-aided design, the most used and useful resources were: 1) group studying, 2) engineering tutoring center, and 3) undergraduate teaching assistants. Concerning learning concepts and exams in the BME department, homework problems and class notes were considered some of the highest-ranking resources for both frequency and usefulness. When comparing to the pilot study in MSE, both BME and MSE students tend to highly favor peer mentors and old exams as a means of studying for exams at the end of the semester1. Because the MSE course only considered exams, we cannot make any comparisons to BME data concerning programming and CAD. This analysis has highlighted potential resources that are universally beneficial, such as the use of peer work, i.e. group studying, engineering tutoring center, and teaching assistants; however, we see differences by both discipline and topical area thereby highlighting the need to determine important resources on a class-by-class basis as well.
Protein and gene circuit level synthetic bioengineering can require years to develop a single target. Phage assisted continuous evolution (PACE) is a powerful new tool for rapidly engineering new genes and proteins, but the method requires an automated cell culture system, making it inaccessible to non industrial research programs. Complex protein functions, like specific binding, require similarly dynamic PACE selection that can be alternatively induced or suppressed, with heat labile chemicals like tetracycline. Selection conditions must be controlled continuously over days, with adjustments made every few minutes. To make PACE experiments accessible to the broader community, we designed dedicated cell culture hardware and integrated optogenetically controlled plasmids. The low cost and open source platform allows a user to conduct PACE with continuous monitoring and precise control of evolution using light.
Following a study conducted in 1991 supporting that kinesthetic information affects visual processing information when moving an arm in extrapersonal space, this research aims to suggest utilizing virtual-reality (VR) technology will lead to more accurate and faster data acquisition (Helms Tillery, et al.) . The previous methods for conducting such research used ultrasonic systems of ultrasound emitters and microphones to track distance from the speed of sound. This method made the experimentation process long and spatial data difficult to synthesize. The purpose of this paper is to show the progress I have made in the efforts to capture spatial data using VR technology to enhance the previous research that has been done in the field of neuroscience. The experimental setup was completed using the Oculus Quest 2 VR headset and included hand controllers. The experiment simulation was created using Unity game engine to build a 3D VR world which can be used interactively with the Oculus. The result of this simulation allows the user to interact with a ball in the VR environment without seeing the body of the user. The VR simulation is able to be used in combination with real-time motion capture cameras to capture live spatial data of the user during trials, though spatial data from the VR environment has not been able to be collected.
Based on James Marcia's theory, identity development in youth is the degree to which one has explored and committed to a vocation , . 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 , ; experiences that emphasize awareness of the importance of professional interactions ; 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 , 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.
Engineers have a strong influence on everyday lives, ranging from electronics and trains to chemicals and organs . However, in the United States, there is a large knowledge gap in the roles of engineers, especially in K-12 students  . The National Academy of Engineering (NAE) recognizes the current problems in engineering, such as the dominance of white males in the field and the amount of education needed to become a successful engineer . Therefore, the NAE encourages that the current engineering community begin to expose the younger generations to the real foundation of engineering: problem-solving . The objective of this thesis is to minimize the knowledge gap by assessing the current perception of engineering amongst middle school and high school students and improving it through engaging and interactive presentations and activities that build upon the students’ problem-solving abilities.
The project was aimed towards middle school and high school students, as this is the estimated level where they learn biology and chemistry—key subject material in biomedical engineering. The high school students were given presentations and activities related to biomedical engineering. Additionally, within classrooms, posters were presented to middle school students. The content of the posters were students of the biomedical engineering program at ASU, coming from different ethnic backgrounds to try and evoke within the middle school students a sense of their own identity as a biomedical engineer. To evaluate the impact these materials had on the students, a survey was distributed before the students’ exposure to the materials and after that assesses the students’ understanding of engineering at two different time points. A statistical analysis was conducted with Microsoft Excel to assess the influence of the activity and/or presentation on the students’ understanding of engineering.
The purpose of this study was to utilize quantitative results gained through surveys to determine the effect of hands-on engineering activities and a poster study on improving understanding and awareness of engineering disciplines in high school students. There was a focus on increasing participation of women and minorities in engineering to improve diversity, and this study utilized biomedical engineering as a means of achieving these goals. The analysis of this thesis focused on the results of the pre-assessment and post-assessment taken by a group of high school students before and after a program using presentations in combination with engineering activities tackling real-world problems. These assessments objectively ranked both the awareness and interest level in various engineering activities across a number of disciplines. The results were analyzed using percentages of the engineering statements that the students recognized as engineering and were interested in, as well as using t-tests. Statistical significance was found for the percentage of statements that the students expressed the highest interest level in between the initial and final survey. The other factors analyzed did not produce statistical significance, but the increase in interest level does meet one of the primary goals of the project. Since the percentages of all the positive factors did increase between the pre- and post- assessment, the study can be considered a success overall; more data is simply needed to indicate significance in these other factors. Future studies will focus on implementing this program as an after-school activity that can be led by members of the engineering community at ASU.