ASU earns $2.5M for innovative STEM education

September 15, 2010

By Flinn Foundation

How would the brilliant people of the design world teach STEM subjects? Like this:

In SMALLab, physical action meets 21st century learning. Motion-capture technology tracks students’ 3D movements as they are immersed in an interactive space. For example, as students are learning about a physics concept like velocity, they can hear the sound of their actions getting faster. They can see graphs and equations that represent their motions in real time. They can feel the weight of an object in their hand as they interact in real physical space.

SMALLab is a product of the ASU School of Arts, Media and Engineering (AME), which has been awarded a $2.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation to support AME’s research in K-12 embodied and mediated learning. As an ASU news release notes, “The team brings together expertise on education, psychology, interactive technology, gaming, arts, STEM learning and teacher preparation.”

The result is

the Situated Multimedia Art Learning Lab (SMALLab), developed at ASU. SMALLab is a research-based, embodied learning environment that uses K-12 students’ senses of sound, movement and sight in practical ways to enhance instruction in STEM disciplines.

During the grant period, the program will benefit 750 students directly. But SMALLab leaders are working on national scalability.

[More at the source: “Grant to support innovative K-12 STEM education“]