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Creation Of A Project Based Introduction To Engineering Course

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2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.339.1 - 8.339.14



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Paper Authors

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Philip Parker

author page

Max Anderson

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Creation of a Project-Based Introduction to Engineering Course

Philip J. Parker 1 and Max L. Anderson2

Session #1526

1 Introduction

The freshman year for an engineering student is critical to the retention of that student. The typical first-year engineering curriculum in the US contains a rigorous workload of science and mathematics courses, along with two or three courses in the humanities. Often, the only exposure to engineering that students obtain in this first year is in an introductory engineering course. We have developed an introductory engineering course that effectively engages the first- year student by introducing him or her to engineering design through five design projects.

Specifically, the goals of the project are to:

1) Create a “portable” first year Introduction to Civil and Environmental Engineering (ICEE) course based on the Sooner City program. 2) Assess the success of the ICEE course at meeting the following global objectives: a) Stimulate interest in engineering among freshmen; b) Provide freshmen with an understanding of the breadth of the civil and environmental engineering profession; c) Positively impact retention of freshman civil and environmental engineering students. 3) Provide course materials on a web page to facilitate implementation of the course at other universities. 4) Beta test the ICEE course at another university.

In this paper, we discuss the course we have created and the results of the first steps in our assessment process.

2 ICEE Course Description

The new course we have created has five modules corresponding to the five traditional emphasis areas in civil and environmental engineering: construction; environmental; geotechnical, structural, and transportation. The course is project based, and students complete a project for each of the modules.

Each module’s project was based on a component of a park on campus. For this park, students designed a parking lot to serve the park; designed a detention pond to capture runoff from the

1 Assistant Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Platteville, Platteville, WI 53818; 2 Professor and Chair, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Platteville, Platteville, WI 53818;

Parker, P., & Anderson, M. (2003, June), Creation Of A Project Based Introduction To Engineering Course Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. 10.18260/1-2--12322

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