Interactive Engineering Education: Democratizing Research Opportunities via Gamification

Jonathan Singer (Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering)

Research experience is universally recognized as the superlative means of science education, but it is also the most costly. This seminar offers students the opportunity to participate in a pilot virtual research group (VRG) module. The VRG simulates investigation of a complex materials science challenge through gamifying the research process. Students will acquire advanced analysis techniques to synthesize various forms of data in a holistic fashion, then employ these skills to allocate limited virtual resources towards solving the problem at hand—a process generally reserved for graduate-level study. Through their participation and feedback, students will be integral to developing the VRG module, and their results will build a tool to enable investigation-based education in environments lacking the capabilities of a major research institution.