Native American Middle-school Students Afterschool STEM Program 

This $1.5 million NSF-funded project is designed to foster STEM career interests among Native American middle-school students through an after-school program that integrates digital technologies like virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and 3D printing. Focused on solving spatial design problems through culturally responsive, problem-based learning modules, the project involves a co-design process with educators, community members, and students, ensuring the inclusion of cultural knowledge relevant to Native American students. Targeting middle-schoolers and educators from the Citizen Potawatomi, Otoe-Missouria and Ponca Nations in Oklahoma, the project aims to serve over 250 students, establishing technology centers and an inclusive curriculum to support community-defined hackathons. These hackathons will expose families and Tribal citizens to new technologies while honoring their cultural practices and values. Research within the project, employing mixed methods, will assess the impact on youth STEM identity and engagement, with findings and resources made available online for broader application. Funded by the Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers (ITEST) program, this initiative aligns with NSF's mission, showcasing significant intellectual merit and broader impacts in STEM education.

VR training for Meat Processing

Responding to a critical need for advanced training methodologies in the meat processing sector, this initiative, launched at the behest of Oklahoma's Secretary of Agriculture, harnesses Virtual Reality (VR) technology to enhance skills and safety training. The project involves conducting detailed focus groups to accurately assess training requirements, collaborating with a distinguished advisory board to co-design effective training modules, and developing VR-based prototypes specialized in carcass cutting and safety protocols. This integrative approach, combining expert insights with cutting-edge technology, aims to significantly uplift training standards and operational efficiency in the meat processing industry. A preliminary study assessing the training's impact involved 60 participants, demonstrating that VR-based training holds considerable promise as a method for effectively upskilling workers in the meat processing industry.

Using Artificial Intelligence in Design and Design Education

Our team is engaged in an in-depth exploration of the impact and effectiveness of artificial intelligence in design and design education. This research includes comprehensive surveys targeting both industry professionals and design educators, aiming to understand their perceptions of AI as a design tool and its integration into their professional or academic environments. We are also examining how AI influences the design process, drawing on a series of empirical studies conducted with design students. Additionally, our research delves into the interaction between individual learning styles and capabilities, and how these factors influence the adoption and utilization of AI tools by students.

Relics to Realities: Preserving Native American Heritage using 3D Scanning.

This initiative aims to launch a comprehensive project with well-defined short-term and long-term objectives focused on the digital preservation of Native American cultural heritage. In the preliminary phase, the project will employ volumetric scanning techniques to create a high-fidelity digital representation of a historically significant Native American museum, along with 3D scanning of the artifacts housed within. This endeavor serves as a pilot for our overarching ambition: the establishment of a state-wide digital repository featuring volumetrically scanned Native American museums across Oklahoma. This digital archive will be developed under the auspices of a dedicated Digital Heritage Preservation Program, ensuring the long-term safeguarding and accessibility of these invaluable cultural assets.

Developing Smart Hotel Rooms 

In collaboration with the Atherton Hotel in Stillwater, OK, this research project innovatively integrates Design-Informed AIoT technology into a hotel setting, focusing on two key phases: the non-invasive technological upgrade of a hotel room and an in-depth analysis of user experience. The study utilizes a mixed-method approach, including pre- and post-experience surveys and biometric monitoring, to gauge user interaction with the AIoT environment and understand perceptions based on established psychological and technological frameworks. This project aims to merge cutting-edge technology with practical hospitality applications, exploring new frontiers in guest experience enhancement.

Mixed Reality Lab
463, Nancy Randolph Davis
Oklahoma State University
Stillwater, OK 74078
United States of America

Dr. Tilanka Chandrasekera
Phone: +1 (913) 219 3233

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