New Orleans, Louisiana
June 26, 2016
June 26, 2016
August 28, 2016
Cal Poly Pomona is one of the only seven polytechnic universities in the nation and its College of Engineering graduates 1 of every 14 engineers in the state of California. Our engineering graduates are well-respected and employed by both large corporations and small businesses in California and around the country. There is a greater need today to educate our students with multi-disciplinary skills than ever before while we are still facing the challenge of recruiting and retaining engineering students. Researchers have studied these issues and one of the many challenges is the lack of preparation. The real preparation for engineering begins in high school. However, first year engineering courses can play a significant role in motivating and providing important skills to freshmen students. Numerous engineering educators have introduced innovative first year engineering courses focused on engaging students early on. ME 100L is an introductory engineering course required by all incoming mechanical engineering students at Cal Poly Pomona. It is a 1-unit course with a 3-hour lab each week. Approximately 400 incoming mechanical engineering students take this class every year. Since its inception almost two decades ago, ME 100L introduced students to the field of mechanical engineering and various career options, emphasized team work, and culminated in a rubber band car competition. The course was outdated and was long overdue for a change. With the introduction of a new first year experience course (EGR 100) common for all engineering students at Cal Poly Pomona, most of the topics of ME 100L have become redundant creating the opportunity to overhaul the course. Our students are called Net Generation. They are technology savvy, impatient and look for instant gratification. Additionally, they want to know the relevance of the material they are learning, making it difficult to frontload these students with information and telling them they will need this material later in their career. Our goal is to provide a meaningful hands-on experience to the student early in their education. We have completely redesigned ME 100L to excite our incoming first year students, provide them with a 100% hands-on experience and acquire useful and transferable skills. This paper presents our redesign efforts.
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