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Technology education students present research posters, win robotics competition in D.C.

Mar 18, 2016

Seven Ohio Northern University technology education students attended the International Technology and Engineering Educators Association (ITEEA) annual conference in Washington, D.C, from March 1-4, 2016. During conference’s research poster session, the students presented the results of three research projects with faculty from the Department of Technological Studies.

“Student Perceptions of STEM Curriculum Types” was presented by Ben Freer, a senior from Ashland, Ohio; Andrew Grose, a sophomore from Brooklyn, Ohio; and Zane Cottingim, a sophomore from Camden, Ohio. These students were advised by Trevor Robinson, assistant professor of manufacturing technology.

“Administrator Perceptions of STEM Curriculum Types” was presented by Brandon Ike, a senior from Sydney, Ohio, and Rachel Kerber, a sophomore from Lima, Ohio, who worked with Richard Miller, assistant professor of technology.

“Teacher Perceptions of STEM Curriculum Types” was presented by Ben Somsak, a junior from Ashland, Ohio, and Michael James, a senior from La Rue, Ohio. The pair was advised by David Rouch, professor of technological studies.

The students conducted their research as an extracurricular activity to further their knowledge base before becoming high school teachers after graduation. Rouch, Miller, and Robinson presented the combined research efforts, titled “STEM Stakeholders Perceptions of EbD and PLTW,” during a special-interest session of the Council on Technology and Engineering Teacher Education.

The students also participated in activities as members of the Technology and Engineering Education Collegiate Association (TEECA). Grose, Somsak, Cottingim, Freer and Ike competed in the TEECA Robotics Competition. This competition required the team to design, build and program a robot to compete in the VEX “Nothing But Net” contest. The robot needed to pick up various colored foam balls and shoot them in nets at varying heights. The robot was programmed to operate autonomously for a 45-second duration and was configured to operate remotely for 75 seconds. Part of the competition also involved an interview and presentation to judges over the team’s design process and teamwork abilities utilized during the planning process. The ONU team took first place overall, beating out nine competitors from other universities.

A second ONU team made up of Kerber, Ike, Freer and Somsak also competed in the Technology Challenge, a quiz-bowl-type competition. The students placed in the top eight of 16 universities competing.