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PERC 2019 Abstract Detail Page

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Abstract Title: Rockets, Drones, and Electronic Payloads: Research Prep Curriculum Increases Interest in STEM Careers at Minority Serving Community Colleges
Abstract: Our research preparatory curriculum ran at nine California Community colleges in physics and engineering departments. External evaluation showed a statistically significant increase in participating students interest in STEM careers. Our curriculum is freely available online and can be suited to classroom environments or in less formal environments such as a workshop, independent study, or club activity.

The curriculum consists of building an Arduino-based electronic payload, programming the Arduino microcontroller to collect sensor data, building a rocket and a drone, taking data with the payload on flight vehicles, analyzing data, and preparing poster and slide presentations based on the flight data. Presentation skills were developed throughout the semester by assigning a career exploration talk and presentation about one aspect of the technology used in the class. Analysis of student surveys indicates that students felt building and launching the payload on a rocket to be the activities with highest educational value. Based on this analysis, future adopters of the curriculum may elect to forego the costly drone activities.
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster Presentation
Session Time: Poster Session I
Poster Number: A13

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Erin Quealy
Napa Valley College