Sensing The Environment : Student Created Water Quality Sensors

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Sensing the Environment: Student-Created Water Quality Sensors Liesl Hotaling, Eidos Education Rustam Stolkin, University of Birmingham, School of Mechanical Engineering <>Abstract (250 words) The Student Enabled Network of Sensors for the Environment using Innovative Technology (SENSE IT) program provides an infrastructure and curricula for teachers and students to learn core science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) knowledge through building, testing, programming and deploying their own environmental sensor networks. The project prepares and motivates young people for the future STEM workforce by providing: 1) a motivating, meaningful and hands-on scenario for learning a wide range of STEM topics, 2) an engaging link between…show more content…
Students learn best if they are immersed in complex experiences and are given the opportunity to actively process what they have learned (Caine, 1991). Unfortunately, only 16 percent of instruction in U.S. classrooms could be characterized as application oriented (Stevenson and Stigler, 1992). To assist students in achieving content mastery, teachers must create learning environments which present students with challenging problems to demonstrate their knowledge through application. This emphasis on application through design has been informed by research on the use of design for learning complex and interrelated ideas (Brown, 1992; Blumenfeld et al., 1991; Harel & Papert, 1990, 1991; Perkins, 1986; Mishra & Koehler, 2006). The process of building ocean technologies in classrooms can introduce authentic and engaging, ill-structured problems that reflect the complexity of the real world. The Student Enabled Network of Sensors for the Environment using Innovative Technology (SENSE IT, www.senseit.org) project, brings real-world environmental sensor networks into the classroom. SENSE IT challenges students to construct and deploy sensors and interpret data from their own sensor network to monitor water quality. SENSE IT integrates fundamental science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) principles and provides

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