Discipline: Technology and Engineering
Subcategory: Electrical Engineering
Marc Primeau - Tennessee State University
Co-Author(s): Dan Fishler, Tennessee State University, Nashville, TN
A challenge facing science and engineering students is overcoming the gap between theory and application. The CAVE environment consists of four large screens and a sound system that surrounds the user and provides an immersive experience that gives the sense of ‘being there.’ As a result, the CAVE can simulate environments and physical systems providing a means for aiding students in visualizing abstract concepts, interacting with physical systems, and reinforcing learning.
The MARS project is a pilot project that utilizes the CAVE systems simulation capabilities with the purpose of ‘sending’ students to mars to solve real engineering problems in order to help them overcome math and physics conceptual hardships.
The MARS project is designed to make the learning process enjoyable and more effective using educational supplements that are not available otherwise. Students participating in the project will experience an improved conceptual grasp of the material studied in class and be able to improve grades in relevant classes. In the process, students will learn the technology used to develop the simulations and be encouraged to incorporate unique models for the project with the possibly of creating new levels and missions.
The project has been successfully implemented with a group of high school students. Using 3D modeling tools and the Unity game engine, they designed and simulated a space station orbiting Mars and presented the results to their teachers and peers. The project is expected to grow as part of its common use and improve over time. Further research in immersive visualization involves increasing the amount of interactivity with the simulated environment. Tools such as motion tracking, voice control, and body sensors could be used to enhance the immersive nature of the CAVE experience.
Funder Acknowledgement(s): NSF Targeted Infusion Project
Faculty Advisor: Sachin Shetty,