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Assessing the Impact of Incorporating the NAE Grand Challenges for Engineering as a Multidisciplinary Hands-On Design Project into the Introduction to Engineering Course

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Conference

2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

August 28, 2016

ISBN

978-0-692-68565-5

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

First-Year Programs Division Technical Session 6: Design and Design Chanllenges

Tagged Division

First-Year Programs

Page Count

21

DOI

10.18260/p.26320

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/26320

Download Count

36

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Paper Authors

biography

Haolin Zhu Arizona State University

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Dr. Haolin Zhu received her PhD in Solid Mechanics and Computational Science and Engineering from Cornell University. She is currently part of the freshmen engineering education team in the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering at Arizona State University. Currently she focuses on designing the curriculum for the freshman engineering program as well as the NAE Grand Challenge Scholars Program. She also designs and teaches courses in mechanical engineering at ASU. Her interests include innovative teaching pedagogies for increased retention and student motivation, innovations in non-traditional delivery methods, as well as structured reflective practices throughout the engineering curriculum.

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biography

Amy Trowbridge Arizona State University

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Amy Trowbridge is a Lecturer in the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering at Arizona State University (ASU), focused primarily on freshmen engineering. She is also Director of the Grand Challenge Scholars Program at ASU.

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Abstract

Assessing the Impact of Incorporating the NAE Grand Challenges for Engineering as a Multidisciplinary Hands-on Design Project into the Introduction to Engineering Course

This evidence-based practice paper will discuss the effect of incorporating a National Academy of Engineering (NAE) Grand Challenges themed project into the Introduction to Engineering course on first year students’ motivation, value, and perception of engineering. The NAE has identified 14 Grand Challenges for Engineering [1] and engineering students need to be prepared to help solve these challenges. Many institutions have responded to this and have established the Grand Challenge Scholars Program which aims to educate the next generation of engineers who will be prepared for these challenges [2]. However, only a selected group of students are enrolled in the program and most engineering students are not provided with the opportunities to learn about the NAE Grand Challenges for Engineering. A few efforts have been made in the past to incorporate the NAE Grand Challenges for Engineering in the first-year curriculum and research has shown that this has increased course effectiveness and student motivation [3-5], and has fostered student critical thinking abilities and changed their awareness of engineer’s role in the global community [6]. This work aims to observe similar effects due to the incorporation of NAE Grand Challenges into the Introduction to Engineering team design project.

At Arizona State University, the NAE Grand Challenges for Engineering have been incorporated in the 2-credit Introduction to Engineering course as the subject of a multidisciplinary hands-on team design project. The three Grand Challenges that were selected for inclusion in this project were make solar energy economical, provide access to clean water, and advance personalized learning; a real world problem was formulated for each of these three areas. In the design project, student teams work through the engineering design process to design a solution to the problem, build a functional prototype of their solution, and test their prototype to demonstrate the effectiveness of their solution. Prior to the project, a jigsaw activity was used to introduce students to all of the 14 NAE Grand Challenges to provide context for the project. The impact of this novel way of incorporating the NAE Grand Challenges for Engineering in the first-year curriculum on student motivation, value, and their perception of engineering and engineers’ role in the society will be assessed. A custom survey instrument based on APPLES (academic pathways of people learning engineering) [7], the engineering motivation survey [8], and the model of situational interest in classroom setting [9] will be administered to students enrolled in 5 sections of this course taught in the Fall 2015 semester. The survey will be administered once at the beginning of the semester and once at the end of the semester after students have completed the design project. Both quantitative and qualitative results will be analyzed and presented.

References

[1] National Academy of Engineering Grand Challenges for Engineering. http://www.engineeringchallenges.org/cms/challenges.aspx

[2] Grand Challenge Scholars Program. http://www.engineeringchallenges.org/14365/GrandChallengeScholarsProgram.aspx

[3] Huettel, L. G., Gustafson, M. R., Nadeau, J. C.., Schaad, D., Barger, M. M., Linnenbrink-Garcia, L., “A Grand Challenge-Based Framework for Contextual Learning in Engineering”, in American Society for Engineering Education Conference, Proceedings of, Atlanta, GA, 2013.

[4] Huettel, L. G., Gustafson, M. R., Nadeau, J. C.., Schaad, D., Barger, M. M., Linnenbrink-Garcia, L., “Evidence for the Effectiveness of a Grand Challenge-Based Framework for Contextual Learning”, in American Society for Engineering Education Conference, Proceedings of, Indianapolis, IN, 2014.

[5] Corneal, L., “Use of the National Academy of Engineering’s Grand Challenges for Engineering as a semester-long project for an Introduction to Engineering course”, in American Society for Engineering Education Conference, Proceedings of, Indianapolis, IN, 2014.

[6] Thompson, A., Ralston, P. A., “Using the Engineering Grand Challenges to Foster Critical Thinking and Awareness of the Engineer’s Role in the Global Community”, in American Society for Engineering Education Conference, Proceedings of, Seattle, WA, 2015.

[7] Sheppard, S., S. Gilmartin, H. L. Chen, K. Donaldson, G. Lichtenstein, E. Özgür, M. Lande, and G. Toye., 2010. Exploring the engineering student experience: findings from the academic pathways of people learning engineering survey (APPLES) (TR-10-01). Technical Report CAEE-TR-10-01. Seattle, WA: Center for theAdvancement for Engineering Education, September.

[8] Brown, P. R., “Unlocking student motivation: development of an engineering motivation survey”, in American Society for Engineering Education Conference, Proceedings of, Atlanta, GA, 2013.

[9] Linnenbrink-Garcia, L., Durik, A. M., Conley, A. M., Barron, K. E., Tauer, J. M., Karabenick, S. A., Harackiewicz, J. M., “Measuring situational interest in academic domains”, in Education and Psychological Measurement, DOI: 10.1177/0013164409355699

Zhu, H., & Trowbridge, A. (2016, June), Assessing the Impact of Incorporating the NAE Grand Challenges for Engineering as a Multidisciplinary Hands-On Design Project into the Introduction to Engineering Course Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.26320

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