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A Project Based Approach To Introduction To Engineering

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2017 FYEE Conference


Daytona Beach, Florida

Publication Date

August 6, 2017

Start Date

August 6, 2017

End Date

August 8, 2017

Conference Session

Enrollment, Instruction and Pedagogy - Focus on Design-Based Projects

Tagged Topic

FYEE Division - Paper Submission

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Paper Authors


Rouzbeh Tehrani Temple University

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Rouzbeh Tehrani is the graduate coordinator of the civil and environmental engineering department and an assistant professor at Temple University. He also serves as the co-chair of AEESP education committee. He has been involved in teaching and developing labs and teaching materials for several courses such as Introduction to Engineering, science GenEds, Environmental Chemistry and Microbiology, and Water Quality and Treatment since 2013.

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Mohammad F. Kiani Temple University

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Evangelia Bellas Temple University


John Joseph Helferty Temple University

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Dr . John J. Helferty is an Associate Professor of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. He received his undergraduate degree in Electrical Engineering Technology from Temple University in 1983, his M.S. and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Drexel University in 1984 and 1987, respectively. Dr Helferty has received four American Society for Engineering Education Faculty Fellowships, of which two were at the Naval Air Development Center in PA and the other two were at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena CA. Currently he is working on NASA funded projects for the design and construction of autonomous mobile robots and rotorcraft that perform coordinated tasks. Other NASA projects include high altitude ballooning experiments and payload design for sounding rockets flown out of Wallops Island Flight Facility.

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Won H Suh Bioengineering Department, College of Engineering, Temple University

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Dr. Won H. (Jon) Suh is an assistant professor in the Bioengineering Department at Temple University, Philadelphia, PA. Prior to joining Temple as a faculty member, Dr. Suh was an assistant project scientist and postdoctoral fellow at the University of California, Berkeley (2009-2012) in the Department of Bioengineering. He was an Otis Williams Postdoctoral Fellow in Bioengineering at the University of California, Santa Barbara (2008-2010), which is where he started working in the area of stem cell engineering, biomaterials research, bionanotechnology, nanomedicine, and nanotoxicology. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (2006) and received his M.S. (2002) and B.S. (1998) degrees from Seoul National University. His current research focuses on developing enabling technologies (e.g., biomaterials, nanomaterials, biomolecules) for adult stem cell research.

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A Project Based Approach To Introduction To Engineering Temple University, Philadelphia Rouzbeh Tehrani, John J. Helferty, Mohammad F. Kiani, Won H. Suh, Evangelia Bellas, and David Brookstein

A new model has been designed and implemented for the Introduction to Engineering course at Temple University. In the past, the course was run as a large lecture style and various topics were covered, such as time management, career options, on-campus tutoring and resource centers to name a few. Based on student feedback and low retention rates, it was obvious that a new model was needed. The focus was to be much more hands-on and use a project-oriented approach. In addition, multiple instructors were employed from four departments, and it was decided that each instructor would teach topics very specific to the departments. The large lecture mode was removed in favor of splitting the freshman class of approximately 320 students in two sections of 160 each. Then, within each section, students are divided into four groups of approximately 40 students per group. Students do rotations among instructors from the various departments. The entire course is centered on the design projects specific to that departments/instructors’ field of expertise. The course begins with a week of introduction to the course, requirements and grading, rotations, and scientific methods. Each rotation takes two weeks to complete. During these rotations, students are taught to use 3D printers, Arduino microcontrollers, MS Excel, LED circuits, laser cutters, microscopy, SOLIDWORKS, UAVs, K’NEX, and water quality measuring devices. The last part of this course is completion of a 4-week interdisciplinary design project. Students are allowed to select any of these projects regardless of their discipline. The interdisciplinary projects offered are bioengineering and electrical engineering, civil and environmental engineering, civil and mechanical engineering, and mechanical and electrical engineering. We are currently monitoring retention rate, student success in match extensive courses, and students’ education experience.

Tehrani, R., & Kiani, M. F., & Bellas, E., & Helferty, J. J., & Suh, W. H. (2017, August), A Project Based Approach To Introduction To Engineering Paper presented at 2017 FYEE Conference, Daytona Beach, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--29397

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