Mine Safety Projects Highlight New Funding

The Center for Educational Technologies is fully funded through private organizations and taxpayer-supported agencies. Carrying on as an innovative leader in educational research and curriculum design means striving to ensure we have the funding to continue our work. In 2011 we were able to land some new work and also receive additional funding for projects we have been working on.

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) awarded Wheeling Jesuit University a contract of $148,823 through its Office of Mine Safety and Health Research (OMSHR) for a project that will be led by Dr. Laurie Ruberg, associate director of the Center for Educational Technologies. The grant funds a research study titled, "A Systems Approach to Facilitate Effective Transfer of Recent Research Findings to the Mining Community." Ruberg's team will systematically analyze documentation of mining-related research and development. Then, with guidance from the Office of Mine Safety and Health Research, the team will identify ways to better transfer the most salient innovations to those who can benefit from it most—the mining community.

WJU will receive $144,000 to create the Active Training Portal for Mine Safety through the Center for Educational Technologies and the National Technology Transfer Center. The university will partner with the Academy for Mine Training and Energy Technologies at Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College. This program will develop, implement, and evaluate a 16-hour train-the-trainer course that applies active learning to underground mine emergency prevention and preparedness. Hope Coffield, program manager for the Emergency Preparedness and Worker Safety Training Program at the Center for Educational Technologies, will manage the day-to-day operations of the project under the direction of J. Davitt McAteer, vice president for sponsored programs at WJU and an internationally recognized expert on mining safety.

The Center for Educational Technologies received $10,000 from the West Virginia NASA Space Grant Consortium to organize and conduct the annual state FIRST LEGO League robotics tournament. The 2011 tournament, which was held at Ripley High School, was the biggest ever, with more than 1,100 people in attendance.

NASA also continued funding for the NASA-sponsored Classroom of the Future program and the MoonWorld simulation in the Second Life and Open Sims virtual worlds.
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