Northeastern Section - 56th Annual Meeting - 2021

Paper No. 4-11
Presentation Time: 11:40 AM


BADUREK, Christopher and OCHS, Janet, SUNY Cortland, Cortland, NY 13045

This presentation reports on a collaborative course project linking two Geography courses and two sections of an introductory computing course. Over the fall semester, students from Geographic Information Systems and GPS Technology courses collaborated with two Computers & Society classes to develop drone startup business ideas. Through joint class periods students engaged in case study-based discussion on the impacts of drones as a subset of autonomous vehicles. Students examined changes to business (e.g., lidar data services), the role of entrepreneurship, and evolving workforce needs. Students then worked in teams to develop drone startup business ideas to present to alumni judges with expertise in the field. Firstly, students received training and coaching on lean startup methods to develop viable proposals from a professor with NSF I-Corps training and a professor with extensive computing business experience. Secondly, teams received instructor feedback and refined their ideas. Next, students delivered their concepts in a ‘pitch contest’ event held at the end of the semester featuring guest judges, university alumni working in geotechnical or STEM business careers. Based on results from student surveys, we provide conclusions on the effectiveness of this interdisciplinary teaching method in terms of accomplishing learning outcomes, engaging students via teleconferencing, collaborative team project work, and developing students' general skills related to STEM careers.