Asee peer logo

A Re-Design of the OneCar: A Project Based Learning Assignment for First Year Engineering Students

Download Paper |


2021 First-Year Engineering Experience



Publication Date

August 9, 2021

Start Date

August 9, 2021

End Date

August 21, 2021

Page Count


Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Matt Caputo Penn State Shenango

visit author page

Matt Caputo is an Assistant Teaching Professor of Engineering at Penn State Shenango. His research interests involve Additive Manufacturing, Shape Memory Alloys, Sintering and Engineering Education.

visit author page

author page

Georgia Macris Penn State University


Daudi R Waryoba Pennsylvania State University, DuBois Campus Orcid 16x16

visit author page

Dr. Waryoba is a Program Coordinator for the B.S. Engineering, Applied Materials at Penn State DuBois. His research interests include thermo-mechanical processing, synthesis, and characterization of metallic materials, and the relationships between the structure, properties, processing, and performance of these materials; experimental and numerical modeling methods to investigate and elucidate the mechanics occurring during plastic deformation, recrystallization, and grain growth, and factors and mechanisms responsible for the formation and development of deformation and recrystallization texture, microstructure, and grain boundary structure; and the optimization of properties in additively manufactured and sintered powdered metals.

visit author page

Download Paper |


This work focuses on the beneficial educational characteristics of a project based learning assignment, introduced to first year engineering students during their introduction to engineering design course. This project tasks students with re-designing and manufacturing the OnecarTM. The OnecarTM is a commercially available comprehensive Science Technology Engineering & Mathematics (STEM) kit that utilizes fundamental concepts of mechanics and energy to produce motion in a simple chassis. From this kit, students explore various energy sources, such as solar panels, capacitors, batteries, (Used to power electric motors that produce rotational motion) as well as chemical reactions, compressed air, and elastic potential energy; in order to produce a displacement. Each energy source is based on a scientific principal; such as force and motion, electricity, renewable energy etc.. Students are assigned to a group of 3-4 to work as a “team” of engineers that test the current designs of the OnecarTM and evaluate their functionality based on velocity. Afterwards, students are asked to identify three of the top motion-generating energy sources and rank the performances. Students then design and fabricate new cars with the goal of increasing the velocity. The results of product testing, product re-design, prototyping, and prototype evaluation from the groups will be presented in this work. Additionally, the models and design approaches taken by the students will be highlighted and discussed. Furthermore, supplemental educational components acquired from the project will be underlined. Responses from students’ feedback suggests that they benefited from the project and collectively agree that this work helped them gain awareness into how to manage time, communicate, and collaborate in the group setting.

Caputo, M., & Macris, G., & Waryoba, D. R. (2021, August), A Re-Design of the OneCar: A Project Based Learning Assignment for First Year Engineering Students Paper presented at 2021 First-Year Engineering Experience, Virtual .

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2021 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015