June 15, 2014
June 15, 2014
June 18, 2014
Division Experimentation & Lab-Oriented Studies
NSF Grantees Poster Session
24.116.1 - 24.116.12
A Summer Program to promote an Integrated Undergraduate Research and Group Design ExperienceThe current REU program provides undergraduate students in engineering and related fields anopportunity to participate in ongoing active research programs, including the development ofmicro air vehicles, multi-modal robots, active flow control, aeroacoustics, sensors and actuators,smart materials, etc.. The multidisciplinary nature of these projects has engage students in cross-cutting technologies by inspiring the integration and synthesis of ideas and facilitating a betterunderstanding of engineering design at the system level.For the past two summers, we have recruited 33 REU students, 22 external and 11 internalstudents in the program. Among external participants, seven are international exchange studentsfrom three Brazilian universities. During the 10-week summer program, they were assigned to28 projects supervised by 10 engineering faculty and more than 20 postdoc/graduate studentmentors. In addition to their individual projects, REU students were engaged in group activitiesincluding group design project, research lab tours, weekly seminars, outreach and socialactivities. The summer programs were culminated in a whole-day research symposium withindividual and group presentations plus poster sessions.One unique aspect of the program is the integration of the group design experience into thesummer program. Students were assigned in groups to work in design projects relevant to theirassigned research tasks. Group collaboration sessions were reserved for all REU students toshare their experiences and work on group projects. Two open-ended design projects wereimplemented: (1) Use of smart materials to develop multi-modal movement and agility in 2012.(2) The development of a quad-rotor aircraft with indoor maneuverability in 2013. In the paper,we will discuss lessons learned in the coordination of the group project and propose a strategy tooptimize the integration of REU students’ individual research efforts with the group designproject to further enhance the overall REU experience.
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