Call for Participants

Building Wearable Technology to Learn about Science and Engineering Concepts


Time Frame:

One week, two hours per day, between May 28 - June 15

OR

Two weeks, one hour per day, between May 28 - June 15

Seeking: 

3rd-5th grade classes (both teachers and students)

 

 

 
 
   BodyVis   is an interactive e-textile shirt for body learning that actively responds to the wearer’s physiology and visualizes their body data on externalized anatomical models.

BodyVis is an interactive e-textile shirt for body learning that actively responds to the wearer’s physiology and visualizes their body data on externalized anatomical models.

 Students will use littleBits kits to design  their own  wearable technology representations of the body. (Image credit:  littleBits STEAM Set )

Students will use littleBits kits to design their own wearable technology representations of the body. (Image credit: littleBits STEAM Set)

Background

Our team at the University of Maryland, College Park focuses on designing wearable technologies, and learning activities around those technologies, to help engage children in new science and engineering learning experiences. Previously our work on BodyVis (see top left image) and SharedPhys has explored how children may better understand anatomy and physiology concepts by exploring with custom-designed wearable on-body sensing and visualization. These tools sense the user's heart and breathing rate and visualize them in real time to assist children in learning about their bodies.

Purpose & Overview

In our new round of research, we are exploring how children's understandings of their bodies may change when they are the designers of these technologies. Simultaneously, we aim to enhance their understandings of science and engineering practices by allowing children to act as real scientists and engineers. In this study, children will first spend several hours conducting science experiments to investigate questions they have about the circulatory system (using a combination of online resources, videos, our custom tools, and physical activities). Then, children will follow engineering procedures to design and build their own wearable technology representations of the circulatory system using our custom modified construction kits (see bottom left image). We aim to help children better understand their bodies through this process. We also hope to connect these typically abstract concepts to children's everyday life experiences to help them understand the significance of anatomy/physiology and science/engineering. This approach is specifically designed to be implemented in formal classroom settings, mimicking short lessons that would typically be taught each day within a unit.

We are seeking 3rd, 4th, or 5th grade teachers who are interested in participating in this one- or two-week study with their children. Children's parents will be required to provide consent for children to participate.

Please email Leyla Norooz, leylan@umd.edu, if you or someone you know may be interested in participating in this study, or if you have additional questions about this research.