Mountain Directed Energy Wayfinder (D.E.W.); Robots in Schools: How Innovation Attempts to Solve Problems in Education

Panagides, Anthony, School of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Virginia
Barnes, Adam, Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Virginia
Neeley, Kathryn, Engineering and Society, University of Virginia

The education system is sensitive to technological innovations, with the goal of each innovation to make learning easier, more efficient, and more engaging to students. However, the assumption that integrating technological innovations into the education system will improve it fails to capture the reality of the situation, that the impact a technological innovation will have on student learning is unknown at the time of implementation. The integration of robots in the education system and a laser pointing star gazer, which directs a laser towards a set of stars in the night sky, exemplify the intersection that exists between technological innovation and education. These projects are both related to the field of education; one is a technological innovation related to education while the other examines a different technological innovation in the field of education. The conclusions derived from my STS research raise questions on the implementation of the star gazer; specifically, should the star gazer system be used instead of a knowledgeable guide? Does the development of this system actually improve the education that students receive when compared to an equal human instructor? The star gazer is a technological innovation attempting to instruct students about stars, something that a human could easily perform. Ultimately, policy makers, curriculum designers, and school systems must decide when to embrace or reject innovation, with the goal to maximize the improvements to student learning. Together, these projects tell a story about technological innovation, user-led design, and responsible implementation within the field of education.

BS (Bachelor of Science)
Star Finder, Educational Technology, Education, Technological Innovation

Capstone Team Members: Jeffrey Grow, Kieran Lynch, Errick Mah, Daniel Xue

Issued Date: