San Antonio, Texas
June 10, 2012
June 10, 2012
June 13, 2012
25.316.1 - 25.316.13
Client-based Projects in Freshman DesignAuthentic, client-based projects form the foundation for a new one-semester freshman designcourse at XXX University. Prior to Introduction to Engineering Design (ENGI 120) in spring2011, XXX University did not have any design-build courses for its freshman engineeringstudents. At the same time, incoming students were reporting that one of their primary interestsin engineering was to use their skills to solve real-world design problems, an opportunity thatwas only available in coursework during the senior year. Recognizing the need for a freshmanengineering design experience, the XXX Center for Engineering Leadership (RCEL) and theOshman Engineering Design Kitchen (OEDK) combined resources to begin this course. Theprimary goals for this course were to (a) provide an opportunity for students to experience thepractical engineering design process even as they are immersed in fundamental math and sciencecourses, (b) encourage students to experience how knowledge from these fundamental coursescould be put to practical use, and (c) encourage retention in engineering.In ENGI 120, students learn the engineering design process and use it to solve meaningfulproblems drawn from local hospitals, local schools, international communities, and around theXXX University campus. Each freshman design team is coached by an “apprentice leader,” anupper-class student who is taking a course in engineering leadership sponsored by RCEL.Freshman design teams directly interview clients, complete a design context review, developdesign criteria, and brainstorm and evaluate solution. Student teams prototype and test theirsolutions in the OEDK, an interdisciplinary design workshop at XXX University. Recentprojects have included modifying a wheelchair for a boy with arthrogryposis, building a medicalexamination bed for a clinic in Nicaragua, modifying a surrey bicycle for the facilities staff oncampus, and developing an elbow mannequin for physicians to practice reduction for patientswith nursemaid’s elbow. Written and oral communications are strongly emphasized in thiscourse. Student teams write weekly technical memos and give two oral presentations on theirprogress. Apprentice leaders support freshman students in developing teamwork skills,providing feedback on written or oral reports, and fabricating prototypes in the OEDK.Assessment of the course over three semesters will be presented. Knowledge of the designprocess before and after the course is assessed. Survey results indicate that freshman studentsfelt ENGI 120 had helped them develop skills in engineering design, engineering problem-solving, prototyping, teamwork, and writing and editing technical documents. The course wasless effective in helping students decide on an engineering major and see applications for theirfundamental math and science courses in engineering design. Because the course is fairly new,we do not yet have data to assess whether retention in engineering is enhanced by participation inthe freshman design course.
Saterbak, A., & Embree, M., & Oden, M. (2012, June), Client-based Projects in Freshman Design Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--21074
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