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An Engineering Experiences Course For Non Calculus Freshman

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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

ASEE Multimedia Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.193.1 - 8.193.7



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Paper Authors

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Paul Johnson

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Harold Larson

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Charles Standridge

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Shirley Fleischmann

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

Session 2793

An Engineering Experiences Course for Non-Calculus Freshman

Charles R. Standridge, Shirley T. Fleischmann, Harold T. Larson, Paul D. Johnson Grand Valley State University


We have developed and taught several times an engineering experiences course for our non- calculus ready freshman students. Students, usually in teams, perform a series of active learning exercises that expose them to typical engineering tasks, to the various engineering disciplines, and to engineering ethics. Reading assignments allow them to explore engineering successes and failures of the past as well as strategies for doing well as an engineering student. Mathematics assignments provide an introduction to fundamental engineering concepts and calculations such as stress and strain. Weekly assignments are given that require students to provide written reactions to the readings as well as to solving basic engineering problems mathematically. The course helps build student interest and enthusiasm for their engineering education as well as assisting students to decide whether engineering is a profession that suits their interests and abilities.

1. Introduction

Approximately half of all students who declare engineering as their major upon entering Grand Valley State University (GVSU) from high school are not prepared to enroll in the first calculus course. This is due to a variety of reasons. Student may not have had the opportunity for adequate mathematics preparation or may not have the ability necessary to handle college level mathematics. They may need to improve upon their problem solving skills and other learning skills. They may need time to explore whether or not their interests and abilities are sufficient to effectively learn the mathematics and science that are prerequisite for success in engineering. They may need more exposure to engineering to make a final commitment to the intense education process that lies in front of them.

Such students have unique advising and educational needs. Thus, a fundamental issue in any engineering curriculum is how to engage these students in the engineering educational process as well as to assist them in developing the skills necessary for success while they gain the mathematics background required to begin calculus. Student interest in and enthusiasm for engineering education must be built. Through instruction and advising, students must gain the information and insight necessary to decide if their interests and abilities are well suited to a career in engineering.

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

Johnson, P., & Larson, H., & Standridge, C., & Fleischmann, S. (2003, June), An Engineering Experiences Course For Non Calculus Freshman Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. 10.18260/1-2--12566

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