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Board # 107 : Teaching Bio-inspired Design Using C-K Theory

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Conference

2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2018

Conference Session

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Tagged Topic

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count

13

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/27680

Download Count

25

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Paper Authors

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Jacquelyn Kay Nagel James Madison University

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Dr. Jacquelyn K. Nagel is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Engineering at James Madison University. She has eight years of diversified engineering design experience, both in academia and industry, and has experienced engineering design in a range of contexts, including product design, bio-inspired design, electrical and control system design, manufacturing system design, and design for the factory floor. Dr. Nagel earned her Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Oregon State University and her M.S. and B.S. in manufacturing engineering and electrical engineering, respectively, from the Missouri University of Science and Technology. Dr. Nagel’s long-term goal is to drive engineering innovation by applying her multidisciplinary engineering expertise to instrumentation and manufacturing challenges.

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Christopher Stewart Rose James Madison University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0003-4215-297X

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I do research on the anatomy, development and evolution of amphibians and I teach courses on the comparative anatomy of vertebrate animals, animal development, human development and evolution, scientific writing, and biology in the movies.

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Ramana Pidaparti University of Georgia

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Ramana Pidaparti, is currently a Professor of Mechanical Engineering at VCU. Dr. Pidaparti received his Ph.D. degree in Aeronautics & Astronautics from Purdue University, West Lafayette in 1989. In 2004, he joined the Virginia Commonwealth University as a Professor of Mechanical Engineering. He has taught previously at Purdue University campus in Indianapolis (IUPUI). He has taught several courses in design, mechanics of materials, optimization, and directed many interdisciplinary projects related to design. Dr. Pidaparti's research interests are in the broad areas of multi-disciplinary design, computational mechanics, nanotechnology, and related topics. Dr. Pidaparti has published over 250 technical papers in refereed journals and conference proceedings. Dr. Pidaparti received a Research Initiation Award from the National Science Foundation and the Young Investigator Award from the Whitaker Foundation. He is a member of Tau Beta Pi, Sigma Gamma Tau, and Who's Who societies. He is a member of professional societies including AIAA (Associate Fellow), AAAS (Fellow), ASME (Fellow), RAeS (Fellow), and ASEE (member). Dr. Pidaparti will move to University of Georgia in January 2014 as a professor of mechanical engineering.

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Cheryl Lea Beverly James Madison University

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Cheryl Beverly is a Professor in the Learning, Technology and Leadership Education department in the College of Education. She has 12 years of K-12 teaching experience working with learners with high incidence disabilities in urban and rural high needs communities. Since entering Higher Education, Dr. Beverly has worked preparing teachers to provide access, opportunity, encouragement, engagement, and critical feedback to ideas, activities, people, spaces, and learning for diverse populations , providing professional development in leadership and inclusive education with international teachers, and developing models of cultural/global competence and study abroad programs. Central to Dr. Beverly's work is interdisciplinary collaborations and the many interconnections of knowledge, meaning making, learning and teaching.

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Peyton Leigh Pittman

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Abstract

The engineer of 2020 is expected to not only offer technical ingenuity but also adapt to a continuously evolving environment while being able to operate outside the narrow limits of one discipline and be ethically grounded in solving the complex problems of the future. To address the competencies of the future engineer, undergraduate education must train students to not only solve engineering challenges that transcend disciplinary boundaries, but also communicate, transfer knowledge, and collaborate across technical and non-technical boundaries. One approach to train engineers in these competencies is teaching biomimicry or bio-inspired design in an engineering curriculum, which offers relevance to professional practice as well as an affective hook to frame complex, cross-disciplinary problems.  This research addresses the need for undergraduate student training in multidisciplinary design innovation through the creation of instructional resources grounded in Concept-Knowledge (C-K) Theory. C-K theory is used as it is known for integrating multiple domains of information and facilitating innovation through connection building.  The instructional resources include lectures, in-class activities, assignments, rubrics and templates that scaffold the discovery and knowledge transfer processes such that the natural designs can be used to inspire engineering solutions.  

The instructional resources have been deployed at two predominately undergraduate institutions (PUIs) in the second-year engineering curriculum.  All students were given a lecture on bio-inspired design and asked to complete the C-K mapping template in class as part of learning activities to understand the process of discovery, and again in their assignment to scaffold application to the course project. Analysis of the student-generated templates using a rubric shows that students were able to successfully use information (knowledge transfer) to make connections between biology and engineering for creating solutions for design problems. Additionally, all students were asked to respond to six reflection questions regarding the content (biology) and process (bio-inspired design). Qualitative content analysis of second-year engineering student reflection statements shows that in both populations the instructional resources resulted in significant learning of both biology and bio-inspired design, as well as learning engagement and value of the experience.  The themes that emerged from the student responses to each reflection question correlate well with the objectives of the research.  An unanticipated, but significant, result is that some students used existing biology knowledge to help understand engineered components and systems, meaning they learned more about engineering through biology. This unanticipated result points toward the significance of teaching bio-inspired design in an engineering curriculum. Teaching bio-inspired design in an engineering curriculum using interdisciplinary approaches will not only develop competencies of the 21st century engineer but also enable undergraduate students to become change agents and promote a sustainable future. 

Nagel, J. K., & Rose, C. S., & Pidaparti, R., & Beverly, C. L., & Pittman, P. L. (2017, June), Board # 107 : Teaching Bio-inspired Design Using C-K Theory Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. https://peer.asee.org/27680

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