June 14, 2015
June 14, 2015
June 17, 2015
Entrepreneurship & Engineering Innovation
26.261.1 - 26.261.14
Assessment of Innovative Skill Development in Weekend ChallengesRecent reports have highlighted the need to promote development of innovative skills andentrepreneurial mindsets among undergraduate engineering students. Research data show thatboth curricular and co-curricular activities can play a significant role in the development of theseskills. Introducing new modules or updating the traditional curriculum to address innovation andentrepreneurial minds could be challenging due to the need to meet ABET requirements whilemaintaining the overall credit hour required for the degree. However, there is great flexibility indesigning co-curricular programs to promote these skills. The flexibility is associated both withthe type and duration of the activity but also with the unique opportunities offered for activeindustry engagement. Furthermore, since the participants of the co-curricular programs havemade the choice to participate in a non-required activity, their level of engagement is expected tobe of greater depth and thus the impact of the program is expected to be significant. The recentfocus on “maker” spaces across the country offers a unique opportunity for innovative co-curricular program which make use of such facilities. This paper will discuss an innovative 48-hour weekend challenge with focus on rapid development of hardware prototypes for needsidentified by industry and non-profit organizations. Engineering undergraduate and graduatestudents along with students from the medical school have participated in this program offered ata large public institution. The program goals are to offer students an opportunity to work onmultidisciplinary team projects and develop innovative solutions thru access to a unique makerspace facility, professional staff, and industry. Furthermore, student teams are encouraged topursue their innovation beyond the 48-hour event and explore its potential forcommercialization. The program has been met with huge success and this paper will describe theprogram development, implementation, and assessment. The assessment data include studentself- assessment, industry observations, and post-event student industry collaborations.
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