GreenDesigners: Augmented Reality Learning Experience for Sustainable Engineering Design

COIL is proud to support the GreenDesigners: Augmented Reality Learning Experience for Sustainable Engineering Design project through our Research Initiation Grant Program.


GreenDesigners is a digitally augmented, ubiquitous-crossover learning experience for sustainable engineering design. It marks a departure from previous research on technologically-enhanced, outside-school learning experiences through a crossover learning design focused on STEM education that dialogically coordinates learning in the real-world (informal) with learning in the schools (formal).

Employing the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), our project connects engineering design concepts to sustainability practices. Located across the nine-acres of Penn State Sustainability Experience Center (SEC), high school students interact with an Augmented Reality Learning (ARL) interface on handhelds while learning about engineering design concepts embedded in the sustainable technologies on site. Students progress through the game’s physical and virtual levels, as they interact with learning and assessment activities along each game-trail spot. This learning and research design culminates in a capstone design challenge where students propose sustainable design solutions in response to the real-world challenge of using renewable energy.

Our research questions guide us towards: (1) developing learning theories that explain the complex interactions in crossover, ubiquitous settings; (2) designing rich interactions within learning experiences that expand youth's interests in STEM areas; (3) exploring the applicability of the Engineering Design standards from the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).

As a Learning Sciences research project, GreenDesigners seeks to contribute to the development and research of digitally augmented crossover learning designs that coordinate standards-based learning across real-world and classroom settings. We anticipate that such designs will expand learning opportunities for youth by enabling a preparatory transition from informal, active learning activities to formal design activities in a continuous loop-like process.


  • Fariha H. Salman, Doctoral Candidate, Penn State College of Education, Learning, Design & Technology, University Park, Pennsylvania
  • Kyle Peck, Ph.D., Professor of Education/Research Fellow, Penn State College of Education, Learning, Design & Technology, University Park, Pennsylvania
  • David R. Riley, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Architectural Engineering and Director, Sustainability Experience Center, Penn State Sustainability Experience Center, University Park, Pennsylvania
  • Chris Stubbs, Manager, Emerging Technology and Media, ETS, Penn State Teaching and Learning with Technology (TLT), University Park, Pennsylvania
  • Eric Klopfer, PhD., Professor, Urban Studies & Planning and Director, Scheller Teacher
    Education Program, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Boston, Massachusetts
  • Bob Coulter, Ed.D., Director, Litzsinger Road Ecology Center, Missouri Botanical Garden, Saint Louis, Missouri
  • Susan Stewart, PhD., Assistant Professor & Research Associate, Department of Aerospace Engineering, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania
  • Salman J. Shah [Project Administrator] MBA-Human Resource Management
  • Qazi Fazli Azeem [Graphic Design Artist] Assistant Professor and Head of Department, School of Design, Karachi Institute of Technology and Entrepreneurship


Fariha SalmanFariha Hayat Salman
Learning Design & Technology
314 Keller Building, University Park, PA 16802







Leave a Reply

  • (will not be published)

COIL Articles