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A Multi Disciplinary Community Based Service Learning Project: The Girl Scout Wall Project

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2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

Outreach and Freshman Programs

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.75.1 - 8.75.11



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Paper Authors

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Margaret Pinnell

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Gabrielle Williamson

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Corinne Daprano

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session ??60

A Multi-Disciplinary Community Based Service-Learning Project: The Girl Scout Wall Project

Margaret F. Pinnell, Ph. D., Corinne Daprano, Ph.D., Gabrielle Willaimson University of Dayton

Abstract: During the fall semester of 2002, students from the Introduction to Materials Class (Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering) and the Facility Management Class (Department of Health and Sport Science) at the University of Dayton (UD) participated in a joint service-learning project with the Buckeye Trails Girl Scout Council. This service-learning project was initiated by the service-learning coordinator at UD. The overall technical goal of this project was to design and repair a climbing wall on a challenge course at a Buckeye Trails Girl Scout camp. The health and sport science students participated in this project as the “prime contractor” to the Girl Scout organization. The mechanical and aerospace engineering students served as the engineering design firms competing to be the subcontractor for this project. Students from the two disciplines were required to communicate with one another throughout the semester. Additionally, students from both disciplines were required to interact with representatives of the Girl Scout organization, retailers, student organizations, faculty members and other professionals to obtain the needed information, seek donations and facilitate construction and/or repair of the wall. This paper will focus on the involvement of the engineering students in this project. A detailed description of the project will be provided. The educational goals of this multi-disciplinary service-learning project will be presented. The techniques used to assess the outcome of this project will be discussed and the results of the assessment will be summarized. Finally, conclusions regarding the overall effectiveness of this project at meeting the academic and technical goals will be presented.

Introduction: Recent pedagogical trends in engineering education encourage both experiential learning and interaction with peers and faculty members from other majors and other engineering disciplines. One reason for this trend is that engineering educators as well as professionals from industry have recognized the fact that practicing engineers are required to work with coworkers and clients that have a variety of educational backgrounds. Experiential learning is being encouraged in engineering education because it has been recognized that students engaged in this type of learning have better retention of technical knowledge and are better able to apply what they have learned in college courses to real life situations after graduation 1-3. Furthermore, industry and academia have identified the need for the development of soft skills in engineering students. Among these soft skills includes oral and written communication, project management, team skills including collaboration and leadership, an appreciation of different cultures and business practices, engineering ethics and understanding the societal, economic and environmental impacts of engineering decisions 2-5. Experiential learning as well as the

Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2003, American Society for Engineering Education

Pinnell, M., & Williamson, G., & Daprano, C. (2003, June), A Multi Disciplinary Community Based Service Learning Project: The Girl Scout Wall Project Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. 10.18260/1-2--12389

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