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Board # 14 :Development and Implementation of a New Hands-on Freshman Engineering Design Course that Promotes Inclusiveness and Retention (Work in Progress)

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2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

Biomedical Division Poster Session

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Tracy Jane Puccinelli University of Wisconsin, Madison

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In 2011, Puccinelli joined the Biomedical Engineering (BME) Department. As part of the BME design faculty, she works on curriculum development, as well as innovative approaches for teaching design. Puccinelli coordinates BME outreach, advising BME seniors as they develop interactive, hands-on activities for K-12 students that teach biomedical engineering concepts. Additionally, in 2012, she began teaching an introductory engineering course (Introduction to Engineering Design) to incoming freshmen in the College of Engineering. In 2014, Puccinelli became a coordinator for the Introduction to Engineering Design course, which had become a popular course with more than 900-1000 students enrolled per year. When the college restructured and ended all freshman engineering courses, Puccinelli proposed two new multi-disciplinary freshman engineering courses in 2015: A 2 credit hands-on design course, and a 1 credit seminar style course. The hands-on course is now required for half of the engineering college and the seminar informational course is now required for all engineering freshman. Puccinelli is coordinating and teaching both courses this academic year (2016/17).

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Carla Winsor University of Wisconsin, Madison

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Carla Winsor is a graduate student and teaching assistant at the University of Wisconsin - Madison. She conducts research in Mechanical Engineering specializing in Solid Mechanics and Orthopedic Biomechanics. This spring, she began a teaching assistant appointment teaching Design of Machine Elements for Junior level students. Carla works to promote women in Mechanical Engineering and mentors high school students, encouraging them to pursue STEM majors. Her professional background includes: a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering, a Bachelor of Business Administration in Organizational Leadership, active duty service in the United States Coast Guard, a co-op at Sandia National Laboratories, and an externship at the Museum of Science and Industry. In May, she will graduate with a dual Masters in Engineering Mechanics and Mechanical Engineering, before continuing her PhD studies.

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It is widely acknowledged that the freshman engineering experience is a critical time with an opportunity to make students feel welcome and increase retention, particularly of underrepresented minorities including women. Our college has a long history of offering a variety of introductory multi-disciplinary freshman engineering courses. Our most popular course, Intro 160, was a 3 credit course with a hands-on client-based design lab and a seminar style lecture. Recently, our college has decided to end all centrally funded multi-disciplinary freshman engineering courses, primarily due to budget cuts, and charged departments with the task of developing and funding their own freshman engineering courses. We developed a new freshman multi-disciplinary (several different engineering disciplines) hands-on design course to take the place of the most popular freshman engineering course, Intro 160.

Puccinelli, T. J., & Winsor, C. (2017, June), Board # 14 :Development and Implementation of a New Hands-on Freshman Engineering Design Course that Promotes Inclusiveness and Retention (Work in Progress) Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--27751

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