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Analysing Temperature Effects with a Mobile and Precise Gradient Device

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - ATEMPGRAD (Analysing Temperature Effects with a Mobile and Precise Gradient Device)

Reporting period: 2019-10-01 to 2020-09-30

The ATEMPGRAD technology is based on the ASSISI|bf paradigm, which shows how an active dialogue can be engaged with organisms, instead of just observing them. The ATEMPGRAD device takes up this principle and transforms it into a cost-effective and portable device, which is designed for use in educational institutions. It offers a range of interaction possibilities with different organisms (especially insects, but also plants, micro-organisms or even chemical reaction agents), especially through a temperature gradient or more complex and dynamic thermal patterns, which in their own right offer a range of interaction possibilities with the organisms. In addition, the device optionally offers a way to automatically observe and analyse the organisms’ behaviour and a way to adapt subsequent stimuli to the observed behaviour. Through an extensible interface, many different stimuli can act simultaneously on the organism. Thus, we can provide a simple to use yet versatile tool for small scale research and educational purposes, which we would like to make commercially available to the general public by designing it as a novel educational tool for modern interactive forms of teaching biology, physics, ecology, ethology and global change. After this project has ended, it can be stated that the final prototype of the ATEMPGRAD device meets exactly these points. Next, the prototype can start its way to the educational institutions.
On the one hand to further improve the technology, getting in touch with educational stakeholders to understand what can improve their educational everyday life was an essential part of this project. On the other hand, those insights needed to be implemented. Several workshops with teachers (one-on-one as well as a group workshop) were held and important feedback was gathered. In addition to this, surveys with educational stakeholders were held.
Based on this feedback, three prototype iterations were built and several easy-to-use experiments for students at different levels were developed.
While we were working on the technology development, the future of the innovation was also considered and an extensive the business plan was conceived.
The targeted impact of this project was to enable students to better and easier understand relationships in natural science. As part of this project, teachers and students interacted with the ATEMPGRAD technology. These interactions yielded promising results and suggest that this technology can turn seemingly uninteresting scientific topics into fascinating self-driven research of young minds.