June 15, 2014
June 15, 2014
June 18, 2014
Entrepreneurship & Engineering Innovation
24.289.1 - 24.289.14
Combining Technical and Entrepreneurial Skills in an Electric Circuits Course through Project-Based LearningEducators should always seek opportunities to enhance their course material and equip studentswith skills to help them achieve success in their career after graduation. One skill that has drawnmuch attention recently is the entrepreneurial mindset. Using the pedagogical framework ofproject-based learning, this work infuses some of the soft skills associated with theentrepreneurial mindset with the technical skills of electric circuit analysis and design through aspecific multi-phase, multi-disciplinary project. The course is offered to students majoring inelectrical, computer, mechanical, and civil engineering. The expected outcomes are effectivecollaboration and communication, persisting and learning from failure, management, and solvingambiguous problems.The project requires students to form teams, or fictitious companies, comprised of two to fourmembers spanning across at least two disciplines. The task is to respond to a Request forProposal (RFP) that requires the design of a set of temperature sensors using NegativeTemperature Coefficient (NTC) thermistors for a customer, which is represented by theinstructor. In the written proposal, teams must translate the given customer specifications toengineering specifications or requirements, research the problem, propose two alternativesolutions, incorporate a decision matrix to select the best solution, list the required materials,show total cost including labor, perform a break-even analysis, illustrate the circuit design andschematics, verify the designed circuit through simulation, plot the voltage-temperaturerelationship of the designed circuit, establish a detailed testing plan, investigate proper devicehousings, propose a time schedule for delivery, construct a prototype circuit, perform the testsdetailed in the test plan on the prototype, and report the results of the tests in an attachedspecifications sheet for the device.After submitting the written proposal, there is a two-stage evaluation process for selecting thewinning bid. In the first stage, each team within each class section is given five minutes to pitchtheir proposal using a poster in an effort to convince the customer (in this case the sectioninstructor) that their design is the best within the section and should be selected to win the bid.After the first stage, the proposals are ranked and graded by the section instructor according topredetermined evaluation criteria given in the RFP, and the winning teams (of each section)participate in the second stage of pitches to all customer representatives (in this case, all sectioninstructors). The overall winning team will receive a monetary prize and will be funded topresent the project in an ASEE section meeting. Although there is only one winning team, allteams are required to build their circuit, execute the test plan as mentioned in the proposal,fabricate the circuit on a printed circuit board, and deliver a working prototype.The paper will present all involved details in this project including the phases mentioned above,rubrics used for project evaluation, assessment of students’ attitude toward this activity,assessment of project outcomes, and lessons learned throughout the project.
LeBlanc, H. J., & Al-Olimat, K. S., & Hassan, F., & Alsbou, N. (2014, June), Combining Technical and Entrepreneurial Skills in an Electric Circuits Course through Project-Based Learning Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--20180
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