The Ann Arbor Hands on Museum is working to improve the educational experience for the many young school groups that patronize the museum. Students will update the design for a new platform and redeploy a beacon system that tracks individual museum guest’s participation in learning activities during their visit to support this goal.
At the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum (AAHOM), approximately 17% of visitors are part of a field trip. To improve that educational experience, we have been developing DEEP (Digitally Enhanced Exhibit Program) to enhance field trips and to enrich exhibit content by showing how science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) concepts have shaped, and will continue to shape, our world. We have completed version 1 of our DEEP system and are looking to the student team to design an enhanced, more robust production level of hardware and software that could be easily shared with other museums.
Each DEEP enabled exhibit contains multiple levels of grade appropriate content. Each DEEP exhibit recognizes students by a lanyard worn during their visit and provides additional interactive content.
When a student approaches a DEEP exhibit, the system automatically logs the student into the experience and displays the appropriate grade level experience. Third graders see third grade content; fifth graders see fifth grade content, etc. The system guides students through their interactions with the exhibit, offer challenges, ask questions, and spark reflection, while recording the experience’s relevant state science curriculum standards by grade level. Meanwhile, general museum visitors without beacons can engage with DEEP at the grade level of their choice. At the end of the visit the system can provide interaction summary information for each teacher leading a visit.
This system will allow teachers to better build upon the learning experiences of a museum visit.
Hardware / Beacon Technology (2 students)
Specific Skills: Familiarity with the theory of Bluetooth beacon technology.
Prior experience with beacons or Gimbal beacons specifically is a plus.
General programming skills.
Likely Majors: CE, EE
Back-End Programming (1-2 Students)
Specific Skills: General programming skills and basic database design. Application development. Algorithm implementation.
Prior experience with REST APIs and/or Experience API (xAPI) + Learning Record Store (LRS) is a plus.
Completion of EECS 281 (or equivalent) is required.
Likely Majors: CS, DATA
Front-End Programming (1-2 Students)
Specific Skills: General programming skills.
Best practice in Mobile App development, and User Interface design.
Prior experience with Low-energy Bluetooth beacons or similar, Android app development.
Completion of EECS 281 (or equivalent) is required.
Likely Majors: CS
UI/UX (1 Student)
Specific Skills: UI/UX design, usability studies.
Interest in UX, human factor design, visual perception, and/or graphic design are a plus.
You must have some general programming skills and, working with the front-end team, will be expected to learn to implement UI/UX design in this tech stack.
Likely Majors: ARTDES, SI
Museum Learning Experience/K12 (1 student)
Specific Skills: Data output design (variables and formats) to best support teachers and meet the needs of learning outcomes.
This student will also participate in UI/UX development, tech development, debugging and/or project management functions.
Likely Majors: Museum Studies minor, Education, students in other majors with significant interest in museum design and STEM education.
Please explain what you will bring to the team in your personal statement.
Director of Special Initiatives and Technology, Ann Arbor Hands on Museum
Ari manages cross-departmental projects bringing together exhibits, education and operations to ensure exceptional visitor experience through programs, special projects, exhibits and day-to-day guest interactions.
Learning Engineering Team Lead, TorranceLearning
Matt designs and develops custom online learning solutions and experiences using web technologies, employing graphic design, UI/UX design, and front- and back-end development.
Megan Torrance is CEO and founder of TorranceLearning and has over 25 years of experience in learning design, deployment and consulting. Megan and the TorranceLearning team are passionate about sharing what works so they devote considerable time to teaching and sharing about Agile project management for learning design and xAPI. Megan is the author of Agile for Instructional Designers and Making Sense of xAPI. She is also a Facilitator in eCornell’s Women’s Executive Leadership certificate.
Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
Research Interests: Mobile learning software development, tactile programming, methods for bringing technology into the classroom, and studying the effects of social networking and collaboration on learning.
- This project is open to all students.
- International students on an F-1 visa will be required to declare part-time CPT during Winter 2023 and Fall 2023 terms.
IP/NDA: Students will sign standard University of Michigan IP/NDA documents. Once completed Ann Arbor The Hands On Museum intends to release the system in open source.
Internship/Summer Opportunity: No required summer activity will take place on the project. Summer stipends may be available to extend summer work.