June 24, 2007
June 24, 2007
June 27, 2007
12.379.1 - 12.379.12
Community Service Projects as Integrated Undergraduate Learning Experiences
Community-based projects in engineering and engineering technology education have been around for many years in various forms. Recent examples include community-based design projects and partnerships, community outreach for capstone design, capstone design projects for special needs or disabled persons, K-12 community outreach, and international and humanitarian projects.
For obvious reasons, community organizations tend to be very receptive to the assistance afforded through these collaborations. Many community programs, including non-profit organizations, operate on minimal funding and rarely have the in-house expertise to perform technical work. Academic programs, eager to insert students into practice-type experiences make excellent partners for these community organizations.
The authors of this paper have incorporated local and regional community service projects as integrated learning experiences in engineering technology programs. The results benefit both the community and the engineering technology program. Community programs presented in this paper received technical expertise and volunteer hours at no cost while students in the engineering technology program were provided with “real-world” project experience, exposing them to the significance engineering technology can have in society and providing lifelong contacts for volunteer work in the future. Projects are selected which are technical in nature, can be completed in one to two semesters, and meet the societal impact objectives of the program.
In this paper, the authors present two community service projects which were completed by engineering technology students. The first project, “The Magnetic Survey,” was developed as a class project for a construction surveying class. The project was provided by the Department of Natural Resources Geodetic Survey Division, and consisted of locating magnetic monuments thought to have been lost for over six decades. The second project, “Soccer Complex Pedestrian Bridge,” was provided by the Department of Parks & Recreation. This project required a bridge to be designed and constructed to provide pedestrian and ADA access from a parking lot to the soccer complex.
The paper will cover all aspects of the projects to include selection, course and program relevance, course management, and project assessment. The paper will outline project development, eye-openers for the students, surprises for the sponsor, deliverables and final products, and student and community reactions for each project.
The use of community or social projects as capstone experiences is not new to the engineering technology field.1,2,3,4 However, as in many instances, the resources and impact that a single course can provide to a project are sometimes limited. When choosing projects for capstone
Nicholas, T., & Brizendine, A., & Stilgenbauer, T. (2007, June), Community Service Projects As Integrated Undergraduate Learning Experiences Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. https://peer.asee.org/2074
ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2007 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015