m-Science for Education and Research: Development of an Integrated, SustainableSscience Education and Research Mobile Device Intitative

The disparity in educational opportunities and outcomes between the developed and developing world and between wealthy suburban and poor urban school districts is magnified with regards to technology in the classroom. The advent of a new field of research called mobile-science (or m-Science) provides the opportunity to revolutionize science and engineering education in the K-14 classroom impacting communities from rural Africa to Urban America. The science opportunities of having over 5-billion mobile devices in operation around the planet also could revolutionize sensor-based observations of the environment, urban planning, and health-care.

Low-cost mobile phone technology allows for innovative solutions for research and science education, especially in the developing world and poor urban settings. The spread of 3G/4G networks allowing internet access, the low-cost of smartphones that have a number of sensors built in (such as GPS receivers, thermometers, accelerometers, gyroscopes, magnetometers, HD video and multi-megapixel cameras) coupled with the wide-spread global adoption of cell phones (there are over 6 billion active mobile phones in a world that has a human population of 7 billion) has given rise to a new field of science and education called m-Science. This project proposes to exploit the tremendous potential of cell phone technology and mobile app development to lower the barrier for university-based research colleagues and pre-college teachers in Detroit and Africa (initially in Ethiopia and Zambia) to be part of the global science research and education community. The project consists of two parts—a environmental science observing network and a science education technology effort targeted to technology-poor schools.


Project Team:

Mark Moldwin, Department of Atmospheric, Oceanic and Space Sciences, College of Engineering