– Based on your life experience, skills, and interests, what would a design process that is both uniquely yours and effective look like?
Based on my experiences in high school with a various engineering design classes, I think my design process is rather similar to the orthodox method that is frequently advertised. Often, I notice something similar to a problem, or just something I think could be improved and think about what I could do about it. The problems I notice are usually things that I experience personally and hear about a lot from others such as a buggy feature of an app or an inconvenience with a service/system since those are within my area of activity. Then, I would research more information about the topic and identify areas of improvement that I could make to it in order to find a good fix to it. I brainstorm on paper and map out my ideas, connect what I think would work well together and then make charts of pros and cons of each idea. I think about the possible consequences each one of my solutions might have and consider if it might actually make the problem worse. I try to screen through options and ask people for feedback on the ideas before I narrow my approach to one and actually go through with developing a prototype. I test it out myself to see if it works and if there are any problems associated before I show it to other people and get their opinions. If it’s a good solution with minimal risk and problems, I let my friends know about it as well and spread the solution that way.
– Identify your three most important stakeholders and list five UNIQUE attributes for each one of them.
- The Lehigh Gap Nature Center
- Is the ONLY environmental educational nature center in the US created on a Superfund site
- Motivated to educate public about conservation of the Lehigh watershed because they are built for the purpose of conserving the Lehigh river environment
- 756 acre refuge that receives thousands of visitors locally and internationally each year and educating over 10,000 students annually
- partners with schools in Bethlehem area to offer educational programs for students from preschool to graduate
- was a toxic site due to 80 years of heavy metal deposition from factory operations during the Industrial Revolution
- Lehigh Valley libraries
- provide free and easily accessible youth and adult programming for informal STEM learning with media and technology
- facilitates thriving cultural scene in local community with multiple educational and recreational activities throughout the system
- Government sponsored and funded but without traditional formal education restrictions
- A source of traditional printed education materials as well as mixed media
- Provides services from fitness yoga classes to computer tutorials for older users
- Lehigh University research team and students
- Faculty mentors who head the research are doing so out of their belief in the importance of environmental education and alternative methods of education & investing their own funds to further the project
- Interdisciplinary team of undergrad and graduate students with various cultural backgrounds collaborating on research of education through gaming
- A project initiative which began two years ago and is continuing development through multiple proposed phases of local environmental education
- Using breakthrough technology to engage typically unmotivated students and ESL learners from distracting technologies such as cell phones
- Utilizes Unity and various programs and codes to create a fully immersive VR field trip to the Lehigh River Valley for people who might not be able to travel there in person
-Identify three ways in which you will validate your project concept, technology, usability, and business model.
The project’s research questions investigate to what extent learning about the Lehigh River watershed using iVR with gaming features and local place-based contexts can lead to increased user engagement and better understanding about spatial watershed features and environmental issues that directly relate to the mission of each participating informal STEM education center in the region (Lehigh Valley, PA). The technology and usability will be validated through empirical data collected from participants who use the headsets; feedback surveys will be presented to evaluate the individual user experience. We estimate over 4,000 participants to provide their feedback on the developed iVR software from ages 13 to adults and various cultural & ethnic backgrounds. The second way is the actual developed game may also incorporate elements of assessment to determine whether the playing style and narrative meant to engage the user actually assists in learning or not. Multiple experts in the field will be assisting to gather data and analyze program activities and design principles and how these elements play into the education of students who are unengaged with traditional classroom learning methods. The third way is the dissemination of our technology to the partners, collaborators, and stakeholders we are working with throughout this project. Informal education centers such as the Lehigh Gap Nature Center and other environmental conservation organizations and public libraries will aid us in promoting the software and distributing it to the local community. If it raises awareness and importance of environmental conservation, it will prompt a new status quo with increased initiatives towards environmental efforts locally.
-Give three examples of something very interesting you learned from a friend that was a completely alien concept to you.
- Dolphins sleep with one eye open (I heard this from a friend four years ago and I’ve never forgotten it)
- Mixing lotion and isopropyl alcohol and massaging it on the back, chest, temple, and legs when sick
- Putting towels on the backs (of kids) to absorb and dry their sweat when they do physical activities so they don’t get sick