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Bringing students to real-world training environment through service-learning senior capstone projects with K-12 outreach activities

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2019 Pacific Southwest Section Meeting


California State University, Los Angeles , California

Publication Date

April 4, 2019

Start Date

April 4, 2019

End Date

April 6, 2019

Conference Session

PSW Section Meeting Papers - Disregard start and end time - for online paper access only

Tagged Topics

Diversity and Pacific Southwest Section Meeting Paper Submissions

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Paper Authors


Zhen Yu California State Polytechnic University, Pomona Orcid 16x16

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Dr. Jenny Zhen Yu received her Ph.D. (2006) from University of California, Irvine (with Prof. Peter Burke). In 2006 she became a Lead Nanofabrication Engineer at RF Nano Corporation. She was one of the First Employees for this leading carbon nanotube company, which was co-founded by doctoral advisor Peter Burke, to commercialize her Ph.D. thesis work, this thesis formed the core basis of the company technology. She joined the faculty at the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona as an Assistant Professor in 2014. She has expertise in the areas of Nanotechnology with application in nanomaterial synthesis, electronics devices fabrication and characterization, low cost and robust manufacturing processes, 3D printing of energy storage device for UAVs and water contamination treatment. Her research has resulted in patent applications, peer-reviewed journal papers and book chapters, and has been sponsored by California State University (CSU) Agricultural Research Institute (ARI), NASA CPP Startup, and other industry and government grants. She is also active in her professional societies. As a Senior Member of Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE), she has served as the Guest Editor, Journal/ Conference paper reviewer, Chair of the Conference Symposium, Chair of the Electron Devices, Circuit and System (EDCAS) Chapter, Chair of Women in Engineering (WiE) and Chair of the Nanotechnology Council Chapter in IEEE Foothill Section.

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Ha Thu Le California State Polytechnic University Pomona

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Dr. Ha Thu Le earned her BSEE from Odessa College (Ukraine), MEEE from the University of Queensland (Australia), MS and PhD degree from the University of Texas at Austin (Electrical and Computer Engineering, 2008 and 2010). Presently, she is an Assistant Professor at the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, Cal Poly Pomona. Prior to joining CPP, she has over 12-year work experience with several industrial, research, and academic institutions in Vietnam and in the U.S. Between 2007 and 2011, she was a developer and/or Co-PI of three US-based research projects, which were funded by the National Science Foundation with the total funding of US$1.05 million. Her research topics and interests include wind and solar power, Smart Grid, energy storage, power system stability and protection, demand response, distributed generation, optimization, electric vehicles, and engineering education.
Dr. Le has won over 115K in 9 awards and grants from CPP between 2013 and 2018. She is very active in providing service to the university and engineering community. She is a Senior Member of IEEE, a reviewer for 10 international journals and CRC Press, a member and/or chair of various service and academic committees at Cal Poly Pomona, and an advisor of the Power and Energy Student club. Email: or

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Service learning is an innovative training technique where a service project or service experience is incorporated in an academic course and is evaluated as part of the course overall grade. In this paper, we present the design, implementation, and outcomes of a senior project capstone course where service learning content and K-12 outreach activities are incorporated. We collaborated with a community partner, Ganesha High School in Pomona city, to provide students with service learning experiences. The first course project includes an outreach seminar to introduce solar energy to the high school students and an A-to-Z project to build a solar charging station. The second course project includes developing computer programs and teaching the high school students 3-D printing techniques. Both projects aim to motivate participated students to apply engineering knowledge to serve people. The two projects proved to be exciting experiences for the college students. They are highly engaged and motivated to work on the projects. We observed that the senior project teams become more responsible and proactive regarding their work. They applied critical thinking skills and creativeness in developing 3-D printing programs, building the solar charging station, making presentations, and implementation of the entire projects. At the conclusion of the projects, we have donated the solar charging station of $1700 value to the community partner. Overall, the experiences have opened the student eyes and minds to the real-world situations where they interact with people who have specific needs and constraints. These factors motivate them to learn and work responsibly.

Yu, Z., & Le, H. T. (2019, April), Bringing students to real-world training environment through service-learning senior capstone projects with K-12 outreach activities Paper presented at 2019 Pacific Southwest Section Meeting, California State University, Los Angeles , California. 10.18260/1-2--31820

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