Our nation faces a critical challenge: we must growthe ranks of scientists and engineers to remain atthe international forefront of scientific discovery. This white paper sets forth the concept of usingdigital design challenges to advance science, tech-nology, engineering and mathematics (STEM)education. Today, scientific challenges are usheringin a new era of innovation. SimChallenge is theeducational version of DARPA's Grand Challenge,NASA's Centennial Challenge, X Prize and othernational challenges. Transforming STEM educationrequires us to integrate systems, tools and practicesto create a new educational experience.By combining the competitive advantage of videogame, simulation and modeling technologies withthe magic of entertainment, digital design chal-lenges offer students the platform to work onteam-based, cutting-edge engineering and scien-tific projects. SimChallenge is a learning systemthat couples the use of real-world engineeringtools, such as Pro/Engineer and Matlab, with a novelMini-Game Architecture. Using these tools,students design and build engineered solutions. Then they "play" with their creations. Each themati-cally linked Mini-Game is a unique, synthetic "prov-ing" ground: a small laboratory where students cantake risks and explore possible outcomes.Imagine countless challenges being built acrossvarious entertainment themes that embrace therealism of authentic science as well as the fantasyof science fiction. Entertainment themes includeMoon, Mars & Beyond, Deep Ocean Quest, HumanMachine, Amazon Rainforest, U.S Military Power andDefend America. While working on a challenge,students "become" astrophysicists, biomedicalengineers, nanotechnologists, etc. In essence, the"professions" become models for education(Shaffer 2004). "Authentic Professionalism" is ourcornerstone concept, which underpins all chal-lenge activities (Gee 2006). Ultimately, it is our goalto create a new breed of scientist and engineer forthe nation.
Design. Build.Explore.Summar y
SOLAR SAIL VESSEL