Investigating the Augmented Reality Sandbox: An Exploration of the Development and Implementation of a Reproducible STEM Resource in Secondary Education Geoscience



Pollack, Carolyn F

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This investigation explores the effect of integrating an Augmented Reality Sandbox (ARS) into instruction on topography in a secondary level Earth science course, where it is used to explore the comprehension of spatial concepts by students. The conceptual framework is defined by an examination of the development of integrated science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education in the American education system, the role of engagement in the learning process, and the evolution of augmented reality in teaching and learning. The study includes two samples of assessment score data collected from two sections of a course varied by instructional style, and the data are processed both as a whole and piecewise. Methods include the two-sample t-test, the Ftest for determining equality of variances, and the two-proportion Z-test. The findings show no difference between the mean scores of the two groups, but that students in the class taught with an ARS integrated into their lessons demonstrated higher rates of success on three distinctly spatial questions, whereas students in the class without the ARS showed higher rates of success on two questions that are less based in spatial concepts and more in watershed science. Weaknesses abound in the first iteration of action research on this topic, several of which are explained in conclusion. Future work in several areas is identified, including additional classroom testing for validation of current results, exploration of additional instructional settings for the ARS, and qualitative assessment of recorded interactions of the students with the ARS.



Augmented reality, Augmented Reality Sandbox, High school earth science, ARS, STEM education and ARS, STEM resources high school