Fluid mechanics for elementary school students via high-speed flow imaging using smartphones & tablets

Required Availability
Spring 2022
Course Credit?
Yes - ME 497
Paid Position?

The purpose of the study is to explore multiple ways in which STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Mathematics) can fit into 3rd to 5th grade elementary education and investigate student learning from an after-school program centered around fluid mechanics. We will recruit UA pre-service teachers and engineering students, especially females, to lead the proposed STEAM activities and serve as mentors. During our initiative, we will conduct surveys and interviews, and evaluate students’ artistic work and technical understanding, to quantify the impact of our program on students’ learning. Fluid mechanics has been a college-level or above subject, while there are many interesting phenomena around us (e.g. diffusion of tea) which can be captured via smartphones or tablets equipped with high-speed cameras and explained in terms of scientific fundamentals. We aim to combine science, visual phenomena, picture/video taking, editing skills, creative writing, and exhibition to make students interested in the STEM field. During and after the program, we will gauge students’ technical understanding and interest in continuing to pursue STEM. Based on the students’ interaction with mentors, we will also study if role models could have a quantifiable positive impact on young students.

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