June 16, 2002
June 16, 2002
June 19, 2002
7.265.1 - 7.265.9
Session number 1526
Bridging the Freshman Engineering Gap by Building Mobile Robots1
M.Z. Atashbar, D.A. Miller, F. Severance, R. Tanner, and M. Suchowski
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI 49008
Introduction: Many freshman-engineering students have little or no idea of exactly what an engineer does. In addition, these students often lack even the most basic technical skills that will be required throughout their careers. These skills are often are taken for granted by instructors, e.g., use of hand tools and identifying basic components. These problems are compounded by the traditional approach to engineering education, which delays the introduction of “real” engineering work until at least two years into the curriculum. Students quickly lose focus amongst the large number of seemingly unrelated prerequisites. The end results are low retention rates and too many unmotivated and underachieving students, as demonstrated in electrical and computer engineering (ECE) programs across the country.
One means to address these problems is the use of an introductory freshman-engineering course that immediately exposes students to the essentials of their chosen profession. Indeed, most members of National Science Foundation (NSF) sponsored engineering Education Coalition have adopted this type of course as the beginnings of integrating design across engineering curriculums . This has resulted in a wealth of information on how to effectively develop and
1 This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation, under grant number NSF DUE 0088158.
Atashbar, M. (2002, June), Bridging The Freshman Engineering Gap By Building Mobile Robots Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada. 10.18260/1-2--11174
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