YHIoT Journal - Issue 1: 

Technology and the Future of Work

A Service Design Thinking Approach: What are the barriers and opportunities of using Augmented Reality for Primary Science Education?

Warren Fearn - York St John University, Prof. Jonathan Hook - University of York

The full papers are published in Journal of Technology and Science Education (JOTSE).  The full text can be accessed via https://www.jotse.org/index.php/jotse/article/view/1394


Objectives: In this paper, we present a study exploring teachers’ opinions on using Augmented Reality to support primary science education, specifically focussing on i) identifying where challenges and opportunities occur for integrating augmented reality into primary science; and ii) understanding user needs to create a more meaningful AR learning experience.

Approach: Our aim was to gain a holistic insight into how AR experiences should be best integrated into contexts of primary school science teaching. Therefore, we chose to employ a Service Design approach for our investigation. Service design adopts a designer’s approach towards tackling a problem where it initially investigates the need of an end user, transitioning onto rapidly experimenting and prototyping. When we are challenged to provide better services and end -to end customer experiences, ‘service design’ uses a pragmatic iterative approach towards developing whole new propositions particularly based on new technologies.

Results: Both qualitative and quantitative data was collected during the research process. Qualitative data included responses from the questionnaire, collecting lesson plans, keynotes from observations, transcripts from contextual interviews, and recordings from focus groups. Qualitative data analysis computer software (NVivo) produced emerging patterns to steer the direction of the study.

Conclusion: When reflecting upon the studies of Akcayir, et al (2017); Wang, et al (2017); Radu (2014); Yuen, et al (2011), we see they suggest educators and designers need to collaborate in terms of creating sound pedagogy to develop AR applications that are ‘meaningful’ and ‘maximise on learning outcomes. By looking at AR through the lens of a service we have highlighted where opportunities occur and equally where barriers prevent AR adoption.

The use of Augmented and Virtual Reality in the classroom

M. D. Saunders - York College


Objectives: To examine the existing literature relating to the use of Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality (AR and VR) in the classroom to identify the efficacy of these approaches in learning.

Approach: Literature review of secondary research to identify the existing literature which identifies the effect of AR and VR on learning. Using the available online sources, a range of papers were identified and used to create a short bulletin for staff.

Results: The short, referenced report, using a range of recent references, considered the efficacy of Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality in the classroom. This proved that Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality increase student engagement and learning, especially when used in a blended approach with face-to-face teaching methods.

Conclusion: York College has reached the conclusion that AR and VR are effective in increasing the rate at which students learn and is now working on identifying the best hardware and software solutions to allow the College to use them with its students.

Response to flushing with concentrates on fertility including scanning percentage in Dalesbred sheep

Kathryn Millin - Askham Bryan College


Objectives: Flushing is a common management technique practised throughout the UK prior to mating, however there is little research into the significance of different techniques of flushing and their response in a range of sheep breeds. The studies aim is to assess whether there is a difference in fertility when ewes are flushed on grass or grass and additional concentrates in a flock of Dalesbred ewes at different Body Condition Score (BCS).

Approach: A sample of 351 commercial Dalesbred ewes were split into two equal groups (176 and 175) and flushed in different ways for 14 days prior to mating. The first group was flushed using concentrates and grass, with the second group being flushed on grass solely. BCS was recorded to be in a range of 2 – 4 and was recorded 3 times throughout the study. Scanning results and conception rates were recorded and compared in relation to BCS and flushing technique.

Results: Chi2 for association, Fisher’s Exact and Chi2 goodness of fit analysis' were run on the data collected. The results found that flushing technique had no significant association on the fertility of Dalesbred ewes, however the BCS at tupping was of significance for scanning results. The study shows that ewes within the BCS range of 3.5-4 performed greatest in relation to fertility rates, litter size and fecundity.

Conclusion: It was concluded that the BCS of ewes overrides the flushing technique used and therefore, feeding to gain condition should be carried out prior to mating in order for the flock to be in optimum BCS. Future work should be focused on BCS and its relationship with fertility in different breeds and at different scores on the scale.

A report of the sustainability of Askham Bryan College and Wildlife and Conservation park

Eve Pickard-Majid - Askham Bryan College

Objective: The purpose of this research was to analyse the needs of sustainability in the current climate and world within the sustainability industry. This includes the history of sustainability and discussing the differences in prices of practices such as solar panels and their effect on electrical bills. The objectives of this research were to research into sustainable practices and improvements in these practices for the future through alternatives and bettering current practices.

Approach: The approach to this research was to communicate with Askham Bryan wildlife and conservation park and discuss their present sustainability and recommend future sustainability practices, with data and previous research. A reoccurring trend in this research was the implications of minor sustainable practices in business that could be used wider.

Results: The result of this research is that Askham Bryan Wildlife and Conservation Park had multiple sustainable practices in place and plans for future of their sustainability. Also, multiple sustainable practices that were not in place were suggested and analysed for the park and the future of implementing them. Implications of this research could include increased sustainability practices in industries such as Askham Bryan Wildlife and Conservation Park, but also increased practice in the public such as increased use of rain water collections and solar panels. The longer implications could also include decrease in electrical bills and decrease in fossil fuel usage.

Conclusions: To conclude, sustainability has been increased in recent years but there can be improvements everywhere. There may be a need for additional research into how to provide sustainable practices more widely and economical.

How does irrigation affect the yield and quality of Maris Piper potatoes?

H. Fawbert - Bishop Burton College


Irrigation is used widely by British potato growers, applying water during dry weather conditions is said to improve the yield and quality of the potato crops (AHDB, 2020). Water is becoming an increasingly expensive resource for British farmers therefore it is important we understand to make the best use of what is available (Bambridge, 2018). In order to achieve improved yield and quality, it is essential that specific variety requirements are understood and irrigation scheduling is accurate and effective. The project took place in Field 11 at Pasture Farm, Goole, part of Elveden Farms. A total area of 10.1 hectare was planted in early April with Maris Piper potatoes, seed size 45/55. The potatoes were irrigated using an overhead rain gun method, 7.9 hectare were irrigated and 2.2 were unirrigated. The potatoes were harvested in the field and samples consisting of 30 tubers were taken from each trailer before they were graded. The aim of the project is to assess and evaluate how irrigation affects the yield and quality of Maris Piper potatoes. In order to achieve this aim, data was gathered throughout harvesting of the potatoes by taking samples, sending the samples off for assessment and analysing the results using SPSS. One objective of the project was to assess whether irrigation significantly improves the yield of Maris Piper potatoes, however there was no statistical significance found on the dry matter (P=0.353) or total weight (P=0.053) of the potatoes. Also, the effect of irrigation on the number of defects, including irregular size and damage (common scab, greening, slug holes, bruising) was assessed and there was a statistically significant difference (P=0.002) in total defects dependent on the irrigation method, whereby more defects were found in the non-irrigated potatoes.

To investigate if farrowing accommodation influences Piglet  (Sus Scrofa Domesticus) weekly weight gain

N. Waites - Bishop Burton College


Genetic selection and Sow (Sus Scrofa Domesticus) longevity have resulted in large litters of piglets been born resulting in competition for teats as the sow’s anatomy has not changed. Pig farmers across the United Kingdom (UK) have had to adapt how they manage their herd to ensure productivity with minimal losses throughout the reproductive life of the sow. Farrowing crates have been used since the 1960’s and are extremely common on pig farms across the UK and EU because they minimise piglet losses, confine the sow and produce healthy piglets. Public perception for sow welfare during lactation has meant systems such as freedom farrowing and temporary crating systems have been introduced, however sow freedom compromises piglet safety and results in increased pre-weaning mortality.

The aim of this study was to see if there is a relationship between farrowing accommodation on piglet weekly weight gain. 56 piglets were selected weekly for 5 weeks from each farrowing accommodation at DP Morgan’s, these accommodations were: Conventional Crates, Freedom Farrowing and 360 Crates. Piglet selection was based on the day piglets were born as the piglets got weighed at day 3 when teething, tailing and intramuscular iron injection took place to reduce handling stress. All piglets selected were weighed again at day 10 during vaccinating to again reduce handling stress, day 21 and day 27 before weaning. The study shows a statistically significant difference between farrowing accommodation and weekly weight change with Freedom Farrowing being the best farrowing system for weekly weight gain in piglets. Overall, whilst Freedom Farrowing has the greatest weight gain, further research to assess alternative welfare concepts is required to ensure that sow accommodation is beneficial for both piglets and the sows housed.

Difficulty Scaling In FPS Games Through The Introduction Of Errors In Agent Perception

Alexandru Radulescu and Andrew Guest - York St John University


Objectives: The player experience in first-person shooter games is affected by the skill and predictability of the computer controlled enemies (agents). The performance of the agents is based on the algorithms controlling decision making and the data which is used to make decisions.

Approach: This study examined the affects of degrading the quality of data through delay and noise to mimic perception flaws in the agents. A simulation was created in which two agents compete in an arena based first person shooter game. An agent with perfect information was used as a baseline to evaluate the affects of a) delayed data, and b) data distorted through the introduction of noise.

Results: The study used Spearman’s rho test to find a high negative correlation (-0,709 for overall agent accuracy and -0,539 for agent precise headshots) between agent performance and the amount of noise distortion of data. Little to no correlation (-0,83 for overall agent accuracy and -0,68 for agent precise headshots) was found when using delayed information.

Conclusions: We conclude that introducing a scalable level of noise to the data used by agents to make decisions provides a simple method of scaling the performance of agents and thus a simple method to scale the difficulty of first person shooter games.

Embedded Fall Detection System, using Accelerometer, and Threshold-based Algorithm

Daniel Tang and Aminu Usman - York St John University


The elderly who lives independently are at risk of a fall which can cause psychological, physiological, and physical injuries or death if the patient cannot receive immediate medical assistance. To reduce further injuries or death, a fall detection can be used to contact staff to assist the elderly.

Approach: The approach is to use threshold-base algorhtm using 3-Dimensional Vector scaling to determine if a fall had occurred by using accelrometer and gyroscope to measure the rotation acceleration such as change of postion in the X, Y, and Z axis using the MPU6050 accelerometer and gyroscope. Participants conduct 8 different type of activities such as walking, falling, etc. Overall there are 4 falls and 4 activity of daily living.

Results: Sensitivity is 90% of falls were identified by the fall detection system, specificity gave 85% of the activity of daily living was not flagged up as a fall. This means that 90% of the time, the fall detection system will correctly detect Falls, while 85% of the time, the activity of daily living will not trigger the fall detection system. Overall, this experiment achieved above 80% for sensitivity and specificity, and the accuracy was 87.5%.

Conclusions: Overall, developed a fall detection system which had achieved three objectives, for future studies different approaches methods examples components, algorithms, and future work for device to enable to use cloud. and this research achieved three objectives, first, to produce a fall detection system, the second objective was to collect data and the final objective is to produce sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy above 85%, in this research has achieved all three goals, which had been achieved.

Analysing Traffic Using a 360-degree camera and ThingSpeak Analytics: a prototype

Norbert Dajnowski and Aminu Usman - York St John University


Road work planning, vehicle accident hotspot, and congestion observation are several developments achieved from traffic monitoring results. The constant increase in traffic and population raises the reliance on surveillance systems to provide accurate results, which would lead to road safety improvements. Compared to standard surveillance cameras, our implementation of a 360 camera captures the maximum field of view, essentially increasing efficiency by reducing the number of required cameras. This study proposes two solutions for detection, analysis, and data visualisation of traffic. The initial method identifies contours and verifies them by grading their size and location, whereas the second method utilises deep learning algorithms, detecting and calculating the probability of each object in the video stream. The project is constrained due to the following factors, as shown in this video: The project was not tested on the street due to ethical concerns; thus, the image processing model could not be deployed.

A Low-Cost IoT-Based Meteorological Stations

Norbert Dajnowski and Aminu Usman - York St John University


Advanced technologies and solutions are being developed for meteorological stations in order to gather the most accurate data while being cost-effective. IoT platforms are being used by governments, businesses, and individuals to develop hyper-local and very accurate small meteorological stations. IoT provides a framework for developing sensor-based solutions, collecting real-world data for analytics, and interpreting the data using algorithms. We build a low-cost LoRaWAN-based IoT meteorological station design and demonstrated the use of LoRaWAN in a multi-end node IoT system. A LoRaWAN gateway and LoRa modules were employed in the system. The server is hosted by the Things Network, and data is analysed using Thingspeak analytics. For data visualisation, we created a web app utilising Flask and Thingspeak's API.