Houston, TX, United States

University of Houston-Clear Lake

www.uhcl.edu
Houston, TX, United States

The University of Houston–Clear Lake is a four-year state university, and is a separate and distinct component institution of the University of Houston System. Its campus spans 524 acres in Pasadena, with a satellite campus in Pearland. Founded in 1971, UHCL has an enrollment of more than 8,000 students. The institution will begin offering freshman and sophomore classes in fall 2014.The university serves students in four academic schools. UHCL offers nearly 90 degree programs: 40 bachelors, 44 masters, and one doctoral. Awarding more than 2,100 degrees annually, the university's alumni base exceeds 50,000. Wikipedia.

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Grant
Agency: National Science Foundation | Branch: | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 224.50K | Year: 2014

This STTR Phase I project, Serious Game for Energy Science (SGES), proposes to address the question 'Can a serious game in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM), with artificial intelligence and teacher controls, engage the learner, impact student problem-solving abilities, increase interest in STEM-related activities/fields, and positively impact student learning outcomes in science, math, and reading comprehension?' Educational institutions have seen increased demand for technologies impacting learning outcomes and promoting STEM interest. As gaming becomes more broadly accepted, there is greater demand for Serious Games - games built specifically to enhance learning. This research innovation will develop two components to be modeled in STEM serious game development: (1) artificial intelligence, and (2) instructional management tool for teachers. SGES will accomplish this innovation as well as contribute to, and advance, the body of knowledge in Serious Game development. SGES research objectives are to determine the effects of a serious game in Energy Science on students: engagement, problem-solving abilities, interest in STEM-related activities and fields, and learning outcomes in science, math, and reading comprehension. Students will be inspired to learn about energy science, energy production, and environmental impacts by being immersed in an interactive world with interesting characters and engaging story objectives. The broader/commercial impact of Serious Game for Energy Science (SGES) is an expandable model adaptable to learning objectives across grades levels and content areas. This research will establish models for artificial intelligence and teacher controls in serious games, and support teaching science, math, and reading comprehension with gaming. This will impact the commercialization of serious games in any science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) topic. With the increase use of serious games in learning, development of this projects' research-based model will increase the economic competitiveness of the United States in the serious games market sector. Innovative serious games like SGES can potentially increase knowledge/interest in STEM related skills/careers addressing national needs for STEM graduates in the workforce. SGES will enhance math, science, environmental literacy, and reading comprehension through student exploration of energy science, energy production, and environmental impact using problem-solving, critical thinking, communication, and collaboration skills. The project research results will impact the number of students entering STEM related careers or graduating with STEM degrees by engaging them through game play. The SGES project aims to improve STEM education for all grade levels and improve educator development by providing educators with an effective use of technology in the classroom.


Grant
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration | Branch: | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 120.24K | Year: 2015

NASA has identified a need for a tool that will give a non-expert the ability to quickly create animation of a mission scenario. This type of depiction can be important during a mission's development phase. Animation can show things that are not possible to see in the physical world and can help explain difficult concepts. Animation allows visualization of the mission without having to understand all the physics required. The communication of any mission scenarios through the medium of video - be it live action or animation - requires a particular set of skills: most notably, a sense of timing and layout. The sense of timing in animation can be compared to that of music; length, rhythm and order are the crucial elements for an effective delivery of an idea or emotion. Professional animators acquire this knowledge through formal training, education and years of experience. Although it would be impossible to impart this knowledge instantaneously, with current technology it can be encapsulated within a set of "digital elements" that can be manipulated and arranged to form a coherent stream of images (video) with order and meaning. Our proposed innovation is to develop a set of tools that can be used by a non-expert to build a virtual mission scenario that can be used for analysis, presentations and outreach. We will create a method for developing a collection of elements (objects, actions) with initial focus, space mission specific. The toolset will have elements that have the animation expertise incorporated. This will reduce the need for the user to have animation experience.


Grant
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration | Branch: | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 700.00K | Year: 2013

Innovative Imaging and Research and the University of Houston Clear Lake have teamed to develop a widely extensible, affordable, energy efficient, smart lighting device known as Lambda-Net. Smart building technologies, such as Lambda-Net, are becoming critical to energy savings and sustainability for terrestrial applications and space-based habitats. Our device incorporates a smart-mobile device or other comparable sized integrated computing/sensing device into each LED fixture. Smart-mobile devices are ideally suited to perform energy saving lighting control as they contain inexpensive, mass produced, highly integrated imaging, computing and communication technologies. The low cost digital cameras within these packages become highly capable imaging photosensors using calibration techniques developed for NASA satellites and the commercial remote sensing industry. Novel algorithms utilize lighting information measured by the photosensors to individually tailor the intensity and spectral content of the light generated from each LED fixture within the lighting system to reduce energy usage, increase lighting efficacy and improve circadian rhythm influenced activities such as sleeping and concentration. Advanced spatially distributed occupancy sensing and lighting control further reduces energy usage. Integrating sensing and computing into each light fixture also provides the infrastructure to create a robust sensor network. Network communication is achieved through Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and other communication means, such as the power lines that provide electricity to each fixture. This resulting sensor network enables a wide range of terrestrial and space-based applications including monitoring: building/habitat temperature, humidity and air quality; occupant health and safety; building/habitat space utilization and astronaut activity including deep space adaptation in addition to providing high quality spatially selectable, spectrally programmable illumination.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: RES IN NETWORKING TECH & SYS | Award Amount: 10.00K | Year: 2015

The aim of this grant is to support US-based students to attend the 24th International Conference on Computer Communications and Networks (ICCCN 2015) in Las Vegas, Nevada between August 3 and 6, 2015. After a committee-based review, funds will be given as NSF awards to US-based student authors of the conference, who will present research papers in the main conference.

Participation in conferences such as IEEE ICCCN is an extremely important part of graduate students research and career development, providing the opportunity for them to present their own work, attend panel and keynote speech sessions, interact with peers and more senior researchers, and expose themselves to cutting edge work in the field of computer communication and networks. The student travel support enables more participation of US-based graduate students, especially underrepresented minorities, to attend ICCCN 2015.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: S-STEM:SCHLR SCI TECH ENG&MATH | Award Amount: 592.47K | Year: 2013

This S-STEM project provides 16 scholarships per year to upper-level STEM majors at the University of Houston, Clear Lake. UHCL students enter as juniors, and the STEM programs are well designed to serve community college transfer students. The scholarships are being made available to academically talented, low-income undergraduate students pursuing degrees in Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Sciences, and Physics. STEM studies at UHCL provide a natural pipeline for low-income and underrepresented students to enter science-related careers.

This S-STEM project not only complements a prior S-STEM project for computing and mathematics majors but also builds upon lessons learned from the prior project. Intellectual merit of the project is realized by features that include recruitment activities, faculty involvement in several capacities, peer and career mentoring, a Natural Science Scholar Organization, opportunities for research experiences, an emphasis on developing communication skills, career exposure via partnerships with local high technology laboratories and industries, and a well-defined set of metrics to evaluate and improve project effectiveness.

Broader impacts are realized by educating and diversifying a workforce prepared for STEM jobs. Broader impacts will also result from scholars presenting results of their experiences at community colleges, local conferences, and national meetings of professional science organizations. Plans exist to present project outcomes at meetings of professional STEM societies and in journals as well as reports to the public via the project website.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: | Award Amount: 1.10M | Year: 2013

This project is a collaboration between the University of Houston - Clear Lake (UHCL), an upper-level undergraduate and graduate university, and three campuses of the San Jacinto Community College district (SJC) to increase attainment of STEM associates and baccalaureate degrees, as well as to facilitate and increase transfer of STEM students across the institutions. The project focuses on increasing student engagement and persistence through the development of face-to-face and technology-enhanced learning networks, both within and across campuses. Supporting initiatives include extended orientation programs, peer and faculty mentoring, career-awareness and enhancement activities, and modest financial aid. The intellectual merit of the project lies in the strong partnership between the baccalaureate and associates institutions, well-designed and coherent project elements which build on literature-based best practices and successful pilot studies, clear implementation strategies, well-planned evaluation, and extensive involvement of local STEM industries. Broader impacts include enhanced support at these Hispanic-serving institutions, with additional efforts to reach women, veterans and/or low-income students. Project graduates deepen and diversify the local STEM workforce, and the project provides a useful model for linking associates and baccalaureate institutions, as well as local STEM employers, to support student retention and success.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: OCEAN DRILLING PROGRAM | Award Amount: 157.01K | Year: 2013

The proposal addresses a fundamental aim of the ocean drilling program, namely to help characterize one of the largest and least studied ecosystems on Earth, the deep biosphere of the igneous crust buried below the ocean floor. The principal scientific objective of IODP expedition 336 is, in particular, to investigate the microbial population in basaltic crust from the North Pond area near the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. The study samples are weathered and porous basalts taken from beneath ~100 m of sediment in the North Pond area. The study proposes to determine both the diversity of the microbe population (using DNA) and its metabolic activity (using RNA). The PI?s will investigate the relationship between microbes in the basement and those in the water column and determine which metabolic pathways are used by the deep basement microbes. The study will also provide baseline data for the long-term biological observatories installed in the sub-seafloor basement during expedition 336.
Understanding deep biosphere life is a major thrust of the new IODP science plan and has implications for understanding the limits of life. The NSF-funded C-DEBI (Center for Dark Energy Biosphere Investigations) program and Deep Earth Academy promote K-12 education and communicate the results of deep biosphere studies to broad technical and popular audience. An undergraduate student will be involved in the research.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: ROBERT NOYCE SCHOLARSHIP PGM | Award Amount: 1.12M | Year: 2013

The University of Houston at Clear Lake, whose student body is entirely juniors and seniors, has a Noyce project to prepare 15 current and transfer students to become highly qualified secondary-school mathematics teachers. Mathematics and Education faculty collaborate with over 55 local schools in 22 districts to prepare teachers in a program that includes a two-semester internship and opportunities for interaction with the adjoining NASA Johnson Space Center, among other local scientific agencies. Students are trained not only in mathematics content and pedagogy, but are taught to use critical thinking, instructional technology, and strategies to address English-language learners. The program allows potential scholars to explore mathematics teaching as a profession through the Success Through Education Programs and opportunities to conduct internships at summer camps or other mathematically oriented programs. Once selected as Noyce Scholars, the students complete their mathematics major while enrolling in courses to learn pedagogy. After completing their degrees and certification, alumni of the program serve as mentors for newer preservice teachers and receive continuing professional development in their induction period. Since most of the students are transfers from community colleges, they come from diverse backgrounds. The UHCL program deliberately recruits students who are underrepresented minority, low income, or first in their families to attend college. Since they are from local secondary schools and community colleges, and since their practice teaching will also be local, they are likely to remain in the area, home-grown teachers of the next generation.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: Smart and Connected Health | Award Amount: 15.00K | Year: 2017

This project is to support student travel and participation in the IEEE Conference on Connected Health (CHASE 2017) in Philadelphia, PA. CHASE provides a supportive scientific forum for students focusing on computing and engineering research associated with the multidisciplinary field of connected health. CHASE provides a forum for expert and peer critique of students research with the goal of improving their science. Student participants will also have the opportunity to receive networking support and career advice from internationally-recognized experts. Overall, the travel support brings together people who might not otherwise engage with one another and engage in multidisciplinary research in fields involving connected health.

This proposal supports doctoral students by providing a Student Research Forum focused on encouraging students to examine technologies from multiple perspectives to understand how innovative technology, usable systems, and sound medical information combine to make the most impact. In addition, the Career Panel enables students to see different career paths for researchers in this area. The CHASE conference exposes participants to different scientific disciplinary approaches, supports networking with conference attendees and is designed to support the development of the next generation of scholars in connected health.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: ROBERT NOYCE SCHOLARSHIP PGM | Award Amount: 49.86K | Year: 2016

In the 2010 National Research Councils report, Preparing Teachers: Building Evidence for Sound Policy, areas related to STEM teacher preparation that lacked a sufficient research base were highlighted. This Noyce Track 4A research project will engage eight universities in Texas in a collaborative research study of the characteristics of Noyce pre-service teacher programs related to effective recruitment, preparation, and retention. The University of Houston, Stephen F. Austin State University, the University of Houston-Clear Lake, the University of Houston-Downtown, the University of Texas at Austin, the University of Texas at Arlington, Texas State University, and Texas A&M University-Kingsville will collaborate to promote rigorous evaluation of components of their respective Noyce STEM pre-service education programs. The institutions in the partnership represent a broad array of programs encompassing differences in characteristics such as setting (rural vs. urban), disciplinary focus (e.g., mathematics, general STEM education), and students recruited into the program (undergraduates, post-baccalaureate students, career changers). In addition, they vary in implementation methodology and program components. Through this research partnership, these programs will collect and share data, collaborating with the University of Houstons Institute for Educational Policy Research and Evaluation (IEPRE) and the Center for Research, Evaluation, and Advancement of Teacher Education (CREATE), a multi-system consortium comprised of fifty-six teacher education institutions across Texas, to enable a large study that will allow for investigation of components leading to increasing the number of effective STEM teachers in high-need classrooms. In particular, data sharing between the programs and CREATE, which provides access to administrative data regarding teacher movement and data connecting classroom teachers to student achievement, will facilitate connection of program characteristics to teacher effectiveness, movement, and retention.

This eight institution collaborative partnership will seek to answer the following four broad research questions: 1) Among participants in implemented Noyce programs, what are the characteristics of the associated university-based programs? 2) For teacher candidates who enter and remain in the teaching profession, how do Noyce and non-Noyce participants compare with respect to a variety of individual and receiving campus characteristics? 3) Relative to their non-participating peers, to what extent and in what ways does teacher participation in Noyce-based preparation have subsequent influence on K-12 student academic performance? and 4) How are state policies influencing recruiting and retaining teachers? These questions will be addressed through both qualitative and quantitative methods, including descriptive analysis of interviews, geographic information system (GIS) mapping, event history analysis, and propensity score analysis to create matched samples of Noyce and non-Noyce prepared teachers that are similar on baseline characteristics to enable comparison of measures of teacher effectiveness. The final question will be addressed through policy analysis. This unique research partnership that joins several Noyce programs in a single state will provide a model for evaluating provider practices from retention through induction to identify program components promoting effective recruitment, training, and retention of STEM teachers in high needs schools. The results of this multi-institutional study will have the potential to inform teacher education programs across the country, particularly related to recruiting, preparing, and retaining teachers of STEM disciplines who teach students in high need settings, as well as policies that enhance or inhibit this.

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