Augmented Reality Sandbox 

Awarded Fall 2017 

Geology Professor Kristina Walowski created a new 3D hands-on tool as a visual resource for geology, geography, and hydrology students. The tool utilizes a physical sandbox while typography is projected and updated in real-time as users move the sand within the sandbox.

Augmented Reality Sandbox

Kristina Walowski:

So the Augmented Reality Sandbox is a teaching and learning tool for geology and

geography and it’s a great way to teach about landforms and topography and

geologic process. As the students manipulate the sand, what’s happening is the

Xbox connect radar is constantly scanning the sand, so as the students manipulate

it, every time it picks up those changes, it’s sending or relaying that information into

the computer. The computer projects it in that false color image related to

typography. With technology being so pervasive, it’s important to use technology in

the classroom as much as possible, but technology specifically like this is also really

engaging. It’s really colorful. It’s really hands on, and so even though the students

are sort of learning about typography and maps, which can be really dry, it’s a really

memorable experience.

Sam Kaelin:

For a lot of people when they start studying earth sciences, to look at land forms on

a screen or on a map is great, but it’s just not quite the same. And it doesn’t really

do the trick, especially if you’re not particularly familiar with those landforms

already in how you visualize them in three dimensions and how you might fit into a

landscape like that. And when you see something in three dimensions, especially

something that you can sink your hands into, mold to your own desires, it really

opens up new avenues.

Kristina Walowski:

So far we’ve used this tool in a few classes at the college, but students are always

asking, what else can we do with this tool? And so right now we’re not actively using

the sandbox for research, but with the creative imagination to the students and as

we sort of have it around, we’re really hoping to explore the research potential of

this tool in the future.

Two Schools, One Purpose: Changemaking in Africa 

Awarded Fall 2017

Political Science Professor Nadia Horning has designed a pedagogical experiment that will bring six College students to the African Leadership University in Mauritius and pairing them up with six or more ALU students in a series of independent projects under the umbrella theme of “Changemaking Where It’s Right.” The experiment’s principal goal is to offer students the opportunity to collaborate across geographical, cultural, and institutional borders.

Three students pose for photo inside life-sized Instagram frame.

Diversity Abroad Reporters: Connecting the Conference to the Community 

Awarded Spring 2018 

This project is led by MIIS student Evelyn Lueker and Professor David Wick. The MAIEM Diversity Abroad Conference Reporters will connect current and past MAIEM students with the people, ideas, and resources at the 2018 Diversity Abroad Annual Conference in Miami, FL and make the conference a living part of the program. The Reporters will connect with MAIEM students through BLOG and VLOG reports and as virtual class guests to ensure that all current MAIEM students, as well as recent alumni, participate in this important event. Want to learn more? Check out their website and their MIIS Instagram takeover! 

Jiran: Arabic Community Action Summer 

Awarded Fall 2017

Dr. Kerstin Wilsch, Director of the School in Jordan, will create a five week pilot of a summer language program pairing five intermediate and advanced Arabic students with underserved Arabic-speaking families in New Britain, Connecticut in a program focused on Arabic language learning and intercultural competence development. The program will be conducted in partnership with the Islamic Center of Central Connecticut, and students will live together in an Arabic-speaking house, take colloquial Arabic classes, particpate in an intercultural competency curriculum, volunteer at local social service organizations, and be paired with local Arabic-speaking families needing assistance. Want to learn more? Check out their website, their Facebook page to stay up to date on their project, and read this fantastic Newsroom article on Jiran!

Five student participants in the Arabic Communicty Action Summer

Social Entrepreneurship Consulting Project in Monterey 

Awarded Fall 2017

MIIS Professor Don Sciglimpaglia will set up a system by which students can offer social entrepreneurship consulting services to deserving non-profit organizations. He will develop a program which will enable graduate students at MIIS to become involved with local non-profit organizations in the Monterey area as consultants.

Acknowleding Biases: Implementing Feminist Science in Middlebury Classrooms 

Awarded Spring 2018 

Mika Morton ‘19 and Mikayla Hyman ‘20 will develop a series of best practices for inclusive teaching in the natural sciences. Through research and advising with various faculty members, the s tudents will introduce curricula that features inclusive teaching methodology for a Spring 2019 Genomics class.

Middlebury College/Hannaford Career Center Technical Internship Program 

Awarded Spring 2018 

Led by Physics Professor Noah Graham, this project will provide technical internships for Middlebury College students at the Patricia A. Hannaford Career Center (PAHCC) in Middlebury, VT. Through these internships, students will develop and teach technical skills and support science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) community outreach programs.

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