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Collaborative Class Projects Between The Manufacturing Engineering Program And The Child Development Program

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2006 Annual Conference & Exposition


Chicago, Illinois

Publication Date

June 18, 2006

Start Date

June 18, 2006

End Date

June 21, 2006



Conference Session

Advancing Manufacturing Education Through Outreach and Collaboration

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Page Count


Page Numbers

11.329.1 - 11.329.9

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Paper Authors

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Dave Kim Washington State University-Vancouver

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Jan Jewett Washington State University-Vancouver

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Collaborative Class Projects between the Manufacturing Engineering Program and the Child Development Program

Dave Kim1, Jan Jewett2 1 School of Engineering and Computer Science, Washington State University Vancouver, Vancouver, WA/ 2 Human Development, Washington State University Vancouver, Vancouver, WA


This paper presents a collaborative manufacturing project between the Manufacturing Engineering (MfgE) program and the Child Development program (CDP) – a preschool program – at Washington State University Vancouver. In the MfgE Program, a two credit course named “Advanced Manufacturing Processes Lab” allows the students to integrate course materials from the entire MfgE curriculum into open- ended, student-designed and fabricated projects. The MfgE program assisted the CDP to fabricate a “learning center” or station that encourages children to work in a variety of ways with water. This station would allow children to investigate ways to make water move and to observe and study the ways that water moves naturally. The students in the Advanced Manufacturing Processes Lab course worked closely with faculty and staff in the CDP to design and fabricate the stations. This paper presents details of organizing and managing such a collaborative activity between two different programs. Overall student experience and lessons learned in organizing such a project are also discussed.

1. Introduction

The preparation of skilled engineers requires a comprehensive and multidimensional approach. “The men and women who will be 21st Century engineers will exhibit leadership and multi-disciplinary teamwork…. (They) must communicate more to support and advance their ideas and proposals. To emerge from the “back- rooms”, engineers must be brought-up in a culture of teamwork, collaboration, and constant clear communication. The new engineering curricula must communicate that imperative”[1]. In order to meet a variety of skilled engineer requirements, educators have added projects to their courses [2]. In manufacturing programs, we often see engineering design and fabrication projects in the curriculum. Such projects allow for in- depth investigation of the complete engineering process from concept to product. Projects allow students to experience active, engaged learning. Through projects, students apply prior knowledge and exercise previously learned strategies in a relevant and meaningful context. Good projects also typically provide students with additional, unexpected


Kim, D., & Jewett, J. (2006, June), Collaborative Class Projects Between The Manufacturing Engineering Program And The Child Development Program Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois.

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