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Drexel Faculty Featured in American Nuclear Society Publication

January 18, 2013

Drexel auxiliary faculty member Christopher Peters, teaching professor of the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) department, has been featured in the January 2013 issue of Nuclear News magazine, an American Nuclear Society Publication. The article titled, “Video Games in the Classroom” highlights Peters’ work using aspects of modern gaming technology, such as a Microsoft Kinect motion sensor, to project lessons onto a large screen to teach a class. Systems such as the Xbox 360, when in conjunction with a Microsoft Kinect have the capability to capture and display 2-D and 3-D images that can be used to show students a real example of a nuclear power reactor, which can be manipulated and controlled by the user.

“It’s a little piece of what I call technological heaven,” says Peters.

As part of a senior design project, students studying nuclear engineering are using the simulator to gain a better understanding of how nuclear power reactors work in the safety of a classroom. Four ECE students, Paul Martin, Like Lui, Paul Rua and Josh Waldman, developed the initial idea of using a gaming console to help teach and convinced Peters to give this low cost option a try.

“But then I did a little research on it and found that this piece of equipment is being used to defuse bombs and to do surgery,” says Peters. “This generation of students has a different learning modality. They’re more visual. They like to be interactive and have the immersive effect.”

Peters presented his findings at the 2012 ANS Annual Meeting in June to peers and members. To view a video of the simulator using Microsoft Kinect at Drexel, click here. For more information on the American Nuclear Society Publication, Nuclear News, view the official site here.