West Virginia University

College of Engineering and Mineral Resources

Project Coordinator
Allen C. Cogley
acogley@wvu.edu

Eric J. Pyle
epyle@wvu.edu


World Name: TIGERS
 

Project Description

West Virginia University (WVU) is proud to be the host for a 3 year National Science Foundation project that combines the talents of outstanding graduate students in science, mathematics, engineering, and technology as well as teacher-leaders for middle grades in mathematics and science. The project is entitled TIGERS (Teams of Interdisciplinary Graduate Fellows Engaged to Reinvigorate Students), and it represents a collaborative effort between the Colleges of Engineering and Mineral Resources, Arts and Sciences, Human Resources and Education at WVU. We view the Active Worlds environment as a cutting-edge interactive environment that the TIGERS fellows, participating teachers, and middle grades students can sustain a long-term relationship that combines the strengths of all participants as well as providing benefits to all. Because the state science (and eventually mathematics) curriculum is organized in an interdisciplinary thematic fashion, we will be organizing our TIGERS fellows into interdisciplinary "theme teams" that will provide mathematics and science teachers in participating schools the most up-to-date content knowledge while expanding their teaching capabilities. Teams of TIGERS fellows will visit the schools, co-plan and co-teach with mathematics and science teachers, and invite the teachers and their students to engage in engineering and science research beyond the normal curriculum. This sustained contact requires a more interactive environment, and this is precisely where Active Worlds comes in. We would like to set up a TIGERS world, with different sections that are interactive reflections of the content that each team represents. For instance, a "Watersheds" team would set up an area that accurately represents the physical parameters of a typical stream basin. Teachers and students would be able to interact with the setting, taking measurements on slope, stream flow, water constituent - all information input by TIGERS fellows. This experience will allow teachers, students, and fellows to adopt the same language as the cooperatively build, analyze, and then modify the situation presented. This world would complement the existing virtual high school efforts already a part of the education universe. To facilitate our efforts, we have contracted with Margaret Corbit of Cornell University to provide guidance on the construction and maintenance of a TIGERS world, as well as to provide critical input on the operation of the world.

 
 

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