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    The Health Education and Enrichment in Arithmetic, Technology and Science (HE2ARTS)  Progress Report

    The Electrical and Computer Engineering Dept. of Villanova University’s College of Engineering supported the HE2ARTS program in Brooklyn, NY in early February 2010. Drs. Rosalind Wynne, Frank Mercede and James Peyton-Jones paid a special visit to IHM to help kick-off the HE2ARTS program.

    These ECE faculty presented hands-on active-learning experiments to approximately 100 middle school students. The student participants ranged from grades 4 to 8. The engineering activities included projects related to simple electronic sound amplifiers as well as constructing a fiber optic data/voice link. The day also included workshops to support the middle school teachers in expanding their science education program to incorporate robotics activities.

    HE2ARTS 2011

    The Chair of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, Dr. Pritpal Singh (Fig. 1) and the College of Nursing hosted the HE2ARTS outreach program on April 12, 2011. Dr. Bradley and Dr. Keech, (Fig. 2) from the College of Nursing generously worked to increase the awareness of the strong partnership that exists between nursing and engineering.

    Dr. Rosalind Wynne, Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering (Fig.1) and Brooklyn, NY physician Terry-Jan Bonnett, M.D. developed the HE2ARTS program in 2009 to assist Catholic middle schools in the enrichment of existing science and math curricula.


    Fig. 1. Dr. Singh (left) and Dr. Wynne (right) welcome the middle school students.

    During the visit, nearly 60 middle school students, parents and faculty participated in a number of sessions highlighting both technology and health science disciplines. The sessions featured hands-on interactive demonstrations including the clinical simulation lab in the College of Nursing to testing electric cars in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department. Students had an opportunity to feel pulses and check oxygen levels of the computerized human patient simulators. The engineering portion of the program highlighted electric car designs used in the freshman design course. Students were also provided with demonstrations from senior projects highlighting vision guided robotics and electronic sensors for extreme sports.


    Fig. 2. Dr. Bradley (left) and Dr. Keech (right) introduce the students to the patient simulation facilities.


    Fig. 3. Student monitors infant asthma symptoms.
     


    Colleen Meakim and Sussan Markert, and student volunteers (Figs. 3-5) engaged the middle school students with laboratory demonstrations of the automated dispensaries and the robotic patient simulators. The experience has certainly made a lasting impression on the middle school students.




    Fig. 4. Students monitor infant heart rate.


    Fig. 5. Dr. Bradley helps students to monitor robotic adult vital signs.
     


    Students also participated in a number of interactive sessions in engineering laboratories located in the Center for Engineering Education and Research (CEER) building. Prof. Edward Char (Fig. 6) introduced students to sustainable energy projects covered in the Freshman Design Course where Freshman ECE students demonstrated their electric hybrid car designs.

    Dr. Rosalind Wynne and senior students led the visitors through the Senior Design Course project demonstrations which featured a vision guided robot (Figs. 7-8), an electronic goal monitor for extreme sports, an electronic portable coffee warmer and a fiber optic force meter (Fig. 9-10).
     



    Fig. 6. Middle school students receive a crash course in sustainable energy and fuel cells from Prof. Ed Char and student volunteers.


    Fig. 7. Students learn about vision guided robotics basics from ECE student volunteers.

    Fig. 8. Close-up view of the vision guided robot.


    Fig. 9. Middle school students inspect optical fiber sensors with Anthony Colalillo in Dr. Wynne’s Laboratory for Lightwave Devices.


    Fig. 10. Students take a closer look at the fiber sensor.
     

     


    The program activities were well received by all and many of the students were impressed by the program activities. These interactions helped to clear up many common misconceptions that the middle school students had about engineering. The student participants ranged from grades 7 to 8.

    One 8th grade girl said, “I like [the] nursing [session] better because… it was really like you were in a hospital!”

    A 7th grade girl said, “I used to think engineering was boring… now I think engineering is a promising and helpful way to the improvement of our future environment.”

    A 7th grade boy said, ”I used to think it was a single type of engineering, but now I know there are many [different] types [of engineering].”

    An 8th grade girl said, “I used to think engineering was like to make cars, like only cars [!] And I used to think it was boring but now, I think it’s fun and I see how much engineering can affect a person’s life.”

    A significant number of exceptional engineering and nursing student volunteers served on discussion panels, participated in the laboratory demonstrations and helped the middle school students navigate the campus. Their involvement gave the middle school students an opportunity to observe role models who value academic excellence and service to the community.
     

    HE2ARTS 2010

     

     

    Newspaper Coverage of HE2ARTS

    Denise Romano and Debbie Egan-Chin. "Seeing How it All Works: Windsor Terrace Students Get Hands-On Lessons At Science Labs". The New York Daily News, pp. 16-17, June 15, 2010

    For full article: "Seeing How It All Works: Windsor Terrace students get hands-on lesson at science labs"

    Student Feedback

    The program activities were well received by all and many of the students had a lot say about the program.

    • A 6th grader said, ”I liked that we were able to hear each other’s voices from the speaker. We learned what LEDs were…and what optical fiber is…

    • A 4th grader, said, “We liked how the speaker [output] talked to the other person. It was cool!”

    • An 8th grader, said, “That fiber optics isn’t as boring as I thought it was…”

    What is HE2ARTS?

    The Health Education and Enrichment in Arithmetic, Technology and Science (HE2ARTS) program is a collaborative science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) enrichment program to service the Central Brooklyn region in New York City. The program proposes to serve area middle schools (both public and private) with particular emphasis in math and engineering enrichment programs that can engage the general public.

    The concept of HE2ARTS involves three components:

    1. the Medgar Evers College Math Circle

    2. professional development workshops in robotics and optics for middles school teachers

    3. health fairs and seminars sponsored by local health care institutions

    Our aim is to engage a broader, younger and more diverse student body, in the development of their science and mathematical interests. The STEM enrichment component of the program will be supported by faculty from Medgar Evers College (Brooklyn, NY) and Villanova University (Villanova, PA). One of the pilot programs will be housed in the Immaculate Heart of Mary (IHM) middle school (Brooklyn, NY). IHM is a private catholic school that serves a predominately working class population with a more than 50% minority student body.

    HE2ARTS Photo Gallery

    IHM campus located in Brooklyn, NY.
    IHM campus located in Brooklyn, NY.

    IHM 8th graders attentively receive instruction for assembling a fiber optic communication link.
    8th graders attentively receive instruction for assembling a fiber optic communication link.

    The assembled fiber optic communication link.
    The assembled fiber optic communication link.

    IHM 6th graders carefully assemble the fiber optic communication link.
    6th graders carefully assemble the fiber optic communication link.

    IHM 4th and 5th graders receive technical advice from Dr. Wynne.
    4th and 5th graders receive technical advice from Dr. Wynne.

    IHM 7th graders consult Dr. Frank Mercede for technical advise to construct a sound amplifier.
    7th graders consult Dr. Frank Mercede for technical advise to construct a sound amplifier.

    IHM 7th graders consult Dr. Frank Mercede for technical advise to construct a sound amplifier.
    7th graders consult Dr. Frank Mercede for technical advise to construct a sound amplifier.

    IHM faculty participated in professional development lead by Dr. James Peyton-Jones for incorporating LEGO Mindstorm robotics projects into the IHM science curriculum.
    Teachers participated in professional development lead by Dr. James Peyton-Jones for incorporating LEGO Mindstorm robotics projects into the cience curriculum.

    IHM faculty participated in professional development lead by Dr. James Peyton-Jones for incorporating LEGO Mindstorm robotics projects into the IHM science curriculum.
    Teachers participated in professional development lead by Dr. James Peyton-Jones for incorporating LEGO Mindstorm robotics projects into the science curriculum.