Office of Research News

Battelle Endowment funds five science/technology projects

Posted: March 24, 2017

The Battelle Engineering, Technology and Human Affairs (BETHA) Endowment annual grant competition supports projects that examine the complex relationship between science and technology on society and cultural issues. Thirty-three proposals were submitted for the 2017 competition, of which five projects were selected for funding.

Assessing Trustworthiness in Social Media
Marie-Catherine de Marneffe, PhD
Department of Linguistics
College of Arts and Sciences

The rise of social media has created an information flood, but which information can be trusted?  Factors including exact language used and the credibility of the source impact the veridicality of a statement. This project uses the analysis of veridicality and trustworthiness in social media as a gateway to engage students in linguistics and computer science. A course module will be developed to include introductory linguistics and programming assignments, culminating in an interactive demo that assesses the credibility of social media accounts and rates the veridicality of claims in social media.

Using Technology to Support Communication: Training Parent and Teacher Buy-in
Allison Bean Ellawadi, PhD
Department of Speech and Hearing Science
College of Arts and Sciences

Approximately one percent of the population in the United States is unable to communicate effectively using spoken language. Alternative and Augmentative Communication (AAC) devices enable these individuals to communicate. Smart phone and tablet apps enable those devices to function as AAC devices, acting as the “voice” of an individual. Although the use of smart phones and tablets as AAC devices has increased awareness of and access to AAC, these devices continue to be abandoned/rejected. This project will investigate the impact of teacher and parent buy-in training on AAC use in school-age AAC users.

MAJI MARWA: Sustainable and Resilient Tanzania Community
Michael Hagenberger, PhD
Department of Civil, Environmental and Geodetic Engineering
College of Engineering

The Village of Marwa in rural Tanzania, with an estimated population of 5,000 – 7,000, is located approximately ten kilometers from the Pangani River, a permanent water supply with its source running off Mt. Kilimanjaro. Marwa lacks the technical ability and financial capacity to sustainably access and treat this water source. The Sustainable and Resilient Tanzanian Community (SRTC) program is an interdisciplinary, international development service learning initiative that brings together students from Ohio State University and the University of Dodoma, Tanzania’s largest public university, in leading-edge civil engineering and community development practice and local indigenous resource management systems. Maji Marwa, or “Water for Marwa,” focuses on bringing clean, safe and accessible water to the village, while training the next generation of engineers, scientists and development workers in providing real-world solutions to real-world needs.

Community Gardens as Tools to Promote Science Education
Maria Miriti, PhD
Department of Evolution, Ecology and Organismal Biology
College of Arts and Sciences

Efforts to recruit students from underrepresented backgrounds into careers in evolution, ecology and organismal biology (EEOB) and other STEM disciplines commonly target undergraduates by providing research opportunities. However, these efforts have not appreciably increased the diversity profile of EEOB professionals over the past 20 years. This project applies Participatory Action Research (PAR) to engage youth at an earlier age in community gardening, a growing national movement that promotes healthy eating in food deserts while also empowering youth and promoting social change. Students interact with science professionals and youth from other communities to design and plan garden space, becoming immersed in science to explore human impacts on the environment and discovering pathways to STEM careers.

Shake the Shoe: Connecting Earthquake Science and Football with the Best Fans in the Land
Derek Sawyer, PhD
School of Earth Sciences
Division of Natural and Mathematical Sciences
College of Arts and Sciences

Vibrations created by the 100,000+ fans during Ohio State football games can be recorded and analyzed just as an actual earthquake. The Shake the Shoe project will use seismometers to measure these “FanQuakes” at the Shoe. The data obtained will be used as an education and outreach tool about the science, technology and hazards associated with earthquakes. Classroom exercises, a publicly accessible website and interactive exhibits at COSI and other locations will engage and inspire current and future students and leaders.

Category : Featured Articles / General Information