my Digital Work

my Research

my current RESEARCH

NEET Programmatic Evaluation

The New Engineering Education Transformation (NEET) program was launched in 2017 to reimagine engineering education at MIT. A cross-departmental endeavor with a focus on integrative, project-centric learning, NEET cultivates the essential skills, knowledge, and qualities to address the formidable challenges posed by the twenty-first century.
Purpose of this study is to assist the with NEET programamtic evaluation as well as to provide reccomendations for improvement.

AI Education Research: Know-Apply-Lead (KAL)

KAL is an exploratory research project that aims to advance educational research activities that promote maximum learning outcomes at scale for learners with diverse roles and educational backgrounds, ranging from Air Force and Department of Defense (DoD) personnel to the general public. The project team will research and evaluate various pedagogical practices and learning benefits associated with training Air Force personnel in AI topics over a variety of existing courses, map out the landscape of educational needs and competencies, and pilot experimental learning experiences with the goal of outlining early prototypes for innovative technology-enabled training and learning. The research is expected to provide insights that will benefit AI learners across the nation while supporting the DoD’s objective to develop elite and world-class AI-ready services.

my previous RESEARCH

Open Schools for Open Societies

"The Open Schools for Open Societies project (OSOS) provide innovative ways to explore the world: not simply to automate processes but to inspire, to engage, and to connect. It will also support the development of innovative and creative projects and other educational activities. An open school is a more engaging environment for learning and makes a vital contribution to the community: student projects meet real needs in the community outside school and draw upon local expertise and experience. And finally: learning in and together with the real world creates more meaning and more motivation for learners and teachers." ( Within this collaboration MIT Open Learning is working on providing consultation in K-12 Educational Innovation and Open Schooling Development Strategies

Desing-Based Wilderness Education

The MIT-SUTD Collaboration Office has established exchanges to foster student development and encourage academic cultural transference from MIT to SUTD. One such exchange, the Global Leadership Program (GLP), brings 30 SUTD students and 6 MIT students to the MIT campus for a 10-week academic program during the summer term. One component of this program is a prototype design-based wilderness education curriculum. The curriculum will teach engineering and design concepts through experiential activities that connect classroom learning with outdoor activities. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the manner in which students transfer design processes to novel environments, and to evaluate the effectiveness of the design-based wilderness education curriculum in developing engineering leadership and science competencies. The results of this study will be included in Chris Saulnier's masters thesis.

Teaching using concept vignettes

Within the MIT-SUTD collaboration, MIT is responsible for the development of the SUTD undergraduate curriculum, as well as the professional development of new SUTD faculty. To support these efforts, MIT's Teaching and Learning Laboratory (TLL) is currently producing short videos (concept vignettes) that present pivotal scientific concepts foundational to engineering. These are accompanied by guides with proposed lesson plans and activities. TLL is also conducting workshops to familiarize new SUTD faculty members with these resources, as well as innovative active learning techniques.
In order to examine possible contributions to the field of engineering education, this study seeks to
- identify facilitators and barriers within the training the faculty members received related to the use of the concept vignettes in their classes
- identify to what extent and in what way they incorporate the concept vignettes and proposed activities within their classes in SUTD
- investigate the new faculty members' and SUTD students' perceptions of the usability of the concept vignettes and guides after the classes are taught

Evaluating the MIT-SUTD Faculty Development Progam

To address the professional development of SUTD faculty, MIT has developed the Faculty Development Program (FDP). Through this program, newly hired SUTD faculty members spend one year at MIT attending specially designed workshops and activities, in preparation for teaching in Singapore. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the FDP, to understand the SUTD faculty members' perceptions about the workshops they attended, and to identify factors that have worked as facilitators or barriers to their engineering professional development. Results of the study can be used as feedback to the team, and will assist us in improving the FDP. Mixed methods will be used, and data will be collected by the research group’s key personnel. The subjects are SUTD faculty members and the MIT personnel who developed and conducted the FDP.

K-12 STEM Learning Workshops in Singapore

The worldwide movement toward reforming STEM education increasingly requires changes in the traditional model of education, calling for the development of new content and new instructional methods. To address that need, MIT has been assisting students, faculty and staff at SUTD to design a series of small-scale workshops to enhance K-12 STEM and design-based learning in Singapore. Starting in January 2014, teachers and students from K-12 schools in Singapore will be invited to participate in a series of these workshops that will take place at SUTD.

A large volume of research focusing on STEM education has recently been published, focusing on understanding how students best learn in STEM disciplines, how teachers can improve their teaching, and how new pedagogical methods increase retention in these disciplines. The purpose of this study is to identify the positive factors and barriers involved in setting up K-12 STEM learning workshops in a new university within the context of this new body of research. Workshop instructors' facilitators and barriers will be investigated, as will participants' perceptions of the usefulness and success of the workshops.

Mixed methods will be used, and data will be collected by the research group's key personnel. Subjects will be MIT and SUTD staff and faculty members, MIT and SUTD students setting up and running the workshops, and teachers and adult students from K-12 schools in Singapore participating in the workshops.

Precursors to Engineering Thinking (PET)

This study examines children's free play especially block building, to identify patterns of engineering behavior and procedural work models that may indicate precursors to engineering thinking.
The analysis has revealed five main categories of children's play which indicate pre-cursors to engineering thinking namely: goal orientation, pattern repetition, problem solving & synthesis, preconceived design, and design enhancement by another person.
These results imply that trained adults can capitalize on spontaneous play as opportunities for teachable moments.

Talking About Artifacts

This project seeks to identify the knowledge young children have about human-made artifacts and how this knowledge is developed. To date, children ages 4 to 5 have been interviewed to identify their prior knowledge of human-made artifacts. During the interviews the children either interacted with a series of artifacts or they were read a story where the artifacts are featured. The artifacts used thus far were hammer, sand timer, compass, lantern and bellows.
In the future a larger number of kindergarten students from various schools will be observed, interviewed and videotaped. The children will either interact with 13 artifacts, look at a storybook that features the artifacts or view some illustrations of the artifacts. Dialogic Reading will be used for the last two cases.

Engineering Curricula in Early Education: Describing the Landscape of Open Resources

National debate about K-12 Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education has given rise to questions about appropriate materials for engineering education from prekindergarten through grade 12. Introducing engineering in the early years entails recognition of the need for teachers to understand its content and poses the challenge of preparing teachers to incorporate engineering education into their practice. Teacher preparation has historically included seeking information in books, journals, and magazines, and the professional development offered by universities, school districts, and other educational entities continues to provide the majority of formal options accessed by teachers. However, the advent of the Internet has expanded the ways that teachers undertake professional development and how they prepare to present new content. An online search for open source preschool through grade 12 (P-12) engineering materials revealed a wide variety of Web sites and online documents that included curricula, lesson plans, and descriptions of activities. Narrowing the search to the P-3 level revealed that the pedagogically and content-reliable sources available are limited in number and may be difficult to identify among the plethora of information. This study begins to describe the current landscape of open-access Internet materials in the field of early STEM with emphasis on engineering.

stEm in early childhood education: A developmentally appropriate curriculum

Engineering education for the precollege years is a developing academic discipline that emanates from the need to understand and improve the ways that engineers are formally educated. One of the fundamental research questions brought to light by the emerging discipline involves identifying opportune times and approaches in introducing students to engineering, starting perhaps from the early ages. Although the hypothesis of early exposure to engineering seems to be gaining support, most of the action taken seems to center on STEM primarily through math or science activities, rather than engineering. To date there are no curricula available that incorporate engineering at a preschool level.
This study focuses on the development of early engineering curriculum for a preschool classroom, which can complement the traditional emphasis on developing basic literacy, numeracy, and science along with social, emotional and motor skills. The term “stEm curriculum” refers to a curriculum that is developed as an integration of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, with primary emphasis on the engineering component. The study employs a view of engineering as a disciplinary domain that uses math, science and technology as tools, while it also requires synthetic ability, design, problem solving, organization and construction skills, as well as making use of various types of communication. In this view, engineering is thus more than the sum of the STEM parts; it is indeed the integrative nature of engineering that makes it appealing in an educational context.
This study examines the developmental appropriateness of an engineering design-based curriculum for a preschool classroom and will report on its effect on child development, and on teacher’s behavioral changes and emerging confidence towards implementing engineering in class.