The Advanced Technology Environmental Education Center (ATEEC) was awarded a grant (DUE#1700559) from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for the Water INTENsE: INteractive TEchNology Education project. The focus of the Water INTENsE project is to develop augmented and/or virtual reality (AVR) curriculum for water/wastewater technologies and agriculture/water conservation education in two-year colleges.
ATEEC’s Water INTENsE project activities include:
- Partner with business and government agencies to determine curriculum content needed for AVR experiences for students.
- Partner with an AVR software developer, EON Reality, to create AVR modules to enhance curriculum.
- Develop a resource guide and training webinars for educators using AVR in classrooms.
- Pilot-test the AVR modules with NSF’s Advanced Technological Education (ATE) community colleges and with business and industry partners to determine the effectiveness in meeting program learning objectives.
- Disseminate the AVR modules on a public online platform.
The STEM-based instructional materials focus on simulating learning situations in the fields of water/wastewater and agriculture/water conservation. Working with actual field equipment belonging to local industry partners may be impractical. Purchasing equipment is often cost-prohibitive for most educational institutions. The simulations allow technology students to receive “hands-on,” applied training in a contextual environment, providing students with practice on virtual real-world equipment.
The project leverages ATEEC’s work in occupational analysis, curriculum development, and instructional materials development projects in water technology. Due to ATEEC’s national environmental technology network with industry and education, the project is well positioned to supplement and enhance existing water and agriculture technology curricula, utilize a wide variety of content experts in the fields, and determine and fulfill workforce needs.