Two IEEE members have come up with a way to provide hands-on activities to teach science and engineering. Members John Moore and Brian Hagerty teamed up with EPICS in IEEE and NASA’s Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) program to establish the EPICS and GLOBE Lab (EAGL). The EAGL is designed to use supercomputers that will analyze data collected from satellites.
Hagerty is chair of the IEEE Southern California Council. Moore is executive director of the Palmyra Cove Nature Park’s Institute for Earth Observations in New Jersey. The organization is a GLOBE partner.
The Institute for Earth Observations is an educational endeavor to engage STEM teachers and students to study the planet using state-of-the-art technologies and resources. Funded by the IEEE Foundation, EPICS in IEEE empowers students to apply technical solutions to aid community organizations.
“We’re trying show that science and engineering go together hand in glove in the real world,” Hagerty says.
SPANNING TWO COASTS
The program involves preuniversity students from southern New Jersey as well as engineering students at Rowan University, in Glassboro, N.J. Moore is overseeing that team while Hagerty is managing the EPICS in IEEE group at California State University in Fullerton.
The first EAGL project aims to encourage students to think about how to design and model science and engineering projects with a supercomputer, including how to define and test protocols for collecting data from satellites and ways to analyze the data they collect, Moore says.
Because the project is being completed by students, some of whom are juggling school, work, and extracurricular activities, the EAGL pilot project is a part-time commitment. The hours the students devote differ, depending on whether they are earning college credit or using the program as merely an after-school activity, Moore says. The students are required to meet a minimum of one hour every week.
The project, which kicked off last month, likely will be fully operational in approximately six months, Hagerty says.