STEM Learning through Gaming

STEM Learning through Gaming

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To advance education
 in secondary and public schools, a mobile and interactive Augmented Reality (AR) computer program was developed that allows energy conservation to be taught in a real world environment. Research shows that learners who are highly engaged in a task will be intrinsically motivated to problem solve.

AR superimposes computer graphics seamlessly into the real world and thus provides users with opportunities to access information that is not readily obtainable through observations of the real world.
This technology makes use of standard hardware, such as computers, mobile phones, or tablets.

Traditionally, energy concepts are taught through lectures, textbooks, or hands-on experimentation, but the relationship between these concepts, especially abstract concepts, is not effectively visualized. This project consists of the design, development, and field-testing of a novel mobile phone-based AR application. AR blends the virtual with reality in a playful and engaging environment to effectively bridge the cognitive gap.

Our future emphasis in energy education is focused on mechanical cooling systems, renewable energy and the energy-water nexus. These topics address regional needs and are also national interests.

A smart tool to simulate passive solar dynamics is currently available for download.

Afamia Elnakat, Ph.D., Texas Sustainable Energy Research Institute 

Carmen Fies, Ph.D., Interdisciplinary Learning and Teaching Department, UTSA