Convergence Accelerator Phase I (RAISE):
Skill-LeARn: Affordable Augmented Reality Platform for Scaling Up Manufacturing Workforce, Skilling, and Education
Funded by NSF (Grant C-Accel #2033615)
Project period: 2020-2021
Collaborator: Purdue University
The NSF Convergence Accelerator supports team-based, multidisciplinary efforts that address challenges of national importance and show potential for deliverables in the near future. The broader impact/potential benefit of this Convergence Accelerator Phase I project will be immediately applicable to the manufacturing sector, which has a multiplier effect on the economy and jobs. Automation is splitting the American labor force into two worlds: a relatively small number of highly educated professionals earning good wages, and less-educated workers who are left with businesses that pay low wages. Although we have had technology breakthroughs, the overall productivity growth is slow partly due to a workforce that lacks critical new competencies, such as procedural instruction learning, digital fluency, and other essential skills. The current and future workforce needs to be geared up for a culture of constant change. Companies have been relying on the age-old way of one-on-one Worker Apprenticeship model to train their new workforce. However, the recent need for larger scale and rapid training has created a bottleneck in terms of time and cost, especially for small and medium enterprises (SMEs). As a learning scientist, I work with mechanical and electrical engineers, psychologists, computer scientists, and education researchers toward accomplishing a goal of creating a scalable low-cost solution for (re)skilling the workforce.
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