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An Engineering Course Which Fulfills A Non Major General Physical Science Requirement

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1999 Annual Conference


Charlotte, North Carolina

Publication Date

June 20, 1999

Start Date

June 20, 1999

End Date

June 23, 1999



Page Count


Page Numbers

4.67.1 - 4.67.3

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Paper Authors

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Ernest M. Kim

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

Session 3661

An Engineering Course Which Fulfills a Non-Major General Physical Science Requirement Ernest M. Kim University of San Diego


In recognition of the increasing utilization of technology in our society, an Engineering course which fulfills the general science requirement as a physical science has been taught over the last six years at the University of San Diego. The course is taught by full-time engineering faculty to non-engineering majors.

Engineering 2: Introduction to Electro-Technology, is an introduction for non-engineering majors to electrical and electronic technologies that are encountered daily. The class is structured as a three hour lecture course. Although some simple mathematical concepts requiring competence in high school algebra is required, the majority of the material strives for conceptual understanding of the underlying science of the specific technologies discussed.

The course has three purposes: 1. Students learn of the underlying scientific concepts of the technical tools used today 2. Essays on the impact of specific technologies on society are assigned to students to encourage critical thinking 3. Through discussions and technical problem-solving assignments, sufficient scientific literacy will be achieved meriting fulfillment of a non-laboratory General Education Requirement in the Physical Sciences.

I. Introduction

In typical Engineering programs, there is desire to integrate technical education with traditional liberal arts studies to educate a well-rounded engineer. Those studies include written and oral skill development, exploration of human existence through studies in philosophy and religion, and analysis of ethical issues. The liberal arts studies are usually an integral part of an engineering curriculum.

Through this integrated approach to technical education, the Engineering graduate is prepared to become a responsible member of the technical community, and society as a whole.

Unfortunately, there is fragmentation of knowledge in the undergraduate liberal arts experience brought forward by forcing a broad sampling among traditional liberal arts disciplines. The fragmentation appears to be caused by the "idea that the undergraduate curriculum is a series of (traditional) specialties to be dipped into lightly by all students." 1 By offering some General

Kim, E. M. (1999, June), An Engineering Course Which Fulfills A Non Major General Physical Science Requirement Paper presented at 1999 Annual Conference, Charlotte, North Carolina.

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