June 24, 2017
June 24, 2017
June 28, 2017
Pre-College Engineering Education Division
Using Design Thinking Principles to Develop New Community Centered Engineering Educational Initiatives for High School Students.
The pathways of a typical high school student towards careers in engineering are fraught with obstacles; chief among them is a misconception that engineering is a singularly technical pursuit devoid of human interests. Design Thinking is a very valuable enabler to attract high school students to engineering. Design thinking facilitates inspiration, evokes ideation, and provides pathways for implementation and evaluation. This emerging discipline blends sensibility and processes, to match people’s needs with what is technologically feasible.
The paper will chronicle the creation of a new innovative high school engineering education curricula and delivery approach that was developed by a college of engineering and science together with industry partners, and regional school systems. This interactive program provided an introduction to the methods, tools, techniques, and frameworks associated with Design Thinking. Participants were introduced to, participated in, shared, and gained practical insights and experiences.
Currently, curriculum development efforts have brought the realization of engineering as a human endeavor. Such efforts are parts of various comprehensive strategies to attract students to engineering and retain them through to graduation. During 2016 the college of engineering and science developed and delivered a two-week Design Thinking Summer Camp intended to engage high school students from across the community in human-centered design activities and, in the process, lay out a vision of how an engineering education can be leveraged to create products and services that affect and improve peoples lives.
The paper will focus on five specific areas including: 1 - Providing insights into the processes, methods and techniques used to develop the curriculum, 2 - Discussing insights into the pedagogy, instruction environment and student contact hours, 3 - Gaining insights into successful collaboration and partnership models between education (high schools and universities) and industry, 4 - Sharing results, outcomes and assessment techniques, and 5 - Offering lessons learned and details on how we plan to further develop and grow future Design Thinking based programs. The insights from the paper present a successful prototype of a new community centered engineering educational initiative and methodology that can be used by others.
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