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Summer Sandbox Grants will support faculty who will design and test new approaches to teaching and advising in an undergraduate summer course or project.  This is an opportunity to use summer as a learning laboratory for the academic year. Support is available for faculty who wish to develop online and hybrid teaching skills, groups of faculty in a department or program who are developing new approaches for core and large-enrollment courses, and for any faculty exploring fundamentally new approaches to teaching and learning.   

Summer Sandbox Grants 2021


Developing an Experiment with Virtual Connectivity

Ahment Sabuncu (ME) Developing an Experiment with Virtual Connectivity 

Ahmet Sabuncu

In this proposal, I aim to develop an evaporative cooler for teaching psychrometrics, namely thermodynamics of atmospheric air. Evaporative coolers   are widely used for air conditioning in dry and hot climates. While this setup will reside at WPI, one distinctive feature is that the setup will be virtually accessible to remote students to collect data and to control the setup. 


Joshua Cuneo

Joshua Cuneo (CS) Open Educational Video Resources for Computer Science 

This project is part of an ongoing effort to generate OER video materials for WPI computer science classes. In particular, this project will focus on CS 4731: Computer Graphics. These materials will incorporate animations and coding demonstrations, will be tailored to WPI’s 7-week curriculum, and will be narrated by WPI computer science instructors. The videos will also be broad enough in scope to be applicable outside of WPI, and they will be publicly available online for educators around the world.  


Creating Interactive Scenes to Project on Zoom and Other Platforms using OBS Studio

Maqsood Mughal (ECE) Creating Scenes using OBS Studio for Streaming Virtual Classroom over Zoom and other Platforms 

Maqsood Mughal

The idea behind this project is to improve student engagement and creating an environment that increases student participation during a virtual class. The goal is to deliver a high- performance real time video/audio capturing and mixing, creating scenes comprised of multiple sources including window captures, images, text, browser windows, multiple webcams, videos and much more. This will allow us to set-up number of scenes for a class on a given day one can switch between seamlessly via custom transitions. For example, one great scene to stream over Zoom for a coding class can be seen below: (1) The students can see the instructor through a webcam or an external camera, (2) students can see the software window where instructor is teaching how to code, and lastly, (3) instructor can monitor students' response and answers questions posted in the chat window. 


Grammar-flip for the ESL Writing Classroom

Ahmet Sabuncu (ME) Leveraging History to Teach Engineering 

Co-PI Maqsood Mughal 

teaching grants

We prepare open educational resources on historical background and socioeconomic impacts of technological inventions with this project. Learning about interesting stories behind inventions could incite curiosity and develop insight in students as most incredible technical innovations originated usually in interesting ways. We believe this lacking aspect in engineering education increases student engagement and facilitates learning. 


Calculus Lab Design

PI: Marcel Blais (MA) & Co-PI's Michael Johnson (MA); John Goulet (MA); Barry Posterro (MA)

teaching grants

The Math Department is seeking this grant to support the modernization of the calculus labs for 2 of the 4 primary WPI calculus courses, specifically MA 1023: Calculus 3 and MA 1024: Calculus 4 to establish a foundation in mathematical software essential to success in upper-level courses both in math and outside of math. 

Summer Sandbox Calculus Lab Grant





Olufunmilayo (Funmi) Ayobami (BME) Virtual Internship in Biomedical Engineering 

Co-PI Kristen Billiar; Solomon Mensah 

teaching grants


The Virtual Internship in Biomedical Engineering (VIBE) program aims to increase access to minoritized students, through an 8-week team-based, virtual experience targeted to underrepresented and first-generation students. Culminating in a BME design deliverable focused on global health, students will gain hands-on experience with the biomedical design process, learn professional development skills, and engage with current biomedical faculty and professionals. The program will also provide a platform through which we will examine the experiences of underrepresented students with remote/hybrid learning. 


Summer Sandbox Grant Video Report


Esther Boucher-Yip (HUA) Grammar-flip for the ESL writing classroom 

Grammar Flip for the ESL Writing Classroom

Co-PI Althea Danielski 

teaching grants

Using the flipped classroom as  an  instructional  strategy,  this project  involves  designing  and building interactive online grammar modules for multilingual writers. These modules would be used to supplement the teaching of writing and improve students’ mastery of grammar and writing concepts. These self-paced activities would also serve as learning resources for student writers. 


Farley Chery

Farley Chery (CS) Novel approaches to 3D modeling and World heritage Aesthetics 

Novel approaches for 3D modeling, applies traditional art concepts to digital sculpting. Traditional principles such as rhythm, blocking out and iterative evaluation, the course introduces speed sketching as integral to the process. Focusing on translating drawing principles into applicable methodologies for 3D, the pedagogy seeks to simplify learning 3D software, concentrating on on the application of inclusive aesthetic across multiple projects. Student will be given historical context to style modern styles, to develop anti-racist aesthetics in character design.